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High Cotton: Selected Stories of Joe R. Lansdale [Paperback]

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Item description for High Cotton: Selected Stories of Joe R. Lansdale by Joe R. Lansdale...

"This collection of Joe R. Lansdale stories represents the best of the Lansdale genrea strange mixture of dark crime, even darker humor, and adventure tales. The stories are varied in setting and theme, but they are all pure Lansdaleeerie, amusing, and occasionally horrific. In The Pit, modern gladiators square off against one another using Roman methods. An alternate-history tale called Trains Not Taken shows Buffalo Bill as an ambassador and Wild Bill Hickok as a clerk. Lansdales love of large lizards and humor are evident in the stories Godzillas Twelve Step Program and Bob the Dinosaur Goes to Disneyland."

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Item Specifications...

Pages   267
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 5.5" Height: 8"
Weight:   0.8 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jul 1, 2003
Publisher   Golden Gryphon Press
ISBN  1930846177  
ISBN13  9781930846173  

Availability  0 units.

More About Joe R. Lansdale

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! 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.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Horror Fiction > General
2Books > Subjects > Horror Fiction > United States
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
4Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General
5Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Action & Adventure
6Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Short Stories > General
7Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Short Stories > United States

Reviews - What do customers think about High Cotton: Selected Stories of Joe R. Lansdale?

Pour it on, Mr. Lansdale.  Aug 17, 2008
As a fledgling horror writer, I'm trying to digest some bits and pieces from masters of the genre. Consider this review more of a discussion of what I liked in the book. Like I said, I'm a fledgling writer myself, and once you start creating something, you realize how much easier it is to criticize than create--so I'm trying to keep it on the positive.

I enjoyed much of High Cotton. Personal highlights include "Mister Weed-Eater", "The Night They Missed the Horror Show", "Incident on and Off a Mountain Road", and my favorite, "Steppin' Out, Summer, '68". Each of these tales forced my hand, made me keep turning those pages to see what bizzare sight waited around the corner. Each contained just the right mix of black humor for my taste.

In this mix of 21 tales, the reader really gains a respect for Lansdale's style of storytelling. He is from East Texas, and you hear the voice throughout, even when the story might be a bit wide of the darkly humorous horror for which he's known. A warning to the squeamish: this book will offend your senses and offers enough racial ephitats to make political correctness roll around in it's grave.

Lansdale knows how to entertain, and when he's on his game, he's among the best.
Enter the dark world of Joe R. Lansdale  Dec 5, 2007
I bought this book because I wanted to read the original story from which a first season episode of Showtime's "Masters of Horror" was built around. The episode was "Incident On and Off a Mountain Road", and both the television adaptation and- I was happy to learn when I received "High Cotton" from this site- the original Lansdale story are top notch. In fact, the TV show was excellent largely due to its sticking extremely close to the Lansdale original.

Happily, there are many other great stories in this collection other than "Incident". As other reviewers have pointed out here, the stories range from darkly humorous to dark & gritty, the dark & gritty ones being my favorites. There are also a few good stories of the ironic and darkly poetic variety, where some poor schmuck gets an undeserved ton of bricks dropped on his life for no other reason than fate sometimes does that (I'm thinking mostly of the story involving the guy who tries to help the seemingly pathetic blind groundskeeper). The outright "funny" stories, like the one about Godzilla being in the twelve-step program (he wants to stop stomping on tourists), and the story about the inflatable dinosaur who wanted to visit Disneyland so he could meet Mickey Mouse, are also okay, but less memorable than the dark & gritty stories, which usually involve hapless characters taking a wrong turn somewhere and in short order finding themselves in the midst of one form or another of earthly hell.

Sensitive readers should note that there are many instances of racist humor, and many racist observations, throughout the book, as this or that character spouts something ignorant. In fact, there's so much of it that I started thinking that the author perhaps had a benign view of such things, or maybe even held those views himself. But, no, it ultimately becomes clear that Mr. Lansdale is just trying to accurately show how many people talk and think, and also demonstrate that such thoughts and observations can mean one of several things: that the character in question truly IS racist, or might just be a little ignorant and stupid but not truly bad. I say this because in several instances (especially in the last story), a couple of SEEMING racists meet up (after one of those wrong turns) with a group of true, hateful, monstrous racists, and... well, let's just say Mr. Lansdale makes it clear that there's a difference between dumb, ignorant spoutings and true evil.

With the exception of the occasional inflatable dinosaur and the not-as-friendly-as-it-seems housecat (and even the tales containing those offbeat elements were perfectly engaging), these are intense, dark, memorable stories, and I look forward to experiencing more Joe R. Lansdale in the near future. Just not quite yet. There's some grim stuff here, and I could use a breather.
Lansdale's Best-Of Collection  Apr 9, 2006
So, "High Cotton" reprints several of Lansdale's personally selected best stories. These stories, all of them except for one are also featured in his original collections "By Bizarre Hands", "Bestsellers Guaranteed", and "Writer of the Purple Rage", and are arguably the best of the stories featured in the original (and out of print) books.

Lansdale's follow-up, "Bumper Crop" collects many of the rest, but not very many stories from "Writer of the Purple Rage." If you can get a copy of "Purple Rage" get it. It has the original "Bubba Ho-Tep" novella, which is one of Lansdale's best stories and was made into the wonderful movie starring Bruce Campbell, which may be one of the most faithful adaptations of a writer's work ever put on film.

Anyway, "Booty and the Beast" is the newest (to me) story in this collection, which centers around a specific item associated with the Virgin Mary that brings doom to those who possess it. It is an entertaining story. The best stories here, however, are the ones his true fans have read before: "The Night They Missed the Horror Show" (his signature story), "The Phone Woman", and "Tight Little Stitches in a Dead Man's Back", "Not From Detroit", and many others. The stories also have introductions by Lansdale telling how they were conceived. There is also an introduction at the front of the book explaining how he came to write short stories and why he deosn't write as many anymore.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading the stories again and I hope this one stays in print for a long time, so that readers don't have to track down out of print collections to see what a fabulous writer this man is. These are the stories that made him famous, using his unique blend of humor, horror, and gritty realism to form a truly effective story. Highly Recommended!
The best short story collection EVER!  Aug 17, 2005
High Cotton by Joe R. Lansdale is the best short story collection I have ever read so far! The stories are funny and will make you laugh aloud -- so don't read this book in public places! Funny story: I was reading this book whilst waiting to board the plane in the airport, and I could not stop laughing! Security guards started to crowd around me -- just because I was acting in a 'peculiar manner' due to the loud laughing... so Joe R. Lansdale, it's your fault people are laughing out loud in public places whilst reading your book! Read this book and you will know what all the fuss is about.
Country Fried Horror  Feb 22, 2005
"High Cotton" is representative of the period when Joe Lansdale was still writing hardcore horror - and no one did it better. The stories in this collection are truly disturbing and graphic, reaching splattery heights without ever straying too far from Joe's East Texas sensibilities. Plenty of sick twists and thinly veiled stabs at racial injustice to keep our more "sophisticated" readers interested. For those of us who like down and dirty country-fried horror, you can't do any better than this collection.

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