|Plot Summary of Sunset and Sawdust|
Knopf, Mar 2004, 22.00, 321 pp.
In Depression Era East Texas, Constable Pete Jones assaults his wife Sunset before he rapes her. Badly abused and bruised, and in fear that he will one day kill her and beat the rap, Sunset takes Pete's gun and kills him. While she murders her spouse, a cyclone destroys most of their home. She is not charged with homicide not because she was protecting herself, but because no one liked the abuse of power pistol Pete.
After healing, Sunset is elected to complete Pete's term as constable though most doubt her capability to do the job. As she sets out to prove her worth, Sunset investigates the corpse of a baby that leads to a second dead body, crazy grasshoppers and Klansmen, and unethical oil dealers all leading to her beating the bushes questioning folks who seem more at home in a chainsaw massacre.
The setting is typical Lansdale, which means East Texas. The cast is also typical Lansdale, which means eccentrics running loose outside the asylum. The era is atypical Lansdale as he takes the audience back to the 1930s. The results is typical Lansdale, which means a wacky wonderful tale that seems just out of control yet somehow comes together to provide readers especially the author's fans with a fabulous crazed time.
This synopsis report prepared by Harriet Klausner
|Chapter Analysis of Sunset and Sawdust|
Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Composition of Book
descript. of violence and chases - 10%
Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives - 40%
Feelings, relationships, character bio/development - 40%
How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) - 10%
Tone of story
- suspenseful (sophisticated fear)
How difficult to spot villain?
- Very difficult--no foreshadowing/clues
Time/era of story:
What % of story relates directly
to the mystery, not the subplot?
Kind of investigator
- police procedural, American
Kid or adult book?
- Adult or Young Adult Book
Any non-mystery subplot?
- life in small town
Murder Mystery (killer unknown)
Accounts of torture and death?
- generic/vague references to death/punishment
Amount of dialog
- significantly more dialog than descript
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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