One of my favorite books is The Bottoms, by Joe Lansdale, about a young boy growing up poor near the Sabine River. This story is also set on the Sabine, with teenagers yearning to break free from their blood families and make one of their own. It’s the kind of tale only Lansdale can tell. Southern gothic through his unique and absurd lens, characters as big and real as the dirty Sabine river that flows through the heart of it. I loved it, and was dismayed at how quickly I read it. I’ll go back and savor it a second time. Some called it Young Adult, as if that’s a genre now. Sure, older teens would like it, but it’s just a damn good story, with a lot of heart. I haven’t said a damn thing about the story, because it’s so good, like a dark American fairy tale, except all too real. You can discover it for yourself. It’s a lot more than any synopsis can capture.
I really enjoyed this one, and not just because the story grips you. I wanted to read more about Sue Ellen, and Jinx, and Skunk. Any time Mr. Lansdale writes about the folks of the Sabine, I’ll be there. But Sue Ellen has fire, and I hope she has more stories to tell.
Amazon: Edge of Dark Water