Sunset and Sawdust

  • by Joe R. Lansdale
  • Narrated by Joe R. Lansdale
  • 5 hrs and 42 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

It begins with an explosion: Sunset Jones kills her husband with a bullet to the brain. Never mind that he was raping her. Pete Jones was constable of the small sawmill town of Camp Rapture ("Camp Rupture" to the local blacks), where no woman, least of all Pete's, refuses her husband what he wants. So most everyone is surprised and angry when, thanks to the unexpected understanding of her mother-in-law, three-quarter owner of the mill, Sunset is named the new constable. And they're even more surprised when she dares to take the job seriously: beginning an investigation into the murder of a woman and an unborn baby whose oil-drenched bodies are discovered buried on land belonging to the only black landowner in town. Yet no one is more surprised than Sunset herself when the murders lead her, through a labyrinth of greed, corruption, and unspeakable malice, not only to the shocking conclusion of the case, but to a well of inner strength she never knew she had.
Lansdale brings the thick backwoods and swamps of East Texas vividly to life, and he paints a powerfully evocative picture of a time when Jim Crow and the Klan ruled virtually unopposed, when the oil boom was rolling into and over Texas, when any woman who didn't know her place was considered a threat and a target. In Sunset, he gives us a woman who defies all expectations, wrestling a different place for herself with spirit and spit, cunning and courage. And in Sunset and Sawdust he gives us a wildly energetic novel, galvanizing from first to last.

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What the Critics Say

"The book opens with a cyclone, ends with a plague of grasshoppers and in between there's insanity, extreme violence, sex, grotesques aplenty and an excellent dog. What's not to like?" (Publishers Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Excellent, as usual

As with all of Joe's books that I've read, this was a top-notch story told with a "from the hip" style that draws you in and keeps you on your toes with twists that sneak up on you - there are clues and you may even figure out the gist of it but there's almost always some little something you've overlooked - some thread that helps tie it all together that much tighter that you overlooked even though the clue was sitting there to be seen.

And Joe is great at transporting the reader to a different time and place. It's not always a comfortable time or place and it's not always prett but it's always a fun ride that you're not quite ready to leave when it's run its course.

Normally, I prefer unabridged versions. But to hear Joe read his own story - even abridged - is truly a treat not to be missed.
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- Michael E. Casto

Lansdale does it again.

Great story. One on which I didn't think I would enjoy but did. Lansdale's voice when great with the story. Can't wait to pick up another one of his books.
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- Amazon Customer

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-24-2004
  • Publisher: Random House Audio