Hello dear reader(s) and welcome to the summer instalment of Nessa reads books and writes reviews (NRBWR). 🙂 I’m kicking off the summer reading & review session with a Weird West short story collection by the master of the genre Joe R. Lansdale. If this is your first encounter with Mr. Lansdale you’re in for a treat! Lansdale is a prolific writer, and he’s written novels and stories in various genres from western, horror, mystery to science fiction and suspense. His Hap and Leonard book series was adapted into a TV show (which was sadly cancelled after 3 seasons). You can read more about the author and his works here, and you can find him on Twitter too.
Deadman’s Crossing is a collection of 4 short Weird West stories featuring the unforgettable Reverend Jebidiah Mercer. Well with a name like Jebidiah it’s unlikely you’ll forget him. 😀 OK please bear with my silly sense of humour, or lack of it. 😀 If at this point you’re a wee bit confused on what the hell is this Weird West genre thingamajig allow me to point you in the direction of Wikipedia. But for all of you TL;DR folks Weird West is a subgenre that combines elements of Western genre with genres such as horror, occult, fantasy or science fiction. As an illustration we can take the TV show Firefly which is a mix of science fiction and western. Deadman’s Crossing consist of 4 stories: Deadman’s Road, The Gentleman’s Hotel, The Crawling Sky and The Dark Down There. While I was doing some Google fu research on the book I discovered that this was the e-book edition of the Deadman’s Road, missing only the Dead in the West story.
As I mentioned above all of the 4 short stores in this collection feature Jebidiah Mercer, a grumpy gunslinging preacher whose dry humour and I hate my job and my boss (that would be God) even more, but I still keep doing it attitude. Honestly the stories in Deadman’s Crossing are not really short, as they’re compact. Lansdale manages to cram the weird, the funny and good storytelling into 130-ih pages that you can’t put down ‘cause the story is so fascinating, creepy, weird and delightful to read that you want it to go on, and on and on. If you want you can read the collection in one sitting or stretch it out for a few days just to enjoy the wit and weirdness of it all.
If you’re looking for something different than your usually summer read for the beach or, you know for your favourite reading spot under the fan/air condition ‘cause beach reading isn’t your thing, I highly recommend Lansdale’s Deadman’s Crossing. It’s witty and delightfully weird, the main character is a pissed off gunslinging preacher and the stories themselves are short which is always a plus, but a bonus in the summer when the heat messes with our brains. Tell me in the comments down below if you’ve read the book, or if you’re planning to read it; or you can chat to me on Twitter. Until next time dear reader(s) enjoy the “glorious” summer; although frankly except vacation time and the fact that school is over there’s nothing glorious about it…