When I was given the opportunity to review this book, I decided I wanted to do something different with this review. The publisher was rereleasing this book as a result of the movie coming out. This was the first time that I could get a comparison between book vs. movie so closely matched from read time to watch time.
So, let's head into this!:
Book: Cold in July
Author: Joe R. Landsdale
Release date (if applicable): Original release date: 1989. Release date this version: May 27, 2014
Synopsis: Richard Dane is a small town Texan family man with a loving wife and a young son. When an intruder breaks into his home in the middle of the night, he defends his home and shoots him dead. Everyone knows it was self defense except for the burglar's father, Ben Russel, and he wants revenge on Dane. A son for a son. Problem is...the police lied to Dane. The man he killed wasn't Russel's son. What is behind the deception? Dane, Russel and an eccentric PI, Jim Bob Luke, are determined to find out and they may not survive the answer.
My rating: 4 Stars
My opinion: This was my first read by Joe R. Lansdale and I loved his voice.
Lansdale wove a story of complex characters into a uniquely twisted, pulse pounding story that flowed quickly. I felt that his voice was a cross between author Jim Thompson and Quentin Tarantino and could make for a rockin' "cult" classic. This was a really dark and sad story that Lansdale masterfully kept lightened up in his character development. and interactions.
Source: Publisher for review
Would I recommend? : Yes
Stand Alone or Part of a Series: Stand Alone
Book vs. Movie: While the movie was good, it garnered three stars from me, the book wins hands down. Cold in July is about relationships. The relationships on numerous fronts made this book awesome. One of the most important was the relationship between Dane and his wife. The movie didn't touch on this at all. As a result, it washed out her character in the movie vs. having her be the strong woman depicted in the book. Furthermore, it deviated from the story too much to the point where it just didn't make sense some of the time or felt thrown together.
Cold in July is a perfect example of the old saying...NEVER JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS MOVIE!