October 11, 2010

Freezer Burn **

** Freezer Burn, Joe R Lansdale, 1999

I picked up a couple more Lansdale books to continue my exploration of his writing. This one was not a whodunit in the Hap and Leonard series. It's rife with the trademark Lansdale trenchant phrases, dissolute characters, and graphic language/sex/whatnot.

It was a fascinating read with great promise for one such as I, a sucker for a story of redemption. Alas, despite a classic setup of transcendent good vs inherent evil and the everyman caught in the middle, it was not to be. Transcendent good is exposed as naivete and everyman as sucker. Both lose out to inherent evil. A great story with an unsatisfying ending for this possibly naive reader.

But filled with great similes and turns of phrase, such as these.

Opening line: Bill Roberts decided to rob the firecracker stand on account he didn’t have a job and not a nickel’s worth of money and his mother was dead and kind of freeze-dried in her bedroom.

P 6. She smelled like a sixteen-year-old boy on his way to this first date.

P. 18. “He ain’t got a prayer and a sandwich, now.”

P 18. The moon’s image lay full and huge on the swampy water, as if God had dropped a greasy dinner plate.

P 24. It felt odd now not to be bossed about by an overbearing woman. He had grown so accustomed to it, he thought it was natural, like trips to the bathroom.

P 27. Bill’s lips were swollen and his face wasn’t feeling all that good either. It seemed as if his skin was a sack of light bulbs someone had stepped on.

P 31. He was weak and hungry and hot and his head hurt all over from the mosquito bites. He felt as if he had been beat in the face with a rake.

P 37. It was slightly warmer away from the riverbank, and Bill could see the late evening sun hanging low in the sky like a cracked fertile egg, leaking gold and yellow and blood-red chicken all over the horizon, seeping through the trees.

P 39. He rolled his head to the side and smelled the drying grass, and from that angle he could see the last of the sunlight hanging between the trees, as if a giant with an inflamed hemorrhoid was mooning him.

P 45. When he awoke it was dark in the room except for one light that was by the door, and it was a weak light. It made a pool on the floor like dirty melted cheese.

P 84. Her gold hair held the moonlight and it fell butter smooth over her skin, delighted to be there.

P 85. He had less grease on his hair than Phil, but he certainly had enough up there to do him and still deep-fry a chicken.

P 106. It was hot with a constant savage wind blowing, the air so brittle a wave of your hand might knock a crack in it.

P 106. Conrad would be sleeping, as content as a baby in a wind-up swing.

P 107. The whole thing made Bill lonely as the last pig in a slaughterhouse line.

P 109. A woman like that, like Eve, like Gidget, she could make you set fire to an old folks home and beat the survivors over the head with a shovel as they ran out. A woman like that damn sure wouldn’t have to do much to get some guy to steal an apple.

P147. He felt he had truly become friends with Conrad, and he liked the feeling. He had never had a real friend before, just people he could do small crimes with.

P 150. Gidget looked at Bill as if she had just discovered his head had been hollowed out with a spoon.

P 180. There was a crescent moon. It was like a single cat eye, partially open, waiting for a mouse.

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