Winner of the Edgar Award for Best Novel.
A New York Times Notable Book of the Year.
Synopses & Reviews
Way back before the bottoms were drained during the Great Depression that transformed deep East Texas, a boy could hear the crickets and the frogs in the river bed. And under the star-studded southern night he could find things darker than the murky waters...
When young Harry Collins discovers a black woman's body, mutilated and bound to a tree with barbed wire, he unleashes a storm of dread. With his younger sister, they fix their suspicions on the legendary horror called the Goat Man who, the locals say, lurks beneath the swinging bridge that crosses the Sabine River. More real than any child could ever imagine, the creature holds the key to a string of brutal and confounding murders and a chilling truth scarcely glimpsed beyond the thick woods and tornado-ripe skies.
Powerfully evoking William Faulkner and Harper Lee, The Bottoms is pure storytelling brilliance from one of the most acclaimed and supremely inventive American novelists alive today.
"Wondrous...dark enchantment." New York Times Book Review
"Terrific suspense...equal parts morality tale and page-turning thriller." Denver Post
"In his latest suspense thriller, prolific yarn-spinner Lansdale...presents a different voice in a coming-of-age story set in the early years of the Great Depression....Lansdale is best when recreating the East Texas dialogue and setting. Readers will not have to work hard to unearth comparisons to characters in To Kill a Mockingbird, but gruesome details of the murders keep the novel from being labeled a period piece. Folksy and bittersweet, though rather rough-hewn and uneven, Lansdale's novel treats themes still sadly pertinent today." Publishers Weekly
"An X-rated version of The Andy Griffith Show...at once moving and grotesque." Maxim
"A terrifically gifted storyteller." Washington Post Book Review
"An emotionally charged tale very reminiscent of To Kill a Mockingbird....Effectively combining mystery and family history, it offers a vivid, multifaceted glimpse back to a simpler, but not necessarily better, time. If any author deserved a breakthrough book, it's Lansdale. This should be it." Booklist (starred review)
"Without ever preaching to a contemporary choir, Lansdale subtly but surely traces how race hatred can embitter, poison, and often physically destroy those who fall under its sway." Lee Winfrey, Philadelphia Inquirer
"A trip into the woods proves a learning experience for 13-year-old Harry in this latest coming-of-age mystery yarn from Lansdale....As the body count mounts, the only solution open to the challenged community is to make an old black man into the scapegoat, though he is obviously incapable of the grisly killings. This leads to a satisfactory but untidy resolution from which Harry emerges as sadder but wiser. The book, a combination of William Faulkner's Intruder in the Dust and Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird (with a sizable portion of pure Lansdale thrown in), just might at long last bring premier storyteller Lansdale to the attention of an even broader audience." Library Journal
About the Author
Joe R. Lansdale has written over two hundred short stories and over a dozen novels in the suspense, Western, and horror genres. He is the winner of numerous awards, including the American Mystery Award and six Bram Stoker Awards from the Horror Writers of America.