Edge of Dark Water by Joe R. Lansdale
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Review of Edge of Dark Water by Joe Lansdale
I think there must be close to 1000 reviews and blurbs already for this book, which just published on Feb. 12. Many of them are from writers and reviewers far more articulate than myself. Every blurb and comment I’ve read is positive, and I have to second that. Joe R. Lansdale is a Master, by any criteria. I’ve never forgotten his set “The Drive-In” and “The Drive-In II” and I never will. Now I will never forget “Edge of Dark Water” (and his debut novel, “The Bottoms,” which I plan to read very soon). Mr. Lansdale has so recreated the structure and milieu of East Texas during the Great Depression of the 1930’s, a typically Southern region, and made it so real even to those of us who didn’t actually live this era, that it becomes an ongoing, perpetual, mindset.
Youngsters (actually adolescents now) May Lynn, Sue Ellen, Jinx, and Terry live a very hardscrabble, rock-bottom life. The only one of the four who has a decent parental set is Jinx, and because she is resident in the extended South, and African-American, she has her share of troubles not akin to the other three. But May Lynn, Sue Ellen, and Terry all have domestic difficulties; it is fortunate that the four do share this close and abiding friendship, and the taut nature of this bond becomes intensely apparent when Sue Ellen and Terry discover May Lynn’s drowned body in the Sabine River—the river that becomes a character in and of itself, the river that will change all their lives in immense and unending ways.
“Edge of Dark Water” is an incredibly heartrending novel, but it is one I cannot imagine not reading.
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