The Ape Man's Brother by Joe R. Lansdale
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Now it can be told: the true story of The Big Guy, a man raised by ape-like beings in a lost world and brought to civilization, as told by his ape-brother, Bill! What really happened when The Woman and her scientist father brought The Big Guy and his brother from their jungle home?
Joe Lansdale has been one of my top five writers for over a decade now. As much as I pimp his Hap & Leonard series to crime fans, what really grabbed my attention was his weirder fare like this.
In The Ape Man's Brother, Uncle Joe takes a page from Philip Jose Farmer's playbook and imagines what Tarzan, sorry, The Big Guy, might have been like if he actually existed. Only instead of Farmer's take, this tale is full of the usual mojo: sex, cursing, violence, and humor. Farmer sure didn't drag Tarzan and Cheetah to Hollywood and have them star in a movie based on their exploits. And Cheetah sure didn't... well, I don't want to spoil too much.
Even though Tarzan fans might not appreciate The Big Guy's antics, it's clear Joe Lansdale loves the subject matter he's tackling. There's pulpy action and, if you ask me, the Big Guy acts like a jungle-raised savage would if he was brought to Hollywood and had fame and fortune thrust upon him.
At 104 pages, it's a slim book but it's the perfect size for what it is: a hilarious tale only the mojo storyteller himself could dream up. With dinosaurs, lots of humor, violence, and the Big Guy sodomizing a dead lion, it's worth ever penny. Four out of five stars!
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