Edge of Dark Water by Joe R. Lansdale

90%

21 Critic Reviews

Lansdale’s perfect ear for regional dialogue and ability to create palpable suspense lift this above the pack.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

Mark Twain meets classic Stephen King--a bold new direction for widely acclaimed Edgar Award winner Joe R. Lansdale.

May Lynn was once a pretty girl who dreamed of becoming a Hollywood star. Now she's dead, her body dredged up from the Sabine River.

Sue Ellen, May Lynn's strong-willed teenage friend, sets out to dig up May Lynn's body, burn it to ash, and take those ashes to Hollywood to spread around. If May Lynn can't become a star, then at least her ashes will end up in the land of her dreams.

Along with her friends Terry and Jinx and her alcoholic mother, Sue Ellen steals a raft and heads downriver to carry May Lynn's remains to Hollywood.

Only problem is, Sue Ellen has some stolen money that her enemies will do anything to get back. And what looks like a prime opportunity to escape from a worthless life will instead lead to disastrous consequences. In the end, Sue Ellen will learn a harsh lesson on just how hard growing up can really be.
 

About Joe R. Lansdale

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Joe R. Lansdale is the author of more than a dozen novels, including Sunset and Sawdust, Lost Echoes, and Leather Maiden. He has received the British Fantasy Award, the American Mystery Award, the Edgar Award, the Grinzane Cavour Prize for Literature, and eight Bram Stoker Awards. He lives with his family in Nacogdoches, Texas.
 
Published March 27, 2012 by Mulholland Books. 305 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Crime, Horror, History. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Edge of Dark Water
All: 21 | Positive: 21 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Excellent
on Apr 22 2012

The river, the raft, a stash of money coveted by bad guys, nonstop adventures that edify, terrify and deepen the bond between Sue Ellen and Jinx. A highly entertaining tour de force.

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Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on Jan 16 2012

Lansdale’s perfect ear for regional dialogue and ability to create palpable suspense lift this above the pack.

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Examiner

Good
Reviewed by Rory O'Connor on May 13 2012

Champion mojo storyteller Joe R. Lansdale is writing southern gothic fiction (with a twist of horror) at its best.

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NY Journal of Books

Excellent
Reviewed by Sam Millar on Mar 25 2012

...Edge of Dark Water will be compared to the work of Twain and Faulkner, but Joe Lansdale adds his own unique voice to this chillingly atmospheric tale of good and evil and adolescent angst. Edge of Dark Water has all the potential of becoming a classic, read by generations to come.

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Book Reporter

Excellent
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on Mar 29 2012

Lansdale’s ear for dialogue remains pitch- and letter-perfect, and his characters are so real in their strengths and failings as to seem to leap off the pages.

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Dallas News

Good
Reviewed by David Duhr on Apr 06 2012

Joe R. Lansdale could fall into the Sabine River at its filthiest point and still come out dripping nothing but storytelling mojo.

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SF Signal

Good
Reviewed by Larry Ketchersid on Apr 17 2012

Lots of people know how to write a book, Lansdale knows how to tell a story. The characters, the setting, the prejudices of the time period and the legendary “do they really exist” killers all flow together into a can’t-put-it-down tale.

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Spinetingler Magazine

Excellent
Reviewed by Julia Madeleine on Apr 06 2012

The Edge of Dark Water is an impressive, riveting story that I devoured quickly and completely enjoyed every minute of. Loved it.

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BookBrowse

Good
on Aug 22 2013

Mark Twain meets classic Stephen King - a bold new direction for widely acclaimed Edgar Award winner Joe R. Lansdale.

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White Cat Magazine

Excellent
Reviewed by Blu Gillian on May 02 2012

Edge of Dark Water is another in a long line of remarkable achievements from Joe R. Lansdale. As funny, original, and darkly entertaining as anything you’ll find on the shelves, it gets my highest recommendation.

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Thinking About Books

Excellent
Reviewed by David Marshall on Feb 25 2012

It’s an exciting edge-of-the-seat ride for us, making this is one of the best thrillers of the last five and more years. It’s destined to become a classic like Deliverance, The Executioners and their film versions. Read it or miss out!

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Jenn's Bookshelves

Good
Reviewed by Jenn on Mar 27 2012

I agree completely with those readers who compare Lansdale’s writing with that of two of literature’s finest authors: Mark Twain and Stephen King. I think of this novel as the perfect combination of Huckleberry Finn and Stand By Me.

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My Bookish Ways

Good
on Mar 29 2012

The author keeps up a pretty relentless pace, and puts these kids through the ringer, keeping you glued to the pages until the very end.

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The Guilded Earlobe

Good
on Mar 22 2012

In Edge of Dark Water Joe R. Lansdale does what he does best, takes classic story elements that readers are comfortable with and meshes them together into something that truly stands out.

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Bookgasm

Good
Reviewed by Alan Cranis on Apr 10 2012

EDGE OF DARK WATER is another stunning triumph for him, who for many years has proven himself one of the most talented American storytellers working today.

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Mystery People

Good
Reviewed by MysteryPeopleScott on Mar 21 2012

He uses an unsentimental eye and still delivers a work of true emotion. It’s easy to tell that he’s a Mark Twain fan. That said, I think Mr. Clemens, himself, would love this particular ride down the river.

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Book Chase

Excellent
Reviewed by Sam Sattler on Apr 02 2012

One suspects that Twain would be pleased to be mentioned in association with a novel like Edge of Dark Water because Joe Lansdale has created a story here that is every bit as funny as it is terrifying...

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Violin in a Void

Good
on Mar 09 2012

It only took a few pages for me to decide that I liked this book. It’s told with rich Southern wit, bringing a very dark humour to the harsh realities of life in the American South...

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Cerebral Girl in a Redneck World

Good
on Apr 20 2012

Part psychological thriller, part pure entertainment, and part cautionary tale, this story held my attention throughout. While not a roaring ride, it kept a nice steady pace, and it kept me guessing.

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The Daily Rotation

Excellent
on Sep 12 2012

He made me feel like I was 16 again, instilling an overflowing sense of wonder and awe into my otherwise jaded and cynical mindset. For this he is a master craftsman...

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All Things Horror

Excellent
Reviewed by Chris Hallock on Jun 25 2012

I don't have any problem calling Edge of Dark Water a masterpiece. It's a book demanding your immediate attention, and a great companion piece to Lansdale favorites like The Bottoms and All the Earth Thrown to the Sky.

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Reader Rating for Edge of Dark Water
83%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 134 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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Diane Cooke

Diane Cooke 3 Jan 2016

Added the book to want to read list