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October 30 , 2007

The Tall Grass

and Other Stories


A midnight train slows to a stop between stations, leading a wakeful passenger to step out and stretch his legs. The conductor really should’ve locked his compartment door better… There are thirty-three stories in this collection of Joe Lansdale short fiction, some meaty, some mini-sized. A few are so short that if you blink, you might miss them, but maybe that’s all part of Lansdale's plan: slipping an innocent-looking seed in your subconscious, there to sprout when you least expect it. Sometimes the shortest stories stick with you the longest, because you wind up filling in most of the details yourself. Tricky, that, but don’t think Lansdale didn’t set it all up like a complicated carom shot. Hello, cue ball.

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Completists take note: many of these stories appeared in The King and Other Stories and Unchained and Unhinged, neither of which are available electronically. Added to them are several, "The Tall Grass" included, which have never been featured in any Lansdale collection, digital or otherwise. They run the gamut from weird to horrifying to thought provoking, stories that Lansdale feels have a “sharp and memorable impact, like ice pick pokes that hopefully left no wounds.” Poke poke.

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