DEADMAN'S ROAD by Joe R. Lansdale, dust jacket by Timothy Truman, interior illustrations by Glenn Chadbourne. Burton, MI; Subterranean Press; 2010. 1st edition hardcover. OUT OF PRINT.
Length: 272 pages.
The Reverend Jedidiah Mercer returns with the re-release of the highly influential pulp novel, Dead in the West, and four stories, one never before collected, one brand new. Contained herein are the Reverend's adventures with zombies, ghouls, werewolves, Lovecraftian monsters and kobolds. Western action blends with grisly horror and ribald humor for a super collection of shoot-outs and fang-outs, claws and crawling horrors, and lessons about an angry, unforgiving god and methods for killing nasties of all kinds.
In Dead in the West, the Reverend faces a resurrected American Indian out for vengeance. Not only is the man back from the dead, he's brought back others as servants, and they are angry, hungry little devils when there is an absence of light. Plenty of surprises, laughs, gross-outs and slimy horrors, with a slam bang ending. This novel inspired numerous writer to cross the West with Horror, Action, Humor, and a wobbly moral sensibility.
This first adventure of the Reverend sets up all the others, which include:
“Deadman’s Road.” The Reverend, on his mission from God, encounters a ghoul who waits on a dark road for travelers so that he can feed his belly and his crippled soul.
“The Gentleman’s Hotel.” The Reverend encounters a town, empty except for the lone survivor of a stage coach attack. Together, they face ghosts and werewolf Conquistadores who can not only transform into toothy adversaries, but also into dust and moths and are a real pain in the ass; all of it results in one hell of a cross-draw, dagnabbed, hair belly confrontation.
“The Crawling Sky.” In an isolated cabin the Reverend and an unwilling partner face a Lovecraftian horror with a nasty attitude and mind blowing abilities.
And finally, in “The Dark Down There,” the Reverend and an unlikely partner, a three hundred pound lady named Flower, battle kobolds who cannibalize miners and serve a Queen that at a glance could pass for spoiled tapioca pudding. The Reverend even manages a glancing chance at a kind of backwoods romance.
Table of Contents:
Dead in the West,
The Gentleman’s Hotel,
The Crawling Sky,
The Dark Down There.
From Publishers Weekly:
“In Dead in the West, Mercer fights zombies, a stereotypical ‘Indian curse,’ and his own damaged faith, a good bit of pulpy fun spun around a nougat of bitter religion.”
From Fantasy Literature
“Anyone who has read Lansdale knows what to expect: gruesome violence and ribald humor that recall the old horror movies of the late 60s and early 70s. It was a time when classic monsters and campy space invaders were losing ground to the living dead, psychopaths, and demon possession. In fact, it’s that same period of horror films that inspired Lansdale to write this story. Low budget, off-the-mainstream cult movies were mixing genres at that time and it’s that same kind of weird fun that Lansdale creates here.”
From The Agony Column:
“Subterranean Press takes matters further for you, though. Deadman’s Road is generously illustrated by the incredibly talented Glen Chadbourne with lots of his ultra-detailed pen-and-ink drawings. Chadbourne’s style is perfectly matched to Lansdale’s prose. There’s a real sense of class and detail and craft combined with truly disturbing horror and, ever present, Lansdale’s unmatched sense of fun. Stepping into this book is like stepping into an old theater, running a black and white film you’ve never seen before. Death itself flickers on the screen. It’s disturbing. It’s funny. And bark as you may, Death will not leave until it shows you the door.”
From San Francisco Book Review:
“Joe R. Lansdale is the undisputed master of East Texas gothic horror, and his dime novel sensibilities make this marriage of westerns and horror stories a perfect fit. Deadman’s Road features Lansdale’s trademark dark humor and skin-crawling mastery of description, steeping these stories in both historical detail and stomach-churning intensity.”
First trade hadcover edition thus. Fine in fine dj. OUT OF PRINT.