The Thicket

  • by Joe R. Lansdale
  • Narrated by Will Collyer
  • 10 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Acclaimed author Joe Lansdale's landmark and mythic tale of love and vengeance at the dark dawn of the East Texas oil boom.
Jack Parker knows all too well how treacherous turn-of-the-century East Texas can be. His parents did not survive a smallpox epidemic. His grandfather was murdered. Now his sister Lula has been kidnapped by a criminal who may believe wearing a dead man's clothes protects them both from death.
With bounty hunter Shorty, a charismatic and cunning dwarf, and Eustace, a gravedigging son of an ex-slave, the heartbroken young Jack sets off on an epic quest to rescue his sister from the corrupt men who control much of the new territory.
In the throes of being civilized, East Texas is still a wild, feral place. Oil wells spurt liquid money from the ground. But blood and redemption rule supreme.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


Just like the last Lansdale I read, this started out like a Mark Twain novel. THAT WAS THE SIZE OF IT AND I PUT IT ON TO WEAR. Once you get to know the characters it sounds similar to True Grit. Then it turned very very dark. Like a J.A. Konrath novel the killing and explicit torture just would not stop. lansdale wants you to understand why the main good character, Jack Parker, agreed to killing the bad guys instead of capturing them. I thought the point was made fairly early on and the continued body count and descriptive tortures could have ended much sooner. I really like Lansdale's writing and think he is extremely intelligent and witty. I think he should have more confidence in his writing and know when to stop the rubber necking. I KNOW HOW THE HORSE ATE THE APPLE.

One of JRL's talents is coming up with interesting characters. I also like how he includes the black man in most of his writings. This is my fourth writing of his to enjoy and all have had black men included in the main characters. This stars Jack Parker (IT IS BETTER TO BE DEAD THEN RED IN THE HEAD.), who is very similar to the female lead in True Grit. Eustace, the grave digger, is part Comanche, black, and white. The Comanches COULD TRACK A FART UNDER A ROCK IN A RIVER. Shorty is a dwarf, who is well educated, often called a midget and tends to lecture a lot and who kicks serious ass. Jimmie Sue is a whore, who takes Jack's virginity and wants to marry him. I WANTED TO GROW UP TO BE A PRINCESS, INSTEAD I AM A WHORE. Then there is the six hundred pound hog and I just loved grandpa. Those are the good guys. The bad guys are Cut Throat Billy, Fatty and Nigger Pete.

The narrator is excellent and makes listening a better experience then reading the book.
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- Jim "The Impatient" "My taste differs from kid books to gory horror books."

A Good Little Western Coming-of-Age Story

I started to give this 4 stars, but it's so entertained me, I'll say 4.5 and round up to 5.

A little far-fetched, Jack and Lula, 2 red-headed teens, and their Grandpa must take a ferry across the river, after just starting off on a trip from East Texas to live with Auntie Em in Kansas after mom and dad die from the pox. They get into an altercation with some super bad hombres who just robbed a bank. The lead hombre, CutThroat, kills grandpa just before a waterspout overturns the ferry and Jack lands on the opposite side of the river from sis Lula who is captured and taken off by the hombres.

Jack seeks the sheriff, who, it turns out, was killed by the hombres. He runs into Eustace (part white, Indian and black) who puts him in touch with Shorty, a bada$$ midget, both of whom have done bounty hunting in the past and agree to help Jack rescue Lula. Before leaving town, they hear that Fatty, one of the outlaws, may be at the local brothel. In doing some detective work on his own, Jack meets Jimmie Sue, a brothel resident about his age, and she turns him onto a little more than the whereabouts of Fatty. She decides she wants to leave "the life" and go with Jack, Shorty and Eustace on the rescue mission.

Like I said, a little out there with the characters, but a fun story of love, learning and killing bad guys on the way to saving Lula.

The narrator did a great job with the different voices for the various odd assortment of characters.
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- W Perry Hall ""There is scarcely any passion without struggle." Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-10-2013
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio