The Bottoms (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
  • List Price: $15.95
  • Save: $3.62 (23%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 5 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by
Gift-wrap available.
The Bottoms (Vintage Crim... has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Covers are wrinkled and show signs of use.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Bottoms (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard Original) Paperback – December 7, 2010

See all 24 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$7.28 $2.40
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"

Constant Fear
Constant Fear
Constant Fear "firmly places [author] Palmer alongside the likes of Harlan Coben and Lisa Gardner." — The Providence Journal
$12.33 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 5 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

The Bottoms (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard Original) + Edge of Dark Water + Lost Echoes
Price for all three: $35.33

Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews Review

Joe Lansdale, author of several horror novels, Westerns, and some outrageous thrillers, is something of a cult writer. The Bottoms, which may be the breakout book that moves Lansdale beyond the genre category, is a resonant and moving novel. Though there is a mystery at its core, it is at heart a coming-of-age story, with a more literary bent than Lansdale usually demonstrates.

Harry, an elderly man, tells the story of a series of events that occurred in his 11th year, when the mutilated, murdered bodies of Negro prostitutes began turning up in the county where his father was the local constable. Harry and Tom, his younger sister, find the first one. Only their father, Jacob Crane, seems to care about finding justice for the victims, who are dismissed out of hand as unimportant by the local branch of the Ku Klux Klan, which warns Jacob off any further investigations. Harry and Tom think they know who's responsible: the Goat Man, a creature who's said to lurk beneath the swinging bridge that crosses the Sabine River, where the first body was found. In fact, the Goat Man has something to do with the murders, and the secret of who he is and what he really did is the key to the unsolved slayings. But that takes second place to the artfully explicated character of Jacob and Harry's changing relationship with him in the course of the loss of his boyish innocence. This is a masterfully told story and a very good read. --Jane Adams --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

In his latest suspense thriller, prolific yarn-spinner Lansdale, best known for his offbeat series featuring the mismatched East Texas Sherlocks Hap Collins and Leonard Pine (Bad Chili), presents a different voice in a coming-of-age story set in the early years of the Great Depression. Lansdale's 80-something protagonist, Harry Crane, looks back to the day in 1933 when he was 13 and, with his nine-year-old sister, Tom (Thomasina), he found the mutilated corpse of a black prostitute bound to a tree with barbed wire near their home along the hardscrabble bottomlands of the Sabine River. The discovery presents their father, Jacob CraneAa farmer and barber eking out a living as the town constableAwith a nightmarish investigation. News travels slowly in the days before television, but Jacob learns from the black doctor who performs the makeshift autopsy that two other mutilated bodies have been found over the last 18 months. Because the victims are black and "harlots," no one in the county much cares. But when the body of a white prostitute is discovered, a rabid mob lynches MosesAa black man who has been something of a surrogate father to JacobAdespite Jacob and Harry's heroic efforts to save him. Predictably, another body is soon discovered. 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. (Aug.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Series: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard Original
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (December 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307475263
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307475268
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (192 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #100,811 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Joe R. Lansdale is the author of over thirty novels and numerous short stories. His work has appeared in national anthologies, magazines, and collections, as well as numerous foreign publications. He has written for comics, television, film, newspapers, and Internet sites. His work has been collected in eighteen short-story collections, and he has edited or co-edited over a dozen anthologies.

Lansdale has received the Edgar Award, eight Bram Stoker Awards, the Horror Writers Association Lifetime Achievement Award, the British Fantasy Award, the Grinzani Cavour Prize for Literature, the Herodotus Historical Fiction Award, the Inkpot Award for Contributions to Science Fiction and Fantasy, and many others.

A major motion picture based on Lansdale's crime thriller Cold in July was released in May 2014, starring Michael C. Hall (Dexter), Sam Shepard (Black Hawk Down), and Don Johnson (Miami Vice). His novella Bubba Hotep was adapted to film by Don Coscarelli, starring Bruce Campbell and Ossie Davis. His story "Incident On and Off a Mountain Road" was adapted to film for Showtime's "Masters of Horror." He is currently co-producing a TV series, "Hap and Leonard" for the Sundance Channel and films including The Bottoms, based on his Edgar Award-winning novel, with Bill Paxton and Brad Wyman, and The Drive-In, with Greg Nicotero.

Lansdale is the founder of the martial arts system Shen Chuan: Martial Science and its affiliate, Shen Chuan Family System. He is a member of both the United States and International Martial Arts Halls of Fame. He lives in Nacogdoches, Texas with his wife, dog, and two cats.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By michael a. draper VINE VOICE on July 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The memories we have of our younger days are prescious and as we go on with our lives those recollections become cherished.

This story is told as a man is nearing the end of his life, reminiscing about the most momentous event of his childhood.

In East Texas, during the hard days of the depression, twelve-year-old Harry Crews and his nine-year-old sister, Tom, find the body of a black woman, deep in the woods by their farm.

