This is a story about a young man who is in need of money so he plans to rob a fireworks stand. Things go rogue and he ends up coming across a “side show” where they take him in to aid him.
Since I am in love with Jo Quenell’s novella, The Mud Ballad..she recommended this book to me since it inspired her story. I can see some similarities with the vibe and atmosphere but really…The Mud Ballad is much better imo.
For the first half of the book, it had some awkward moments that were not fun to read. Granted this was released in 1999 timeframe so society wasn’t the most pc back then but jeez..being in the main characters head was frustrating. Lots of crude descriptions and slurs. At one point though, another character shuts him down and corrects his language. I appreciate that Lansdale atleast did that but I get it.. The MC is unlikable but does have some character growth which was nice.
The spicy scenes caught me off guard..lol some sex scenes seemed so random. The thing that lost me was the end. It was a bit predictable and it wasn’t satisfying for me. I wanted a few more pages because it just felt incomplete. The first half of the book is so strong that the ending had to balance it out but it didn’t for me.
Overall, an enjoyable plot, decent delivery with a lackluster ending. This is my first Lansdale so I look forward to reading more from him. I am glad I read this and listened to Jo’s recommendation.
Author: Joe R. Lansdale
228 pages, Paperback [Available on KU]