RE: RARA-AVIS: Lansdale's Freezer Burn

From: Engel, Leonard Prof. (
Date: 12 Jun 2006

        Sounds Biblical to me, Bill. You've stirred my interest now.

        Cheers, Len

  Len Engel, Chair English Department

-----Original Message----- From: [mailto:] On Behalf Of William Denton Sent: Sunday, June 11, 2006 12:37 PM To: RARA-AVIS Subject: RARA-AVIS: Lansdale's Freezer Burn

I read Joe R. Lansdale's FREEZER BURN (1999) this week. It's a carnival freak show noir with a femme fatale who's tired of her husband, the owner, and it's very entertaining as all Lansdale's books are.

The sap, a slow-witted lowlife Texan, stumbles into the carnival by accident, after a hold-up that goes disastrously wrong. It has some Siamese twins, a bearded lady, a dog-man, some pinheads and pumpkin-heads
(as the sap calls them), and a frozen ice man. This ice man is a major feature at the show and has a strange attraction to everyone that sees it. The sap ends up living in the ice man's trailer and the ice man is part of how everything goes wrong at the end.

Have any of you read this and remember it well enough to comment on the Biblical themes? There's something weird about the ice man, and the carnival owner tells a story about how it might be the petrified body of Christ. Then he says it might not. Late in the story, before a double-cross and the start of the final trouble, the sap ends up with "a few pieces of silver" left over from money the owner gave him to buy something. I may reading too much into it, and Lansdale didn't make anything obvious about all this, but I wonder.


William Denton : Toronto, Canada : :

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