The Time Traveller’s Almanac: Fish Night by Joe Lansdale

TimeTravellerToday I’m posting a short piece as part of Time Travel Thursday – which I was introduced to by DJ at My Life My Books My Escape who has been gradually reading and reviewing the stories within the Almanac with a group of other bloggers.  I might not get round to reading and posting each week but I will try and do a couple every month.

Fish Night by Joe Lansdale is the first story that I’ve read from the Time Traveller’s Almanac.  It’s only a short story and took but a few minutes to read but it was entertaining and Lansdale writes with the sort of prose that makes you stop in your tracks a little just to have a think about what he’s written.  For example, I love his descriptions of the desert and the shifting sands which make it feel like a midnight sea – it’s also a fitting description given the rest of the story.  Basically this is a story of a car breaking down in the desert.  It involves two characters, a younger and older man.  The older guy has a story to tell about an experience he had in this same spot many years ago.  A ghostly apparition if you will but not the kind you may suspect or ever guess.  In fact this tale seems unbelievably fantastical and at the same time harmless.   I must confess that I was prepared for something really dark and twisted, in fact I was expecting to be given the chills – what the author actually manages to achieve is to pull you in, in such a short spell, hook you and then give a twist to the tale that is really surprising.  I have to applaud Lansdale.  This was not what I expected and it caught my attention, not just for the short spell it took to read but also after I finished while I thought about the implications.

Follow along on Twitter with #TimeTravelThursday

If you want to join in: next Thursday: The Lost Pilgrim by Gene Wolfe

12 Responses to “The Time Traveller’s Almanac: Fish Night by Joe Lansdale”

  1. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    Cool that you’re participating in this! Too bad I don’t own the book, if I did I’d probably jump on in. It seems like many of the stories in here are short and will only take a few minutes.

  2. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    The list of contributors to this anthology is very interesting – to use a huge understatement 🙂 – and I like the idea of a story that surprises you with a big twist.
    The cover is beyond gorgeous….

    • @lynnsbooks

      The cover is lovely – I bought this ages ago because it was on a special offer but this is the first time I’ve opened it.
      Lynn 😀

  3. DJ (@MyLifeMyBooksMyEscape)

    I’m so happy you decided to read and review this one! I knew you would enjoy it 😀 I figured since it was a short and entertaining read, it would be the perfect story for you start off with. Hopefully you’ll decided to join in for a couple more stories in the future!

    But what did you think about the ending? I was stunned, silent. Then I was legitimately laughing out loud XD

    • @lynnsbooks

      I’m not a big fan of short stories – but actually, really short stories work somehow, they feel like stories you would tell to each other round a fire or something. They’re not overly detailed, there’s not really any characterisation – it’s simply plot and in the instance it worked. It liked the way the desert was described akin to the sea which really fit in. The end took me by surprise because I was expecting something really sinister – and it was, like you say, a bit crazy. I think for such a short story it was very effective – I could say more but for spoilers.
      Lynn 😀

  4. The Time Traveler’s Almanac: Fish Night by Joe Lansdale | MyLifeMyBooksMyEscape

    […] Escobar H.M. Jones Laurel’s Writing Desk Lynn (@lynnsbooks) Timothy C. […]

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    […] Fish Night by Joe Lansdale […]

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  7. Laurel C Kriegler

    Sorry I’ve only just picked up on your participation! I’m glad you enjoyed this story. It was one of the best we’d had in a while. I loved some of the prose too. Great fun. Looking forward to seeing you out with us again.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Thanks for stopping by – I’ve been a bit useless this week – I was hoping to join in today (I suppose there’s still time and saying it was one of the best is definitely encouraging me to go for it right now) – but I’ve been very behind because we went away for a few days. If I don’t manage in the next couple of hours I’ll definitely join in next week.
      Lynn 😀

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