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Things Get Ugly


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About the Author

Joe R. Lansdale (Savage Season, The Donut Legion) is the internationally-bestselling author of over fifty novels, including the popular, long-running Hap and Leonard novels. Many of his works have been adapted for television and film, most famously the films The Thicket, Bubba Ho-Tep, Cold in July, and the Hap and Leonard series on Sundance TV and AMC. Lansdale has written numerous screenplays and teleplays, including the iconic Batman: The Animated Series. He has won an Edgar Award for The Bottoms, ten Stoker Awards, and he has been designated a World Horror Grandmaster. Lansdale, like many of his characters, lives in East Texas, with his wife, Karen.


"A potent blend of stories from one of the all-time greats, Things Get Ugly is the kind of collection you never want to end--as it shows the versatility and command of the craft only a legend like Lansdale can execute."
--Alex Segura, bestselling author of Secret Identity "Wildly entertaining, binge-worthy, and a total escape from hum drum reality, Things Get Ugly is pure Joe Lansdale on terrific display."
--May Cobb, author of The Hunting Wives "Of all my writing, the short story is my favorite form of expression," says Lansdale, and his joy shows in the exuberant invention of these noirish tales. A few of them, like 'The Steel Valentine' and 'Six-Finger Jack, ' are unpredictable but routine, and a few others, like the spooky 'The Shadows, Kith and Kin' and the supernatural 1958 private eye story 'Dead Sister, ' play more to Lansdale's wide-ranging interests than to his storytelling strengths. But even entries that don't entirely come off, from 'Mr. Bear' (a man develops a surprising friendship with the psycho bear who sits next to him on a plane) to 'Boys Will Be Boys' (a pair of kids who 'feed off each other' descend into a pit of sex, drugs, and depravity), are fueled by some wildly deranged premises, and the best of them, like the supershort 'The Job' (an Elvis impersonator is hired as a hit man) and 'The Ears' (a third date is spun into a nightmare by a casual discovery), strike a note of giddy brutality other authors would find hard to match."
--Kirkus "Lansdale's writing hits like a brass-knuckled punch to the face: Hard and nasty and visceral. This collection of nineteen ugly stories shows the master of the crime thriller at the height of his formidable powers."
--Marc Guggenheim, creator of Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow "The spiritual heir to both Walt Whitman and Elmore Leonard, Joe R. Lansdale is the bard who sings America: in gem-hard, polished prose that never lets up, no matter how ugly things get."
--Lavie Tidhar, author of Central Station and Neom "Trust the English language to observe as closely as Joe's line, 'thin and flexible as a feather.' The man can write."
--Justin Scott, author of the Ben Abbott mysteries "Things Get Ugly burns like backwoods moonshine going down. A best of Joe R. Lansdale is a best of the genre--full stop."
--Eric Beetner, author of There and Back "Things Get Ugly is my favorite kind of collection.... Highly recommended."
--Fantasy & Science Fiction "[Things Get Ugly] assembles nineteen of his best crime stories and is a real delight for any genre fan and lover of strong, dark fiction."
--Gumshoe Review "One of my favorite things about reading Joe Lansdale at all is the sense that anything could happen at any point--that genre restrictions don't really matter that much."
--Umney's Alley "As Matt Damon's character Sonny Vaccaro says in his final climactic pitch to Michael Jordan in Air, 'the rest of us just want a chance to touch that greatness.' When you read Things Get Ugly, you will do just that."
--Strand Magazine "Prepare yourself to get lost in one of the best collections of crime fiction I've ever read."
--Dave Writes and Draws "I found this book to be disturbing and insane, yet somewhat thrilling."
--Real World According to Sam "Joe R. Lansdale has written hundreds of short stories but these are the cream of the crop! Highly recommended!"
--GeorgeKelly.org "My favorite aspect of Lansdale's work is his sense of humor; he makes the goriest details hilarious. It's a gift."
--Dayton Praise for Joe R. Lansdale "A folklorist's eye for telling detail and a front-porch raconteur's sense of pace."
--New York Times Book Review "An American original."
--Joe Hill, author of Heart-Shaped Box "A terrifically gifted storyteller."
--Washington Post Book Review "Like gold standard writers Elmore Leonard and the late Donald Westlake, Joe R. Lansdale is one of the more versatile writers in America."
--Los Angeles Times "Lansdale's been hailed, at varying points in his career, as the new Flannery O'Connor, William Faulkner-gone-madder, and the last surviving splatterpunk."
--Austin Chronicle "There are writers who are prolific and writers who are brilliant: Joe R. Lansdale is one of the few who is both."
--Christopher Farnsworth, author of Blood Oath

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