Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Lansdale, Joe R: The Thicket

A teenage boy is travelling with his younger sister and his grandfather to the latter's home after his
parents have died in a smallpox outbreak.   A ferry crossing has his grandfather shot by bandits,
his sister abducted and he nearly drowned.   He meets up with a midget and the son of a slave who
have a large hog with them.   He promises them his inheritance if they will help him get his sister
back even though he accepts she will have been raped and possibly even killed by her captors who
are a well-known bunch of evildoers.   The book follows the tracking down of the bad guys with a
fair amount of sidetracking including a lot of philosophising.   Jack, the young lad, loses his virginity
in a whorehouse while looking for one of the villains: the latter is caught, tortured and handed over
to the local sheriff.   The whore with Jack talks him into helping her escape the whorehouse which he
does and she joins up with him as does the sheriff when the villain escapes.   Lengthy but relatively
easy to read and wryly amusing at times, it seemed more diffuse than I recall other Lansdale books
having been but he does win a lot of awards whatever his style may be

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