"We were like bad luck charms. Wherever we went, a dead body
was bound to show up before long, and it was bound to be left unburied
or unreported. It was a knack."
Jack, the hero og Joe R. Lansdale's all the earth, thrown to the
sky, set in the 1930s, certainly knows what he's talking about. As
the story opens his mother has just lost her struggle with dirt
pneumonia. When he goes out to the barn to tell his father, he finds
dad hanging from the rafters--unable to face life without his wife.
He must bury both his parents at an age where these days we'd debate
whether or not he should attend the funeral.
This is where Jack's confederates arrive. Jane, a classmate he
was not allowed to associate with because of her family's tendency to
harbor lice, and her little brother, Tony, have just been half
orphaned. (Their mother, who ran away with a Bible Salesman, is out
of the picture.) Jane wants to take Tony out of the "gritty hell" that
is dust bowl Oklahoma. They just need someone to drive the Ford they
plan to liberate from a newly deceased neighbor with no kin.
From the moment they take off in their "borrowed" car the
youngsters encounter non stop peril and challenge. They're car jacked
by a couple of gangsters who have pulled off a bank heist. Not only
do they lose their vehicle, they're kept as hostages by notorious
criminals, one who is none too fond of them, especially "Blabbermouth
Jane." That's when Jack comes to a realization. Jane is a liar and
thief who has dragged him into a desperate situation, but he can't
stand the thought of her being harmed.
I really enjoyed the book. What I liked best was the voice of
the narrator. In a soul searching moment he muses, "Heck, they had
stole the car that we had stole from a dead man, so we couldn't
exactly place ourselves on a much higher level than they were. Course
we hadn't shot any body and they had. But to tell you true, I wasn't
feeling so good about myself right then."
My advice: check out all the earth, thrown to the sky. Along
with its three feisty protagonists, you'll be in for quite the ride.
On a personal note, my work on my poetry book is coming along slow but
sure. I plan to finish it by the end of the summer.
A great big shout out goes out to Denise who lets her chickens live
like God or evolution meant them to--eating insects, taking dirt
baths, all that good stuff.
Julia Emily Hathaway
Sent from my iPod