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The Bottoms (2000)

by Joe R. Lansdale

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9723316,147 (4.05)32
The Great Depression, East Texas. The woods are thick, the rivers wild, the weather ripe with tornadoes, and the Crane family, like most families in that neck of the woods, are eking out a thin living. When young Harry Crane discovers a mutilated body bound to a tree with barbed wire in the river bottoms, the underbelly of East Texas is exposed. Whites fear a renegade Negro. Blacks fear a vengeful massacre, or, if the killer is white, that the law will let him slip through its fingers. Harry believes the murderer is the Goat Man, an East Texas monster of legend who lurks beneath the swing bridge on the Sabine River, like the Billy Goat Gruff. Harry and his sister have actually seen the Goat Man, or something much like him, in his nocturnal haunts. As the bodies mount up, an elderly black man is lynched, both blacks and whites are terrorised, and Harry's father - the local law - and grandmother investigate, searching for a killer who may be a lot closer than they think.… (more)
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» See also 32 mentions

English (30)  Italian (2)  German (1)  All languages (33)
Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
Dust bowl noir. Set in East Texas during the depression era days when racism was rampant, a dead black woman is found, mutilated, wrapped in wire and hung in a dark piece of swampland, discovered by a young boy and his younger sister. They report their findings to their father, a fair-hearted man, who happens to be the local constable, who wants justice served. The family is the main story, including the mother and grandmother, and the challenges faced to find what turns out to be a serial killer. Lansdale keeps you guessing until the very end, weaving in a childhood bogeyman known as the Goat Man. ( )
  skipstern | Jul 11, 2021 |
This book was awesome. It has everything - Horrible murders, an annoying younger sister, a very good boi, a stand-up set of parents and a couple of foul-mouthed grandmothers.

*satisfied sigh* ( )
  authenticjoy | Nov 15, 2020 |
Southern paradise
perfect for a straight (white?) man
killing dirty girls.
( )
  Eggpants | Jun 25, 2020 |
I needed to know whodunnit, but this was not a well-written book, possibly the best worst-written book I have read. Too many loose ends trying to get wrapped up. ( )
  slmr4242 | Apr 19, 2020 |
Harry è un normale ragazzino che vive nel Texas orientale degli anni Trenta con la sorellina e i genitori. Una sera nel bosco trovano il cadavere di una donna nera e lo riferiscono al padre, Jacob, che oltre ad essere il barbiere della cittadina rappresenta anche la legge e grazie a questa duplice occupazione è ben conosciuto in paese. Jacob, Harry e il resto della famiglia non sono esattamente come il resto della gente lì intorno e non credono che la vicenda non sia importante perché tanto si tratta solo di una "negra". In una società fortemente caratterizzata dal razzismo e dove il Klan è tutt'altro che una presenza immaginaria, Jacob e Harry cominciano ad indagare, scoprendo che quello non è il solo corpo abbandonato nei boschi.
La storia è narrata da Harry come un lungo flashback e attraverso gli occhi del ragazzino prende forma la società di allora e questa figura complessa e sfaccettata che suo padre. La trama si sviluppa come quella di un classico giallo, raccogliendo indizi, con momenti di rallentamenti e accelerazioni, fino al climax finale che si conclude con la risoluzione (o quasi) del caso.
Come in altri libri di Lansdale in alcuni momenti ho avuto la sensazione che ci fosse qualche elemento anacronistico, ma senza riuscire ad identificarli davvero. Il racconto scorre piuttosto lentamente nelle parti iniziali, utilissime per creare l'atmosfera e fare immergere il lettore in quella società povera e in quelle terre così in balia della natura, che era il Texas degli anni '30. ( )
  silvia.amaturo | Mar 21, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Joe R. Lansdaleprimary authorall editionscalculated
Clark, Alan M.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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News didn't travel the way it does now.
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The Great Depression, East Texas. The woods are thick, the rivers wild, the weather ripe with tornadoes, and the Crane family, like most families in that neck of the woods, are eking out a thin living. When young Harry Crane discovers a mutilated body bound to a tree with barbed wire in the river bottoms, the underbelly of East Texas is exposed. Whites fear a renegade Negro. Blacks fear a vengeful massacre, or, if the killer is white, that the law will let him slip through its fingers. Harry believes the murderer is the Goat Man, an East Texas monster of legend who lurks beneath the swing bridge on the Sabine River, like the Billy Goat Gruff. Harry and his sister have actually seen the Goat Man, or something much like him, in his nocturnal haunts. As the bodies mount up, an elderly black man is lynched, both blacks and whites are terrorised, and Harry's father - the local law - and grandmother investigate, searching for a killer who may be a lot closer than they think.

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Hachette Book Group

2 editions of this book were published by Hachette Book Group.

Editions: 0446677922, 0892967048

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