cover image The Ape Man’s Brother

The Ape Man’s Brother

Joe R. Lansdale. Subterranean (, $20 (104p) ISBN 978-1-59606-618-2

Although the tale of the lord of the jungle—here called the Big Guy—has been told many times, rarely has it been told from the perspective of one of his hominid companions. Before the Big Guy’s future lover, the Woman, arrived from outside the hidden valley, his closest friend was his brother in spirit, the Australopithecine narrator of this novella-length work. When the Big Guy is convinced to leave the jungle for New York, his brother comes along. Sadly, civilization offers not only fame but irresistible temptation and a quick spiral into destructive addiction, leaving the narrator and the Woman to find solace in debauchery. Lansdale is a master craftsman, and even when he is paying homage to a carefully unnamed famous protagonist from a long string of novels and movies, he adds something new (and often unsavory) to the mix. This brief tale does not overstay its welcome, and Lansdale completists will snatch it up. Agent: Danny Baror, Baror International. (Feb.)