cover image The Best of Joe R. Lansdale

The Best of Joe R. Lansdale

Joe R. Lansdale, . . Tachyon, $15.95 (369pp) ISBN 978-1-892391-94-0

Always entertaining, champion storyteller Lansdale (Vanilla Ride ) shares his best weird yarns in this terrific collection. “Crucified Dreams,” an emotional introduction (“I speak uncensored, unfiltered, and full of madness”), prefaces 16 stories pushing the limits of westerns, mystery, horror, southern gothic, and satire. Five Stoker-winning tales and several stories later translated onto the screen (including campy Elvis tale “Bubba Ho-Tep”) share space with such jewels as the intense “Incident On and Off a Mountain Road,” about a tough woman with a wild secret; succinct “Cowboy,” in which a man meets an African-American boy yearning for more stories about black cowboys; and the hilarious “White Mule, Spotted Pig,” about a frustrated man’s bid for freedom via a wacky mule race. This is a great introduction to the raunchy, cheerfully unclassifiable East Texan bon vivant. (Mar.)