Their father, Jacob, is the town constable. He brings the body to the next town because he is afraid that if he goes to the young doctor in his town, that doctor would suffer a loss of patients because he worked on a negro. The woman is identified as Jelda May Sykes, a harlot who did some conjuring. He's not surprised that there hadn't been much publicity due to their color.

As he is gathering information, he's informed by Red Woodrow, the constable in that town, to stay out of Red's jurisdiction and that he, Red, would conduct the investigation.

Meanwhile, Harry and Tom are convinced that a legendary killer is about, the killer, known as Goat Man, follows them home from deep in the woods.

After a period of quiet, another body of a black woman is found. This time the body is in Jacob's jurisdiction so he conducts an official investigation.

The story is told in a warm, visual style, as if the reader was sitting in the living room and listening to the events unfold whle having a cool drink with the story teller.

Harry and Tom are excellently portrayed and could have been the children of Atticus Finch in "To Kill a Mockingbird." In fact, Scout Finch and tomboy, Tom Craine could have been twins, they are so much alike. Both stories have negro characters who are wrongly accused and both stories have heroic characters and are masterpieces of literature.
24 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By sweetmolly on May 20, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Edgar first prizewinner Lansdale delivers the goods. He is a masterful storyteller nailing time, place, and people with bulls-eye accuracy. The narrative and dialogue flow, and the pace never flags. He captures the child's eye view with all the authority of Stephen King or Harper Lee.
Harry is an honorable boy caught in a dark story of racism, death, and folklore. The events gradually close in on him and his family creating an almost unbearable suspense. The characterizations are sharp and multi-layered. I particularly liked the non-message in dealing with racism. Mr. Lansdale is an unblinking recorder; all the indignities and intricacies are out there with no apology; for we are hearing a story as it was, not as we would like it to be.
"The Bottoms" transcends the mystery genre. It is a particularly fine coming-of-age story. Yet mystery-thriller fans will not be disappointed. Harry's and sister Tom's search and confrontation of the killer stretch the suspense until you feel as if you are humming like an overtaxed wire.
I would rate this book the best I have read this year, and it has a permanent place on my bookshelf. Highly recommended.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By C. Fletcher on December 9, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I've been reading Joe Lansdale for just over ten years now, and I think this is just about the best book he's ever written. I picked up "The Drive In" when I was about sixteen, and I've been hooked by his terrific writing and his great senses of humor and story ever since.
If you've never read anything by Joe Lansdale, you're missing out on a truly unique, authentic American writer. It's true you probably need a strong stomach to make it through an average Joe Lansdale novel, but I think it's also true that you need a sharp sense of humor which enjoys being tickled, a sensitive soul and a hightened appreciation for the poetic in everyday life. Joe delivers on all of these fronts. He's like no other author I've read. He's a little bit like Mark Twain, he's a little bit like Stephen King, and something like Harper Lee. But that comparison only works if you put all of those in a blender and hit puree.
In "The Bottoms," Lansdale, who is a master of the folkilsy-gruesome character-driven story, charts some new territory. Not geographically--this one takes place, like most of his other tales, and like his real life, in East Texas--but rather stylistically.
Ever since reading my first Lasndale book I've been a huge fan. His writing is always exretemely fluid. It just makes you feel like writing must be one of the most natural human activities, like walking or breathing or taking a long drink of water when your throat feels like sandpaper. But in this book, Lansdale seems to have tightened the linguistic screws a few notches. Not only is the writing fluid and fun to read, but it is of a consistently excellent quality. Before "The Bottoms" I probably would have only recommended Joe Lansdale to people who have a taste for the weird.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
37 of 46 people found the following review helpful By D. Kaplan on August 19, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been struggling with this review. I think that is because "The Bottoms" was such a personal experience that trying to find the words to share my thoughts with others is a bit difficult. However, I believe this deserves telling because "The Bottoms" is a very special book and I wish to share the experience with others.
This is the tale of Harry, a boy grappling with bridging that difficult gap between childhood and manhood. Along the way he confronts the search for a serial killer, race relations and his love for his parents with all their faults that we are loathe to accept in our parents.
The story takes place in Eastern Texas during the Depression. Although this is not a time and place I am familiar with, I found myself meandering through the woods, creeks and rural roads without feeling like a stranger to this part of the country. Mr. Lansdale made it so real to me that I could feel the heat, smell the air and want to swat at flies or scratch imaginary mosquito bites. It was as if I were hiding in the woods, in the barn or behind a chair in the farmhouse watching the story enfold before my eyes. Mr Lansdale has a wonderful talent for bringing you into the pictures he creates. His ability to do this reminds me of Stephen Booth's writing in "The Black Dog."
Although I figured out who the murderer was early in the book, that didn't detract one iota from my pleasure in reading this book. I was so caught up in lives of a family that I had come to love that catching a serial killer became superfluous to their story.
Of all the characters in the book, I was most drawn to Jacob, Harry's father.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
The Bottoms (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard Original)
This item: The Bottoms (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard Original)
Price: $12.33
Ships from and sold by

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?