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The Backwoods by Edward Lee
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The Backwoods

by Edward Lee

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122998,704 (3.02)7
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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
Edward Lee, well known for his demented horror and rich sexual imagery, delivers a rather strange book focusing on a small town dominated by crab picking ‘squatters’. The squatters are about as unusual as you can get ­ when they speak you barely see their mouths move, they’re amazingly short, the women possess eerily appetizing bodies, and they’re all living together on a type of plantation in oddly structured abodes. And of course people such as this practice a different kind of religion that causes all us normal folk to raise an eyebrow or so.

The main character in all this, though, isn’t a squatter. She’s a lawyer, which can be just as bad. Beautiful, intelligent, and protective of her sister, Patricia is back home, pushing away painful memories, and suddenly being overcome by strange sexual urges. Her character is real enough to be believable, and her overall demeanor was likeable. Backwoods is told through multiple points of view, with her dominating the show. Characters in general were interesting enough and didn’t harm the story.

The plot is bleak, strange, a bit depressing, certainly dark - demented Lee style. He never promises happy endings. It’s not possible to guess who will bite the big one and who will live ­ or even, really, who the real friends are. While starting as an intriguing mystery, too much was let out in the beginning. As a result the mystery alone wasn’t the reason to hang on. But have no fear, for horror fans rarely want to read horror to have a mystery, instead they want terror and they certainly get it here. Several scenes are disturbing, gruesome, with not much held back.

Overall this was an entertaining read about an unusual culture, with a captivating main character, sexual tension, and chilling scenarios. On the bad side the very ending let me down a bit, as it seemed cut off and overly grim. Also, I never fully got the sexual urges Patricia experienced; more information in this area is welcome.

If you’re a fan of Lee or bizarre horror, be sure to check this one out. ( )
  ErinPaperbackstash | Jun 14, 2016 |
In Backwoods, Patricia White is a successful lawyer from Washington DC who goes back to her childhood home in the Chesapeake Bay area to comfort her sister after her husband is killed. As the title of the novel suggests, this is a complete backwoods underdeveloped place filled with squatters that seem like they belong in Deliverance. It was also the area where Patricia had been raped when she was younger. She discovers a crooked land developer who is trying get rid of squatters and creating all kinds of mayhem in the process.

The level of writing in this novel was not particularly impressive. The storytelling is also not cogent. It’s basically a way to fit as many sex scenes into a story as humanly possible. If that’s your thing, then have at it, but if you want a story that makes sense and characters that are relatable, then you will probably want to avoid this novel.

Carl Alves – author of Blood Street ( )
  Carl_Alves | Mar 6, 2016 |
Not as good as some of his other work - gave it 3 stars only because there is no rating of "it's ok" - I didn't dislike it or particularly like it ( )
  WonderlandGrrl | Jan 29, 2016 |
Well color me surprised. This was not the amazing, twisted Edward Lee book I imagined it would be.
Guess maybe I should listen to those reviews a little more, huh?
I really hoped they were wrong.
But nope.
I was.
The ony thing that kept this book from being a one star review was the writing. It was pretty decent most of the time, with the exception of some strange narrative intrusions here and there.
The set up for the story seemed pretty solid, but holy crap...what a lifeless plot. Zero narrative tension. Basically a series of female wet dreams loosely tied together by a dopey wrap around story involving real estate and a strange "ancient" tribe of squatters that need to leave the land so condos can be built. Yawn.
The whole thing is preposterous and more tragically, boring.
Lee tries his hand at injecting some Laymonesque fun into the proceeding by using the word "nipple" as often as possible, but even the sex scenes come off as flaccid.
To make matters worse, Lee adds an epilogue that somehow manages to make a truly horrible ending to a terrible book even worse.
That's some sort of accomplishment in itself, I suppose.
It's a shame, because I think all the ingredients were here for a really good book, but alas - this isn't one.
Nothing to see here, folks...move along. ( )
  Evans-Light | Nov 8, 2015 |
It might not seem like it to first time Edward Lee readers but BACKWOODS is a much more subdued novel than most of the stuff that Lee writes. It has large quantities of sex. It has violent scenes that make you cringe. And it combines the two into different rape scenes by obviously despicable characters. However the majority of the acts are subtle and not quite as in your face as other Lee novels.

The story follows Patricia White who comes back home to the backwoods of Virginia after her sister Judy's husband is murdered. While her deceased husband was a slime ball, Judy is still taking his death hard. Hard enough that she doesn't notice many of the strange things that are happening in town and within the crab processing plant that she owns. Essentially an evil real estate developer is trying to buy some land from Judy so he can build condos. However Judy won't sell because it would leave homeless "The Squatters", an uneducated but friendly group of superstitious people who live for free on her land and work cheap in her crab processing plan. Evil real estate developer decides killing The Squatters is the right way to drive them off the land; meanwhile The Squatters strike back using supernatural means.

The supernatural aspect is very much underplayed and almost an afterthought at times. A larger focus is placed on how evil some people can be and the creative ways to kill people. While a little predictable and populated by flat characters, the book is still enjoyable and a good read. There are a few points where you wonder if people can really be that stupid but that happens in real life too so I didn't question it. ( )
  dagon12 | Dec 6, 2012 |
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The moon smeared in his eyes.
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Looking for evil is one thing. Finding is another. When Patricia White re-visits her backwoods home, an atrocious secret from her past isn’t the only thing that begins to haunt her. Creepy, erotic, and relentless, THE BACKWOODS delivers up a new kind of horror in a foreboding terrain of reclusive hillfolk, demented murder mysteries, and soul-searing horror. Has the town Patricia calls home really been cursed? No, it’s been blessed. By an unspeakable evil older than sin.
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A hideous evil stalks the backwoods of a small town, leaving fear and bodies in its wake.

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