Lost Continent Books

Mapping the Terrain of Used and Rare Books

Review: “Cold In July,” by Joe Lansdale

Simply put, I loved it. Loved it. Seriously – I really, really loved it. After trudging through “Loves Lies Dying” and slowly getting a bit of an Drug Buzz on formulaic “Harry Dresden, Files” this book brought me back to what a book should be. It’s crisp and suspenseful, without being long and overindulgent. The writing is tight and to the point; the characters developed brilliantly, quickly and naturally.

I truly loved reading this, every word of it. Not just tried or wanted to read it. This is the real deal. You’ll have plenty of suspense, action, drama, and – much like “The Drive In,” though more so in this book, just the perfect amount of commentary on society and individual humans to make the book important but by no means preachy. (All of this book real-time and real life, so it has nothing to do w/ the Drive other then the author)

Unless maybe I spent a month with an English Prof. re-reading it with the close-reading skills of some kind of a sentient electron-microscope I honestly couldn’t even tell you what Mr. Lansdale’s party affiliation is.

But you could use all that College close-reading

What I’m saying is that “Cold in July” is a read that you can do in 1-3 days and it’s just as good, and just as fun, as John Grisham. You’d have to have a strong stomach and a Perfect sense of humor  But it would be good for your intellect – a little departure from Grisham and putting you in a place where the Good and the Bad are becoming subjective in a way that hurts. But the way it should be. And maybe this book will getting you into a circle of authors who “think,” and are just as literary as they can without being something that would take you five times as long to read  and a long headache.

The dialogue and descriptions are as stripped down and direct as possible without being stiff. And there is nothing stiff about this novel. The sparsity of the descriptions and the dialogue creates such a great juxtaposition between page-turning suspense and the want to slow down and savor the characters, that the narrative moves beautifully – almost as it were on it’s own greased track and you are struggling, joyfully to keep up.

For example: Meet Jim Bob Luke: A fifty-ish Private Detective who had been a Green Beret and studied martial-arts. Supposedly now “best Detective in East Texas, and that includes the police!” Let’s meet him, shall we? … “I could see the man stretching beside the door, and he looked like a washed-up country and western singer. He was tall and lean and wore a straw hat with a couple of anemic feathers in it. He had on a white cowboy shirt with thin green stripes on it and faded blue jeans and boots that often looked they had waded though water and shit….” –Nrrator’s description of Jim Bob Anyway, Lansdale, so far as I have experienced him so far, is tight, humanistic, funny, a bit gruesome depending the novel, and utterly captivating. I will honestly say that it was the best (all around, may not win in sub-categories) book I’ve read all year.

Read it. Read it. And read it soon.

Soon, soon, soon….. Alex.

Please like me and follow me and message me. I’m needy like that. Alex, again.


About jansonbriggs

Book collectoe/ dealer, aspiring author, have had poems published in a few small magazines.... I like cats and quiet. I like airplane lift-offs and the new-renewal of wandering (wondering?) around somewhere new. I like solitude. I miss people. Bob Dylan. Running water; still water - I like water. A good sence of humor. Again: A good sense of humor. That's what keeps us sane and human and Kind.

One comment on “Review: “Cold In July,” by Joe Lansdale

  1. Meredith
    March 18, 2015

    After reading your reviews, I think I’m going to have to make a trip to the library soon. According to you, I have some books to read!

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