The Thicket by Joe R. Lansdale
Mulholland Books • $26 • ISBN 9780316188456
Published September 10


If you finished The Son hungry for more tales from Texas, we have the next great read for you. Versatile novelist Joe R. Lansdale's latest is a turn-of-the-century coming-of-age story set in hardscrabble East Texas. Recently orphaned Jack Parker must grow up fast when his sister, Lula, is kidnapped by bandits. Teaming up with a bounty hunter, a dwarf and a grave-digger, Jack sets out on a quest to find and rescue Lula.

Told in Jack's straightforward, plainspoken voice, The Thicket brings to mind Western classics like True Grit or Joe David Brown's Paper Moon or even Huckleberry Finn.

Now, it may seem I was taking all this damn well, the death of my parents, but I assure you I was not. I had sort of seen it coming for a few days, and there had been so much death about I guess I had embraced thew hole thing better than I might had I just got up and found them dead without any sign of sickness. . . .

Still, down deep in my bones, and I'm sure it was the same with Lula, and even Grandpa for that patter, I was trying to get my heart and head wrapped around the idea that they had been taken so brutally and so quickly from us. It was like I was too dry to cry. I wanted to, but couldn't. Lula was the same way. That's how we Parkers were. We took what came the way it came. Least it was that was on the surface. You scratched us a little, though, you could find some jelly there pretty quick. We were the kind that found it hard to cry, but once we got started you best be ready for high water and the loading of animals two by two.

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