Paradise Sky by Joe R. Lansdale © 2015, Mulholland
Western about a young black man, Willie, on the run from vengeful white man, Ruggert, who caught Willie glancing at Mrs. Ruggert’s backside and is determined to hang ‘uppity’ Willie. That humorous premise gives you an idea how Lansdale will treat a Western. Willie is educated and taught how to handle firearms by a kindly landowner, and then Willie takes to the West, serving briefly as a Buffalo Soldier, and ending up in lawless Deadwood, South Dakota. Winning a shooting contest earns Willie the name Deadwood Dick.
Ruggert is still on Willie/Deadwood Dick’s trail, though, leading to tragedies, narrow escapes, shootouts, and eventually redemption for Willie. It was a fun read, chock full of hilarious turns of phrase and characters’ long expositions which are, in most cases, pleasant diversions. Sky is a good action story and a good redemption story with plenty of lines to make you laugh, so what’s not to like?
Lansdale lands his second book on my keepers shelf!