I love Joe Lansdale.
I’ve yet to be disappointed in anything I’ve read by him and he has a voice that is recognizable in every one of his books.
Granted, I do have favorites (The Bottoms is one of many and Waltz of Shadows can now be added to that list), but, for the most part, he’s batting pretty good for me. He may not hit a homerun every time he’s up to bat, but he usually gets a double or a triple.
Waltz of Shadows is volume one of “The Lost Lansdale” put out by Subterranean Press. In the forward of Shadows, Lansdale tells on how the book came to be (it was almost Mucho Mojo, a “Hap & Leonard” novel, which is interesting because I can see how Mojo came from it) and how this version has changed from its previous publication.
Shadows is one of Lansdale’s darkest books I’ve read to date. His works are usually injected with some good natured humor, but I didn’t see so much in this one. But that’s okay, as the book is meant to be dark. Sure, there are still plenty of laugh-out-loud moments in the book, but they are definitely a little more mean spirited as I’m used to from Lansdale. But, again, that’s okay, because it’s really done well.
Oh yeah, the short synopsis is the main character, Hank, gets a phone call from his knucklehead nephew, Bill. Generally, Bill only calls Hank when he’s in trouble, and this is no exception. But this time, Bill is in it deep. Set up for a murder he didn’t commit, Bill is on the run from both the killers and the police, and it’s up to Hank to help him.
Waltz of Shadows, like most of what I’ve read by Lansdale, is really, really good. It’s definitely a little different from the other things I’ve blown through, but it’s one of my favorites, now.
If you have the opportunity to read it, do it.