Paradise Sky

Paradise Sky

Paradise Sky – Joe R. Lansdale

The myth of the cowboy. Based on a true story. “Penny thrillers,” and pulp fiction. Dime novels, perhaps the first, real pulp fiction. It’s a June 2015 imprint. I tend to really adore the authorial treatment allotted to the Texas accent, especially its East Texas variations.

I think I could have gone on like that forever, but as I heard my pa say to a friend of his one day, “The good times, if you have any, eventually get shit in them.” Page 44.

Lulled into a sense of well-being, a story of old-time racism and one character out to do good, and then? Then it veers off. That author is amazing, at times.

It is not a comfortable tale, nor is it politically correct, but it does remind me of useless piece of trivia leftover from university days, perhaps as much as 75% of the real post-civcl War “cowboys,” who really rode the trail rides? Up to — or more than — half were of Afro-American persuasion.

You can say what you want about the Apache, but they are about the bravest thing that ever lived—outside of a drunk preacher who thinks God is on his side and when deep in his cups thinks he is God. Page 76.

When a championship storyteller gets ahold of a champions story? Nat Love and Joe R. Lansdale?

Coming from East Texas, I thought West Texas was bleak, but that northern part was sad on the eye and the mind; it wouldn’t surprise me that anyone that lived out that way did so because their horse died there or their wagon broke down. Page 112.

Not much has changed.

Except, I do find, even to this day, an elegiac quiet beauty to it all. But as observed before, I might not be right in the head. Never claimed otherwise.

The book itself is fraught with the author’s tone for almost excessive violence, but to hear the tales, that’s the way it was, back the bad, old days.

There’s a rewarding cadence to Joe R. Lansdale’s prose, though, as it tight, clipped, sparse as the West Texas desert sands, and yet melodic in moments, too. Tender, almost.

We passed by the cattle yard, and there was cowboys hustling longhorn cows down the street and into catch pens. A goodly number of the cowboys was colored, and I seen a lot of Mexicans in their crowd as well, though some was so covered in dust I couldn’t quite figure what color they was, only that they were cowboys and knew how to move cattle. Page 235.

Historical verisimilitude and occasionally begs comparison to Twain.

It’s well worth it to read. Parts of it make me uncomfortable, but it’s that issue with race, and to lesser extent, historically accurate gender roles. Post Civil War America, yeah, and the myth of the Old West.


Paradise Sky

Paradise Sky – Joe R. Lansdale

Paradise Sky

Kramer Wetzel

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