By Bizarre Hands: Stories Hardcover – 1 Nov 1989
Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Top Customer Reviews
`Bizarre Hands' is a collection of stories that have no real link other than the singular voice of their author. They are mostly set in our own world, but seen through the eyes of a man who does not think much of society. A number of the tales do touch on the supernatural and they are the best. However, out of a book full of snippets, there are only two that will stick with me. This is mainly due to the fact that these stories are less horrific and more unpleasant. Lansdale's appears to have set out to unsettle, rather than scare. The language is course and populated by ugly men (both inside and out). Also Lansdale falls into the short story trap of making some of the stories seemingly not matter; you finish one and ask, what was the point of that?
There seems to be a misogynist streak that runs through many of the stories; more than one character describes his wife in less than flattering terms. The female roles are almost none existent, except for more base reasons. There are only so many unlikable people that I can read about in one book and `By Bizarre Hands' goes past that total by a fair few. The introduction talks about how Lansdale is an author who does not write traditional horror, but does something else. That something else is to produce a bunch of stories that just aren't that nice or interesting to read.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Two stories are new to this volume: "The Steel Valentine" and "The Fat Man and the Elephant." The former is a relative of Stephen King's story, "The Ledge," a battle between two men, one ruthless and cruel and the other learning how to be. An interesting variation on the theme, yet not as original as I had come to expect from Lansdale. On the other hand, "The Fat Man and the Elephant" is something that could only have been written by Joe. A curious mix of metaphysics and good ol' fashion religion, with a little zen on the side, the story centers on Sonny, a Baptist minister, who "communes" with a sideshow elephant.
What makes Lansdale different from the hordes of horror writers flooding the market today? It's his sense of place. Joe grew up in the backwoods of East Texas, and almost all of his stories are set there. Trapped underneath the evergreens, there lurks a different sort of horror, one that Joe escaped from and is telling you about now: small town Texas. The people are more alien than you might imagine, the settings more bizarre, but in Lansdale's stories, they come alive before your eyes to reveal these differences. And the reason Lansdale's stories work? Because by the time you understand the differences, you have also discovered the similarities within your own back yard.
By Bizarre Hands is only available in a hardcover edition from Mark Ziesing, who is also publishing hardcover editions of Lansdale's recent paperback thrillers Cold in July and Savage Season. No other small publisher (well, maybe Ursus Imprints, Arkham House, and Scream/Press--see below) puts as much quality into the production as Ziesing and all three of these books are as beautiful as the work is talented. Highly recommended.