October 21, 2011

Bad Chili ***

*** Bad Chili, Joe R Lansdale, 1997

Disclaimer: JRL is not for everybody.

After the rather traumatic and daunting experiences of Two-Bear Mambo, Hap and Leonard have regained most of their self-confidence and brio. You have to love a novel that opens with a rabid squirrel. And then things get worse. The storyline of this one takes some particularly gruesome and graphic paths. But the trademark JRLisms that keep me coming back abound.

One partner loses a main squeeze while the other gains one, with much gratuitous pillow talk, if you catch my drift.

An interesting side character helicopters in almost deus-ex-machina style to save some bacon and add local color, making me wonder if we'll see him in the future.

Like in Two-Bear Mambo, the final showdown takes place in the context of a cataclysm of nature, which definitely ups the tension, but perhaps somewhat artificially? Let me know what you think.

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