Mister Joe Landsdale of East Texas, he can surely turn a phrase
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Topic: Focus on Author
One of my favorite new fixations is the fiction of Joe Landsdale. He is a writer from East Texas, and it's hard to really place him in any genre-- he's written SF, Horror, Westerns, modern crime, thrillers and mysteries. In recent months, I've read MUCHO MOJO (featuring two recurring characters, Hap and Leonard, who live in, you guessed it, East Texas). Much of what I've read so far has been framed as either a period thriller or a murder mystery. Landsdale's work is good in its own right, but new readers will treasure the way he can turn a phrase.
I'm keeping a list of memorarble Lansdale quotes from the books of his I've read so far. Here is a partial list:
Joe Lansdale quotes
From: FREEZER BURN
That guy had a wart for a dick. A thing like that can give you a pissed-off attitude,
It was as hot and sticky as the crack of a fat man's ass
As creepy as a masturbating fat girl on a nude beach.
As lonely as the last pig in a slaughterhouse line.
A woman like that, she could make you set fire to an old folks home and beat the survivors over the head as they ran out.
From SUNSET AND SAWDUST
(Sunset in a rape scene, page 2, Pete gets killed)
When he snapped his gun belt free, he tossed it nearby, and while he was on her, tugging at his zipper trying to put the mule in the barn, Sunset reached over and slipped his .38 revolver from its holster, and without him being aware, put it to his head, and gave him one to the temple.
When she pulled the trigger the shot was loud as Gabriel blowing her up to heaven, but it was Pete who went to heaven. Or departed, anyway. Sunset liked to think he got a nice chair in hell, right next to the oven.
Pete went limp, not in the organ he had intended to use, but all over. He said not a word, no “ouch” “oh shit”, or “can you believe that?” Things he liked to say under normal circumstances, moments of surprise and duress. He just took the hot load, cut fart near loud as the .38 shot, collapsed, and rode on out on Death's black horse.
(Jones has just killed himself with a giant crosscut saw at the lumber mill. Zack, a black lumber mill worker, has found Jones' wedding ring during the cleanup)
Zack thought about giving it to Mrs. Jones, then thought it might be better to take it into town and sell it. But if someone found out he sold the ring, it could go bad for him. So he put the ring in one of Jones' boots after removing what was left of ankle and foot. Interestingly enough, both boots were in good shape. No cuts, or tears, just bloody inside.
Later that night, at home, Zack thought about the beating Pete had given him and the way that Jones had made him carry the body (of Pete) back. He thought about the ring again and wished he had kept it.
A week later, Zack found a chunk of Jones, possibly a testicle, under a log fragment in the mill house. He kicked it around for a while before using a stick to toss it out to the one-eyed stray cat that hung around the mill.
The cat took it in its mouth and ran away into the woods.
It was Clyde Fox. He had removed his cloth cap and his black hair hung down, almost covered one of his eyes. He was big enough to go alligator hunting with stern language.
(later-- Sunset is attracted to “hillbilly” her deputy)
Sunset knew Hillbilly’s pat on the leg and remark were unnecessary and an excuse to touch her thigh, but she couldn't bring herself to say anything against it. She wished she could say: “put your hand here, your mouth there, twist one of my legs behind my head an make me say calf rope”
(later, Clyde the other deputy thinks Sunset is cute)
Clyde took a chair, watched her write. He liked watching her do most anything. Her hair was so red and long and smooth, flame-like, but much prettier in color than the fire that that had licked his home to death. Her face was smooth and pink-cheeked and she had about the most beautiful nose and mouth he had ever seen. He really liked her mouth. Last night, in his dreams, her mouth had played a prominent part. He even liked the way her feet fit in her work boots; there was something, so damn cute about those little feet in those work boots. And that thick gun belt. He shouldn't think of that as cute, but he did. If she had suddenly bent over and farted out “Old Man River” to the beat of her tapping feet, he knew he would have found that cute as well.
(Deputy Rooster encounters a blonde prostitute at McBrides apt)
He had seen her before (though he was now seeing a part of her he hadn't seen before), but he didn't know her name. When the blonde turned away, leading, her naked ass moved from side to side like a couple of happy babies rolling about.
(deputy Clyde again)
When they finished eating, Clyde said, “I think I'm going to be the first ass in that outhouse. I feel it coming”
from: MUCHO MOJO
I drove into town and rented a VCR and checked out a couple movies. Jaws, which I'd never seen, and Gunga Din, which I saw when I was head high to a cocker spaniel's nuts.
The big black cop didn’t' look at the white cop. You got the idea they did that kind of dull banter all the time, just to keep away. The black cop got a turd-colored cigar out of the inside of his coat and put it in his mouth and chewed it.
It was so dark in the back of the place you could have pulled your dick out and put on a rubber and no one would have known it.
(Ilium is dead, but the speaker doesn't know it)
“yeah, he runs all manner errands for the church. He's a real do gooder, that Illium. That sonsabitch dies, he's gone sit on the right hand of Jesus and Jesus gone give him a juice harp, personal like, let him play a few spirituals...
I figure Illium was probably twanging out a rendition of “the Old Rugged Cross” even as we spoke. I thanked the old man, paid up and started back to the house.
Hanson took a deep breath. He tried to smile but he had a face like a man that had just found a dog turd in his mouth.
In quite a different way, next door to us, operating against the law, but not restrained or bothered b it, a whole houseful of ball sweats were doing a similar thing, and we weren't stopping them.
She pointed the pistol at my groin, and I reached down and scooped it aside with my palm and jumped in close and grabbed her head with both my hands, and gave her a knee in the face. I figure I'd hear from the Southern Club for Manhood for that, but I didn’t give a shit, you try to hurt me, and I'm gonna hurt you back
For a real treat, check out an Audio interview with Lansdale
at the "Agony Column" website.
Posted by mrnizz
at 4:13 PM EDT