Friday, September 02, 2016

Friday's Forgotten Books, September 2, 2016

Patti Abbott, Mucho Mojo, Joe R. Lansdale (from the archives)

Mucho Mojo is the second installment of the Hap and Leonard series by Joe R. Lansdale and a worthy follow-up to the first one. It concerns the disappearance of a number of 8-10 year old boys over a period of 10 years in a small town in Texas. It was very well done, of course, although I did find it improbable that such a long string of disappearances would get so little attention from the authorities given certain similarities. But all in all, I enjoyed this book immensely.

What I wanted to talk about here are the considerable strengths I found in this novel--almost amazing ones.

This is a novel by a white writer set entirely in the black community of a small town--and it never seems patronizing or inauthentic. Hap is virtually the only white character.

Secondly, Lansdale is able to write, almost obsessively, about sex without it seeming prurient or pornographic. His sex is tender and graceful.

Third-he is able to create believable characters with a few strokes of his keyboard. Truly, he can find a feature or embellishment to give them something to make them stand out.

Fourth-he can insert humor gracefully at even the darkest moments.

Fifth- he can use profanity without seeming crass.

What a writer. I am in awe.

Sergio Angelini, MISCHIEF, Ed McBain
Yvette Banek, THE STAR MACHINE,  Jeanine Basinger
Joe Barone, A SPOONFUL OF POISON, M.C. Beaton
Elgin Bleeker, THE MYSTERY OF THE STOLEN HATS, Bruce Graeme
Brian Busby, THE MYSTERY OF THE FOLDED PAPER, Hulbert Footner
Bill Crider, PUZZLE FOR PILGRIMS, Patrick Quentin
Martin Edwards, MURDER WITH RELISH, C. Lindsay Taylor
Richard Horton, 9 TALES OF SPACE AND TIME, Raymond J. Healy
Jerry House, THE FOG, James Herbert
George Kelley, THINGS FROM OUTER SPACE, ed. Hugh Davis
Margot Kinberg, THE LAST CHILD, John Hart
Rob Kitchin, ORIGINAL SKIN, David Mark
Steve Lewis, MURDER HAS ITS POINTS, Richard and Frances Lockridge
Todd Mason,  INTERSECTIONS: THE SYCAMORE HILL ANTHOLOGY edited by John Kessel, Mark L. Van Name and Richard Butner; MIRRORSHADES: THE CYBERPUNK ANTHOLOGY, edited by Bruce Sterling
Stephen Nester (The Rap Sheet) DREAMLAND, Newton Thornburg
J.F. Norris, CONJURER'S COFFIN, Guy Cullingford
Richard Robinson, A MONSTROUS REGIMENT OF WOMEN, Laurie King
Matt Paust, THE RUM DIARY, Hunter S. Thompson
Reactions to Reading, THE DEVIL IN THE MARSHALLSEA, Antonia Hodgson
James Reasoner, VOLUNTARY MADNESS, Vicki Hendricks
Kevin Tipple/Barry Ergang, I, ALEX CROSS, James Patterson


Unknown said...

PUZZLE FOR PENGUINS is a great title. I'll bet the Patrick Quentin team wishes they'd written it.

Kevin R. Tipple said...

Yes, but their idea "Word Searches for Seals" just did not test well with beta readers.

Todd Mason said...

My tardy and insufficiently refurbished entry now up, as usual with a ridiculous pair of titles:

INTERSECTIONS: THE SYCAMORE HILL ANTHOLOGY edited by John Kessel, Mark L. Van Name and Richard Butner; MIRRORSHADES: THE CYBERPUNK ANTHOLOGY, edited by Bruce Sterling

Charles Gramlich said...

Agreed on Lansdale. He's superbly talented

pattinase (abbott) said...

Still wondering how I mixed it up.

Jeff Meyerson said...

I agree on Joe Lansdale too. He's written some great books.

Mathew Paust said...

I would have thought Puzzle for Penguins was probly set in a convent, and been surprised to see Crider reviewed it. Then again...

I think I read a review long ago about Mucho Mojo, but I'd not heard of Lansdale, and I quickly forgot about it. Now I've got to find the book!

pattinase (abbott) said...

My favorite book by him is THE BOTTOMS. It might be in my top ten favorite period. But all the Hap and Leonard books are fun. As is everything he writes.

Anonymous said...

I keep hearing good things about Lansdale, Patti - must try his work. And thanks for including my post in this week's links.