Thursday, July 1, 2010

Dead in the West

I just finished reading "Dead in the West" by Joe R. Lansdale .

Lansdale is one of the few writers who I consider a hero who is still cranking out books at a great rate. Whenever I read something by him I get inspired to write and "Dead in the West" is no exception.

"Dead in the West" is a book I have been trying to find a copy of for years and years. It was originally published back around 1984 and has been out of print ever since. Finally it has been reprinted in a nice deluxe hardback with an awesome original painting for a cover. The book is early Lansdale and it shows. Which is one of the things that most inspires me, the fact that this master wasn't just hatched onto the scene as a master writer, but instead evolved in skill over several years. "Dead in the West" shows evidence of Lansdale's brilliant imagination and hints at the great wordsmith he would become in the late 80's and 90's.

The book is a hard-boiled Western Zombie apocalypse tale. Yes you read that correctly. It's like Pale Rider meets Night of the Living Dead drunk on tequila. Lansdale partially dedicates the book to Jonah Hex, the meanest hombre to ever stalk the pages of DC Comics. The story reads quick, a Preacher Gunslinger who's lost his faith rides into a cursed two-horse town and ends up battling an army of zombies with his six-shooter and a shotgun. It's a pure gory blast and I recommend it to everyone.

Originally posted on May 4, 2006 on Myspace.

With the long-running zombie craze of the 00's I am amazed this older novel has not been re-issued and discovered by the ravenous masses yet.

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