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The Thicket by Joe Lansdale

imagesI have recommended Joe Lansdale many times before, especially his Hap and Leonard series (see Vanilla Ride) and once again he has written a laugh out loud, violent, and seemingly ludicrous book.  I do not know where he gets his ideas but I kept putting off reading The Thicket because it sounded so ridiculous but when you read it, it makes perfect sense.  In the early 1900s, Jack Parker, his grandpa, and his little sister Lula are on their way to live with a faraway aunt after Jack’s parents have died.  On the way, they encounter some evil criminals who kill grandpa and kidnap Lula.  Innocent he may be but Jack knows that Lula’s time is now going to be spent being gang raped and that he has to rescue her.  He starts out very naïve and doesn’t want to harm anyone but as the story moves along he realizes how unrealistic that is.   He first tries to enlist law enforcement’s help but gets nowhere so he teams up with a midget named Shorty, a gravedigger named Eustace, and a hog named Hog.  They set out on horses after the evil gang with Hog trotting along beside them.  You can see how crazy this sounds but somehow it works and is believable.  Lansdale hits it out of the park with this one.

Stacy W.

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