RARA-AVIS: the bottoms

From: Carrie Pruett ( pruettc@hotmail.com)
Date: 02 May 2002

Jim Blue wrote:
>Joe Lansdale's "The Bottoms" is another one with a child at the >center.
>It is my least favorite of Lansdale's crime novels, too much >watered down
>Harper Lee in it for me. However, it got great press and >was drenched in
>awards, so what do I know? Not much, apparently.

I felt the same way, for what it's worth. There are some great individual scenes and beautiful passages, Lansdale invokes the setting very well, but overall it felt too derivative of "Mockingbird" and Faulkner. The child's narration felt really contrived and blessed with convenient eavesdroppings
(in a way that Scout Finch's never does), most of the characterizations felt
"off", and the whodunit was strikingly inept (I make a point of never making any effort to "figure out the mystery," so when I get it way ahead of time I consider that a flaw). That's the only Lansdale I've read, but I have heard that it's totally atypical of his work so I've got a couple of Hap&Leonards in my TBR pile


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