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Edge of Dark Water by Joe R. Lansdale

Edge of Dark Water (edition 2012)

by Joe R. Lansdale (Author)

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3092156,055 (4.09)10
Trying to escape her worthless life leads to unexpected and disastrous consequences when Sue Ellen steals money and a raft and embarks on a journey to dig up her best friend's body, burn it, and sprinkle the ashes in Hollywood.
Title:Edge of Dark Water
Authors:Joe R. Lansdale (Author)
Info:Mulholland Books (2012), Edition: 1, 304 pages
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Edge of Dark Water by Joe R. Lansdale

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Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
This is a good story all on it's own. What made it a bit diluted for me is that it feels like a "light" version of Lansdale's "The Bottoms", which I have already read. It is not the same, but it feels similar. This story has "the Skunk" man/spook/legend, and the other had the Goat Man. And it's the same river, area, and nasty-ass briar/vine thicket. It definitely has it's own voice and tale, and it was an enjoyable read. Maybe I'll just consider both books to be a "Sabine River Series" and enjoy them for their own. And maybe root for a third installment? Hmm... ( )
  Stahl-Ricco | Oct 9, 2019 |
While any book by Joe Lansdale is better than any book by most other authors, logic dictates that some of his books will be better than others and visa versa. So it is with this standalone thriller. The narrator and characters are well constructed and entertaining but the plot is often disjointed and some what happens seems to be thrown in.
Bottom line: I still enjoyed the book but there are several of Lansdale's books that are far better.
My thanks to the folks at the On the Southern Literary Trail group for giving me the opportunity to read and discuss this and many other fine books. ( )
  Unkletom | Nov 1, 2018 |
How did Sue Ellen, the novel's determined adolescent protagonist, find herself on a raft in the middle of the Sabine River in East Texas with two friends, her mother, the ashes of a deceased friend and a tin can filled with stolen money hoping to get to California?

The impetus of this journey occurred when Sue Ellen's friend, May Lynn, was found dead after being pulled from the Sabine River. May Lynn's dream was always to travel to Hollywood to become a movie star. Sue Ellen convinces her friends to dig May Lynn body's up, cremate her, and spread her ashes in Los Angeles. The trip will funded with stolen money taken from a couple of nefarious characters. After launching their raft, the crooks hire a evil man named Skunk to get their money back.

I found the Odyssian journey a suspenseful thriller for about half the novel but found it a bore for the final half. I did enjoy references to Ulysses, including the lotus-eater's metaphor and the maelstrom event; however, not enough to rank it better than an okay read. ( )
  John_Warner | Oct 25, 2018 |
REVIEWED: The Edge of Dark Water
WRITTEN BY: Joe R. Lansdale
PUBLISHED: March, 2012

One of the best new novels that I've read in a long time. It's described as being half "Huckleberry Finn" and half "Deliverance," which is about as accurate a comparison as I could come up with. Lansdale's descriptive prose and imagery is absolutely breathtaking and the dialogue alone is pitch-perfect: Quick, funny, and poignant. It's a coming-of-age novel set in the dark badlands of east Texas in which three teenagers who feel trapped in their small town lives along the Sabine River come across an opportunity to leave and realize their dreams. Their friend is found dead and along with her a map to stolen loot. Hot on the teenagers' trail are their abusive and drunk kin and the gruesome hired killer, Skunk, whose legend is too great for them to believe... until he shows up after them. Yet another Lansdale masterpiece.

Five out of Five stars ( )
  Eric_J._Guignard | Jul 26, 2018 |
Edge of Dark Water was an interesting story of Huck Finn proportions, murder and mayhem on a river, chases and adventures.

Joe R. Lansdale is very good at creating mood, and there is a lot of it in this novel. Unsettling and suspenseful the story brings you from one incident to another, all the while moving the plot along. I literally couldn't put the book down at some points.

The one thing that prevents me from giving it 5 stars is the unbelievability of characters reacting to the death and violence of other characters, it just seemed their reactions were muted, and not quite right given the ages of the protagonist.

Regardless, a minor point, and doesn't much diminish an otherwise excellent work. ( )
  bhuesers | Mar 29, 2017 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Joe R. Lansdaleprimary authorall editionscalculated
Masters, AngèleNarratormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Conti, LucaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Edwards, LesIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jones, RobertPhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lee, JuliannaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Riffel, HannesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ujka, ChiaraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Den Fluss hinunter trieben sie. All die Träume, die je geträumt über mondlosem, dunklem Gewässer. - Anonymus
Der kleine Fels hemmt große brandende Fluten. - Homer, "Odyssee"
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That summer, Daddy went from telephoning and dynamiting fish to poisoning them with green walnuts.
I sat on a smooth part of the ground, in a spot where I could see the water. The river wasn’t too far away from me. I could have spit from where I sat and hit the edge of that dark water without any trouble. It was not a bright night. All there was of the moon was a thin slice of silver, like a curved knife blade. Still, it was bright enough on the brown water I could see it good. The river flowed along like nothing had ever happened on it, to us or anyone else. It was just the river. I had the sudden idea it was like life, that river. You just flowed on it, and if there came a big rain, a flood or some such, and some of it was washed out, in time it would all wash back together. Oh, it might look some different, but it would be the same, really. It didn’t change, but the people on that river did. I knew I had. And Mama had, and so had Terry, and maybe Jinx—but with her, it was hard to tell.
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