Thursday, March 10, 2011

Book Review: Crucified Dreams Edited by Joe R. Lansdale

Crucified Dreams Edited by Joe R. Lansdale
350 pages
Tachyon Publications

There are some authors you get tired of heaping praise on. Joe R. Lansdale is a force of nature, but the author of over thirty novels, hundreds of short stories and Graphic novels doesn’t ever put out crap. The guy is just an amazing writer. So if at this point, your thinking, “I have not read any of his stuff.” Start adding his books to your TBR.

As for this anthology, it’s hard to resist the usual hyperbole, but damnit this is the best anthology I have read in years. Hands down. In his introduction Lansdale described it as fiction that is in a similar vein to what he writes. And in a lot of ways if you started reading it without the authors name it would be possible to believe he wrote many of the stories.

Like the best of Lansdale's own fiction you will find yourself involved in the stories, flipping pages quickly and constantly feeling the range of emotions you want from a book. You will laugh out loud, cringe at events you know are coming, and shaking your head in delightful disgust.

The list of authors in this volume is impressive from Stephen King, Harlan Ellison, David Morrell, Tom Piccirilli and many, many more. There is not a stinker in the bunch, (outside of one story by Jonathan Letham, whose unbroken structure grated on me) top to bottom this book is brimming with creative insanity.

Some of my favorites included David Morrell’s revenge tale Front Man, Lansdale’s The pit, Octavia Butler’s bitter tale of disease, and Portland’s own Lucius Shepard with a tale of a not so over the hill boxer. Tom Piccirilli had the best story opener and my absolute favorite story of the book of “The Mojave Two Step” by Norman Partridge.

This is a must have for any serious horror reader or library. Lansdale has given us a gift here, I only wish I knew more about how and why he selected the stories. If you like short stories you will love this book.


Nick Cato said...

Sounds good---and Lansdale certainly NEVER puts out crap!

BFilmFan said...

John Scalzi mentioned the anthology today over on Whatever.