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Adult Books 4 Teens
Inside Adult Books 4 Teens

Edge of Dark Water

The publisher blurb for Joe R. Lansdale’s new novel begins, “Mark Twain meets classic Stephen King.” What a beginning!

Mulholland provides a ton of extras on their website, including Youtube videos of the author talking about the setting of his novel, and an article by Dan Simmons comparing Edge of Dark Water and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

An excerpt from the novel is available on the author’s website.

LANSDALE, Joe R. Edge of Dark Water. 304p. Mulholland. 2012. Tr $25.99. ISBN 978-0-316-18843-2. LC 2011030557.  Edge of Dark Water

Adult/High School–In depression-era rural east Texas, teenagers Sue Ellen Wilson and Terry Thomas join Sue Ellen’s father and uncle as they fish on a river. Instead of fish, they pull out the body of Sue Ellen and Terry’s friend May Lynn Baxter. May Lynn dreamed of going to Hollywood to become a movie star so Terry and Sue Ellen, along with friend Jinx Smith, decide to make sure that she gets there. It’s well known that the victim’s late brother was a thief and was rumored to have hidden a stash of money. When the friends go to May Lynn’s house to collect her treasured movie magazines (her alcoholic father is nowhere to be found), they find a map, which leads them to the money–and into their adventure. Any hesitation about going on the mission evaporates once they learn how many unscrupulous, violent people are after the money. Joined by Sue Ellen’s alcoholic mother, who wants to escape her abusive husband, they pack up May Lynn (whom they’ve cremated in a conveniently located brick kiln) and set off. Despite the grim circumstances, this book is a fun and enjoyable read. The characters and language are colorful, and the story manages to be funny and suspenseful at the same time. Reminiscent of Suzan-Lori Parks’ Getting Mother’s Body (Random, 2003), it will appeal to fans of character driven, darkly humorous stories.–Carla Riemer, Claremont Middle School, CA

Angela Carstensen About Angela Carstensen

Angela Carstensen is Head Librarian and an Upper School Librarian at Convent of the Sacred Heart in New York City. Angela served on the Alex Awards committee for four years, chairing the 2008 committee, and chaired the first YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adult committee in 2009. Recently, she edited Outstanding Books for the College Bound: Titles and Programs for a New Generation (ALA Editions, 2011). Contact her via Twitter @AngeReads.