Monday, December 5, 2011

Re-Kindling Interest: The Big Blow by Joe R. Lansdale (historical novella)

This is one of a series of reviews focusing on out-of-print works that have become available again via a variety of e-book formats.

I've long been a fan of author Joe R. Lansdale's work, and I'll be the first to shout his talents from the rooftops. But even I was impressed when I read The Big Blow when it came around in rotation on the Free Stories section of the his website.

This novella just may be a perfect story. Set during the Galveston hurricane of 1900, it offers action, sex, violence, cleansing, redemption, and a small dose of history, peopled with typically Lansdalean characters.

Centering around a boxing match between John McBride and "Lil" Arthur Johnson (later to be called Jack), it's a real action piece, flying past like a roundhouse punch. The characters and setting feel impressively realistic, and the plot is entirely believable.

Having enjoyed it so much the first time, I read The Big Blow again with relish when it was released in the author's collection Mad Dog Summer and Other Stories. It was even better the second time around, and I'm excited to see it available once again as a reasonably priced download. I'm not much for re-reading, but The Big Blow is one that I look forward to revisiting repeatedly.

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