Review: Deadman's Road by Joe R. Lansdale

August 15, 2013 4 stars, Book Review 18 ★★★★

Deadman's Road

Deadwood meets The Walking Dead in this wild and profane Western romp featuring zombies, werewolves, killer bees, and one pissed-off gun-slinging preacher.

The Wild West has never seen the likes of Reverend Jebidiah Mercer, a hard man wielding a burning Bible and a bottle of whiskey in the battle between God and the Devil. Frankly, he’s not sure he gives a damn who wins.

As the not-so-good Reverend tangles with a vengeful shaman and his undead army and joins a renegade named Flower to battle a horde of cannibalistic fiends, only this is certain: Mercer’s blasphemous journey is laced with relentless action, terrifying evil, and nonstop humor.

This supernatural epic of the Old West that never was will leave you heartily cheering for the good guys—if you can just figure out who the good guys are.


Evil is lurking in the Old West, plaguing towns and killing people. Who can stop the monsters but a messenger of God? Jebediah is a strange twist on the anti-hero. He isn’t your ordinary preacher but a gun-toting, whiskey drinking Reverend, seeking redemption. There is a little bit of everything here for horror lovers.  Deadman’s Road compiles 5 short stories of Jeb’s trials and tribulations.

It starts with ‘Dead in the West’ in a town plagued by zombies and vengeful man posessed by a demon. This was the longest of the collection taking up half the book and definitely my favorite! I think this is really where Jeb realizes what God has in store for him, not that he ever actually speaks to him or anything. When Jeb travels on to ‘Deadman’s Road’ his character is a bit different – almost as if he is a pro at all things that go bump in the night. I thought that was a bit strange since in the first story he didn’t know anything about them…but I guess he did walk away with a book that might have given him the knowlegdge. Still at this point I felt a bit of a disconnect and Jeb wasn’t the same person to me. From this point on it was like I had to get to know his character over. Next in ‘The Gentleman’s Hotel’ he happens into a town filled with the ghosts of people  murdered by werewolves – oh yes and one living and kicking working girl. Jeb is a freaking kick ass gunslinger, and resourceful to boot. When all’s handled there he helps discover in ‘the Crawling Sky’ what became of a man’s wife. The collection finishes off in “The Dark Down There’ with Jeb and an unlikely companion exploring the evils inhabiting a mine.

Jebediah’s mission from God is to root out Evil in service to a God he seems to hate. Which I found really hilarious. Normally I stay away from books with any religious overtones but this was just funny. If you’re easily offended this may not be the book for you. Deadman’s Road is by no means for the faint of heart. Me however, I couldn’t help but love this guy!

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“Smells like a drunk’s nest in here–and maybe like you been greasing your axle.”

“A boy your age should know,” the Reverend said, somewhat embarrassed that he had been found out.

“Yeah, but I got an excuse. I’m too young for women.” ~PG 40

Much of the dialogue is what I would imagine the Old West to be like, rugged and just a bit foul.  There are adult situations (that means sex), plenty of humor and even some heartbreak. When you aren’t squirming from the ghoulish descriptions you will be laughing out loud at Jebediah’s smart mouth and quick to draw hands.


Deadman’s Road

Find: Amazon | Indiebound | Goodreads
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• An advanced uncorrected copy was provided by the publisher for an honest review. Quotes are from an unpublished edition of this title and are subject to change. All opinions expressed are my own. Please note that this post also contains affiliate links. To view our full Blog Policy, click here.

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Tabitha (Pabkins)

When I'm in the zone I can flip book pages faster than the eye can see - screaming "More Input!" I'm a book, yarn, & art supply hoarding goblin who loves to draw, make toys and craft all sorts of creepy cute things. My current habit is to listen to audio books while I'm arting it up!
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18 Responses to “Review: Deadman's Road by Joe R. Lansdale”

  1. Tammy

    I missed this post too! I know you explained why I’m not getting email notifications for all your posts, but it’s so frustrating. I don’t want to miss anything you guys post!! You’re my very favorite blog EVER!!! (Except for Chuck Wendig’s blog)

    Plus even though I follow through Bloglovin’ I usually forget to check out the daily posts.

    Anyways, I LOVE Joe Lansdale. He’s such a pro and he’s been writing forever. I think I met him once or twice back when I was first collecting horror books, and he often came to some local indie bookstores. Which are now gone, btw.
    Tammy recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday (65) EDGE OF DARKNESS by J. T. GeissingerMy Profile

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      I’m going to ask April to look into it today to figure out why it’s not capturing both of our daily posts. It’s so aggravating because I know we have a chunk of readers that read from it instead of coming to the site.

      Ahhh you’re so freaking sweet! You know I loves you hardcore you’re my book soulmate!!

  2. erinf1

    thanks for the great post! Definitely going to have to go check it out more closely 🙂

  3. Heidi

    I would totally love to read this. Seriously sounds way awesome. I love the OLD WEst and I think a drunk zombie killing preacher would be kick ass. I don’t see this available on ebook, though, lame!
    Heidi recently posted…Review: TMI by Patty BlountMy Profile

  4. sarah c.

    this book sounds interesting..western style + zombies.. kind of sounds like a part in Resident Evil:Extinction-where some survivors were out in the middle of a desert with zombies all around them…

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      It was an interesting amount of WTF, old west, swagger, some vulgarity and more WTF. I seriously enjoyed it. I didn’t even mind him being a preacher…which of course I usually always mind.

          • Jaime Lester

            So jealous! Hope that you have a fabulous time. And there have been very few WTF out loud moments in reading for me. I need one of those…. Searching my shelves right now…

  5. Kayla Eklund

    This book sounds great. I love books with zombies in them.