Things Get Ugly: The Best Crime Fiction of Joe R. Lansdale

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Product Details
$18.95  $17.62
Tachyon Publications
Publish Date
6.14 X 8.96 X 0.88 inches | 0.81 pounds

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About the Author
Joe R. Lansdale (Savage Season, The Donut Legion) is the internationally-bestselling author of over fifty novels, including the popular, long-running Hap and Leonard novels. Many of his works have been adapted for television and film, most famously the films The Thicket, Bubba Ho-Tep, Cold in July, and the Hap and Leonard series on Sundance TV and AMC. Lansdale has written numerous screenplays and teleplays, including the iconic Batman: The Animated Series. He has won an Edgar Award for The Bottoms, ten Stoker Awards, and he has been designated a World Horror Grandmaster. Lansdale, like many of his characters, lives in East Texas, with his wife, Karen.
"A potent blend of stories from one of the all-time greats, Things Get Ugly is the kind of collection you never want to end--as it shows the versatility and command of the craft only a legend like Lansdale can execute. There's a reason Lansdale is among the greatest, and this book showcases his knack for shady characters, rural noir, and an innate ability to get to the heart of what drives us all. A can't-miss book."
--Alex Segura, bestselling author of Secret Identity

"Wildly entertaining, binge-worthy, and a total escape from hum drum reality, Things Get Ugly is pure Joe Lansdale on terrific display. In this collection of his greatest crime fiction stories, Lansdale's scalpel-sharp wit and prose will have you cackling one minute while it chills you to the bone the next. A rollicking, sometimes haunted trip through his piney-woods soaked noir landscape, Things Get Ugly confirms that Joe Lansdale is to crime fiction what Willie Nelson is to country music: wholly original, genre-defying, raw, gritty, soulful, and lastly, timeless. I could not put this book down!"
--May Cobb, author of The Hunting Wives

"Of all my writing, the short story is my favorite form of expression," says Lansdale, and his joy shows in the exuberant invention of these noirish tales. A few of them, like 'The Steel Valentine' and 'Six-Finger Jack, ' are unpredictable but routine, and a few others, like the spooky 'The Shadows, Kith and Kin' and the supernatural 1958 private eye story 'Dead Sister, ' play more to Lansdale's wide-ranging interests than to his storytelling strengths. But even entries that don't entirely come off, from 'Mr. Bear' (a man develops a surprising friendship with the psycho bear who sits next to him on a plane) to 'Boys Will Be Boys' (a pair of kids who 'feed off each other' descend into a pit of sex, drugs, and depravity), are fueled by some wildly deranged premises, and the best of them, like the supershort 'The Job' (an Elvis impersonator is hired as a hit man) and 'The Ears' (a third date is spun into a nightmare by a casual discovery), strike a note of giddy brutality other authors would find hard to match. If there's a general weakness here apart from some sex scenes even kinky readers may find disturbing, it's Lansdale's fondness for killing off virtually the entire cast of so many entries. Even so, the hits keep on coming. Though the final twist in 'Santa at the Café' is the most predictable of all, the climactic twist in 'Incident On and Off a Mountain Road, ' probably the single strongest story here, will stay with you for a long time."

"Lansdale's writing hits like a brass-knuckled punch to the face: Hard and nasty and visceral. This collection of nineteen ugly stories shows the master of the crime thriller at the height of his formidable powers."
--Marc Guggenheim, creator of Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow

"The spiritual heir to both Walt Whitman and Elmore Leonard, Joe R. Lansdale is the bard who sings America: in gem-hard, polished prose that never lets up, no matter how ugly things get. As they do indeed in the seminal retrospective that is Things Get Ugly, where vicious people do vicious things to each other beautifully."
--Lavie Tidhar, author of Central Station and Neom

"Things Get Ugly is packed page by page with writing lessons for both beginners and old pros hoping to improve: Get right to it. Keep it moving by surprising. Trust the English language to observe as closely as Joe's line, 'thin and flexible as a feather.' The man can write."
--Justin Scott, author of the Ben Abbott mysteries

"If there is a writer with a more distinct voice, I don't know them. When Lansdale turns his pen to crime stories you get his signature wild imagination, humor as dark as the bottom of a well and characters who live and breathe (the ones who make it out alive, anyway). Selected from across his epic career, Things Get Ugly burns like backwoods moonshine going down. A best of Joe R. Lansdale is a best of the genre--full stop."
--Eric Beetner, author of There and Back

"[Things Get Ugly] assembles nineteen of his best crime stories and is a real delight for any genre fan and lover of strong, dark fiction. Lansdale's stories are always engrossing, able to grab and maintain the reader's interest from beginning to end."
--Gumshoe Review

"One of my favorite things about reading Joe Lansdale at all is the sense that anything could happen at any point--that genre restrictions don't really matter that much, and that we can whiplash between horror and comedy, thriller and drama all effortlessly. That goes double for his short story collections, which by their very nature can display a wide array of talents and genres."
--Umney's Alley

"As Matt Damon's character Sonny Vaccaro says in his final climactic pitch to Michael Jordan in Air, 'the rest of us just want a chance to touch that greatness.' When you read Things Get Ugly, you will do just that."
--Strand Magazine

"You'll want to take the day off, settle into a comfortable chair (or onto a barstool, you do you) with a tumbler of good scotch within reach, and prepare yourself to get lost in one of the best collections of crime fiction I've ever read."
--Dave Writes and Draws

Praise for Joe R. Lansdale

"A folklorist's eye for telling detail and a front-porch raconteur's sense of pace."
--New York Times Book Review

"An American original."
--Joe Hill, author of Heart-Shaped Box

"A terrifically gifted storyteller."
--Washington Post Book Review

"Like gold standard writers Elmore Leonard and the late Donald Westlake, Joe R. Lansdale is one of the more versatile writers in America."
--Los Angeles Times

"Lansdale's been hailed, at varying points in his career, as the new Flannery O'Connor, William Faulkner-gone-madder, and the last surviving splatterpunk."
--Austin Chronicle

"There are writers who are prolific and writers who are brilliant: Joe R. Lansdale is one of the few who is both."
--Christopher Farnsworth, author of Blood Oath

Praise for the short fiction of Joe R. Lansdale

"Yet another masterclass in how it's done."
--Ed Brubaker, author of The Fade Out

"An absolute blast and a gift to all of us devoted fans."
--Ace Atkins, New York Times bestselling author of The Revelators

"Pure muscle, bone and mayhem, served up the just the way you like it."
--Duane Swierczynski, author of Breakneck

"Proves once again that no one writes a short story like Lansdale."
--Crime Reads

"There's that comfort and confidence that the best American popular fiction has."
--Eamonn Griffin, author of East of England

"Funny, dark, readable, and thought provoking. A joy from start to finish."
--Manhattan Book Review

"You could call Born for Trouble a collection of stories. But that's like calling Paradise Lost by Milton a poem. . ."
--S.A. Cosby author of Razorblade Tears