Reviews of Dark Fiction

Fishing For Dinosaurs and Other Stories by Joe R. Lansdale

When I saw this was available on Netgalley, I clicked it at once! I thought there was no way I could go wrong with a collection of Joe R. Lansdale’s novellas and I’m happy to say that I was right!

BLACK HAT JACK concerns a man of the American west and his traveling companion, Nat Love. Being that I’ve already read and ADORED Paradise Sky, I had a feeling I would love this tale, and I did.

FISHING FOR DINOSAURS. This narrative blew me away! Mr. Lansdale has the imagination and the chops to write just about anything, and I knew that going in. However, this story has such outstanding world building, I don’t even know how to describe it. Fishing for dinosaurs is the perfect title for this perfectly presented insane world.

PRISONER 489. Set on an island where the executed convicts from the island next door get buried. A tension-filled story is woven through the eyes of the gravediggers when they realize that what they buried didn’t STAY buried.

THE APE-MAN’S BROTHER was a pulpy sort of tale wherein King Kong’s brother, (of Australopithecus origin), tells a story of his own. This is another example of a wonderfully built world where zeppelins fly about and ape-men have film careers.

The only story original to this collection is: SIXTY-EIGHT BARRELS ON TREASURE LAKE. A young, recently orphaned man named Rabbit joins, (somewhat unwillingly), with a band of highly suspect robbers, to help them relocate gold they stole several years previous. Once again, this is a beautifully imagined world, rich in color, description and on-the-money human observation. This is where Joe R. Lansdale really shines-never once do you question the motivations of characters because they’re so real, you can relate to them. You might BE them, in some other world, time or place.

The introductions to these stories were fun to read. Poppy Z. Brite, Richard Chizmar, David J. Schow, Robin Hobb and Norman Partridge each had something to say about the tales and about Joe Lansdale himself. All of which served to prove that even other writers admire and enjoy Lansdale’s wide and varied works.

I’ve never, ever been disappointed in a story from Mr. Lansdale. He writes stories that cannot be pigeon-holed into certain genres or styles, because he’s a genre hisownself. They don’t call him the Champion Mojo Storyteller for nothing!

Highly recommended!

*Thanks to NetGalley, Subterranean Press and the author for the digital ARC in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!*

Fishing For Dinosaurs and Other Stories Book Cover Fishing For Dinosaurs and Other Stories
Joe R. Lansdale
Subterranean Press

From Wild to Wilder, you are offered a journey into the Worlds of Joe R. Lansdale. Go on a fishing trip for dinosaurs in the arctic and meet numerous characters from adventure novels and pulps, as a man unsure of his identity awakens to discover he has a job to do, if he only knew what it was and who he was. Cave men. Secret lairs. The strange group who rule the world, and She Who Must Be Obeyed, all come together in a rollicking adventure on an icy lake that contains an unexpected secret.

Visit the Old West and be at the famous fight of Adobe Walls with Nat Love and his friend Black Hat Jack. Trapped in an adobe hut, a nest of crusty buffalo hunters battle angry Comanches who want to drive the hunters off their land, and make sure they don't come back. Be witness to the epic battle that occurred there. Dark, funny, adventurous, with bad language.

Visit an island graveyard for super criminals. It's just across the bay from a secret prison for those criminals, as well as deadly monsters. One of the villains, a executed creature made of will and mud, is about to be buried on the island. But not everything dead stays dead, and when it awakens, it definitely gets up on the wrong side of the grave.

Find out the true story of the Ape Man, as told by his Australopithecus brother, as they venture from their hidden jungleworld of dinosaurs, to the modern world of an alternate universe New York where Zeppelins sail the skies and movies are still made on film. Find out how the Ape Man falls for The Woman, and how a venture into film fails dramatically, ends with death and a humiliating act that no one wants to name. Watch as the primitive falls from grace, and the New World offers temptations, disappoints, and some hard-core adventure.

Out in the Old West there are tons of myths and legends, and sometimes those legends just might be true. A young bartender named Rabbit teams up with a beautiful sawmill worker, Sally Bleedhead, and sets out to lead some of the nastiest villains in existence to a hidden valley, as well as stolen gold, and a quest to fill sixty-eight barrels with a strange treasure that will reveal the deadly secrets of the lost valley.

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