The Thicket by Joe R. Lansdale
Release Date - September 2013
Joe R. Lansdale
Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth
Sixteen-year-old Jack Parker's had a little too much experience with death. His grandmother died in a tragic farm accident. His parents just lost their fight against smallpox. His grandfather dies in a vicious attack while transporting his grandchildren to their aunt's house. Now the same men that murdered his grandfather have his 14-year-old sister, Lula, and Jack's not going to walk away. He's determined to save his sister.
At the nearest town, Jack learns that the same group of men murdered the sheriff, so it's up to Jack and a pair of bounty hunters to track them down and save Lula. One sheriff, Shorty, is a sharp-shooting dwarf, while the other Eustace brings with him an unusual traveling companion - a 600 pound hog. The trio set off to save Lula and form what becomes a lasting friendship.
From the start, the storytelling is what caught my attention. If you've seen the movie Big Fish, it had that same quality. I never knew what would happen next, laughed repeatedly, and sometimes wondered about the absurdity of things that did happen to young Jack. It's one of the better books I've read and one I will not forget anytime soon.