Item description for Bumper Crop by Joe R. Lansdale...
This collection of 26 stories contains some of Joe R. Lansdale's favorite and most violent dark horror tales. "God of the Razor" introduces the dark god behind serial killers. A martial arts fight to the death between a reluctant champion and a sadistic alpha male, is featured in "Master of Misery." Human sacrifice, to ensure prosperity or as a coming-of-age ritual, are themes of "On a Dark October" and "Duck Hunt." In "The Fat Man," young boys learn the hard way that some mysteries should not be investigated. Many of the tales are truly weird, such as "Chompers," the story of the false teeth with an appetite. All stories are individually introduced by Lansdale, who explains the humorous, weird, and sometimes sad genesis for each.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1" Width: 5.75" Height: 8.25" Weight: 0.85 lbs.
Release Date Apr 1, 2004
Publisher Golden Gryphon Press
ISBN 193084624X ISBN13 9781930846241
Availability 0 units.
More About Joe R. Lansdale
Joe R. Lansdale is the author of more than three dozen novels, including "The Thicket, Edge of Dark Water, The Bottoms, "and "A Fine Dark Line." He has received the British Fantasy Award, the American Mystery Award, the Edgar Award, the Grinzane Cavour Prize for Literature, and nine Bram Stoker Awards. He lives with his family in Nacogdoches, Texas.
Joe R. Lansdale currently resides in Nacogdoches, in the state of Texas. Joe R. Lansdale was born in 1951.
Reviews - What do customers think about Bumper Crop?
Not Lansdale's best, but not unforgivable. Oct 12, 2007
Since reading Mucho Mojo in early 1995, I have followed Joe R. Lansdale's work religiously. I found myself drawn to his politically incorrect humor, boundless imagination, and the simple fact that he understands how REAL working people live. As long as he keeps on writing, I'll keep on reading. For better or worse.
And when I say worse, I mean this little (199 pages) collection right here. It's not that these stories are bad - well not a large portion of them -, it's just that they are weak when compared to JRL's later work. But that's understandable when you consider that most of them were written early in his career. It's painfully obvious that for the better part of the 1980s, he had yet to discover his own writing style. Then again, doesn't every great writer have this problem early on?
Getting back to the stories, most of them are very short (26 stories, 199 pages) and leave too little room for development. Some of them ("Fish Night" and "The Fat Man"), as JRL will tell you hisownself, are homages to Ray Bradbury that seem to draw a little too heavily upon the latter writer's influence. Others are the type of short-short fiction that is popularized by writers like Frederic Brown and Richard Christian Matheson. Unfortunately, they are marred by predictability and shaggy dog endings. And one story here ("Billie Sue") is just flat out awful. If I were an editor that was unfamiliar with Lansdale's work and I was handed this story, I would say "Don't quit your day job."
But there are times even in this slightly disappointing collection that JRL's brilliance shines through. "In the Cold, Dark Time" hauntingly depicts a near future war in which American children are forced to take up arms. "Pilots" is a brutal full throttle tale about a group of badly disfigured young men who murder truck drivers because their Air Force dreams were crushed (among other things) by a drunken trucker. My favorite story in the collection is the last one - "Master of Misery". Here a disgraced kickboxer flees to the Caribbean to escape the tragic outcome in one of his matches only to be manipulated into another fight.
It pains me to give such a low rating to anything by Lansdale, but when the quality of his later work is taken into consideration, I have no choice. Out of all his collections, I would probably recommend this one first and then work your way into books like Writer of the Purple Rage and Mad Dog Summer: And Other Stories. As far as Bumper Crop goes, there are far better books from Lansdale. And there are far worse books from other authors.
Workmanlike Jul 18, 2006
I don't grade on a curve and give every book a 5 start rating. The author says that Bumper Crop means the overage from a good crop. These stories basically did not make the author's cut for a previous collection. That explaination nails the collection right on. They are fine stories, with a bit of a low rent Lovecraft feel to more than a few of them. I used the book for bedside reading but it would work as travel reading just as well. I read and enjoyed one of the author's Texas buddy tales and decided to try his horror stories. As I say this isn't memorable but it's a good read.
Nice Companion Piece to High Cotton Mar 2, 2006
While I haven't read "High Cotton" yet, I have read most of the stories in it. As had I read most of the stories in this anthology. "Bestsellers Guaranteed" and "By Bizarre Hands" collected the majority of Lansdale's fiction back in the day, and it is from these two books where the majority of these two books come. I think he focuses on novels now, and I'm not sure how much short fiction he has published in the last decade or so. Rather than simply reprinting them with a new introduction, Lansdale and editors put these two collections together.
That's fine with me... There are some new attractions. Lansdale includes a new introduction to each story. His introductions are often so funny I wish he would compile a collection of intros and other nonfiction. "A Fistfull of Stories" collected a good bit of his nonfiction, for those who are interested. I enjoyed this collection, as it had been so long since I'd read most of the stories I had forgotten many of them. I look forward to the next mainstream Lansdale story collection which, hopefully, will contain a majority of new material.
Glimpses at greatness. Mar 1, 2005
If High Cotton could have been titled The Best of Joe R. Lansdale, then Bumper Crop's revised one would be The Early Stories of Joe R. Lansdale. I have been a fan of Lansdale since 1982 or so, back when he was beginning to see regular print in the pages of Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone Magazine -and it is nice to have those short shorts that I remember so clearly (The Dump, Chompers, etc.) finally collected into a book format. Most of the stories in this collection were written fast, or before Lansdale had discovered, refined, and polished his blackly comic and ruggedly vulgar writing style, so those expecting the artistic heights found in High Cotton will be confused or disappointed. These are the stories that contained the flickers and hints of the greatness that was growing within Lansdale's writing. Highly recommended.
Joe Gets Weird Feb 22, 2005
The stories contained in this collection are, in a word, weird. I love Lansdale's stuff and originally got into his work as a horror fan, enjoying "The Night They Missed The Horror Show" so much that I quickly snatched up all of his "horror" stuff. After reading the excellent short story collection "High Cotton" I moved on to "Bumper Crop" expecting more of the same.
While "Bumper Crop" has its fair share of horror tales, the stories are more along the lines of weird Twilight Zone-esque yarns, with the strangest twists and turns you'll ever read. There are also a few fantasy-type pieces, and some rather intensely violent pieces that play out only as Lansdale can do. Absolutely worth reading, but if you're more of horror fan, I recommend "High Cotton" as the quintesential Joe R. Lansdale short story collection.