book cover of The Magic Wagon

The Magic Wagon

(1986)
A novel by

 
 
In 1986, years before he became known for his hardboiled crime thrillers, Lansdale crafted this wry, nostalgic elegy to the Wild West published in a small print run with limited distribution. A mild-mannered precursor to his brassy The Big Blow, this entertaining episodic novel is also set in turn-of-the-20th-century eastern Texas, where crooked traveling medicine shows and aging gunslingers define the closing frontier. Narrator Buster Fogg's family is wiped out by a twister in an early sequence described with surreal verve. Buster hitches on with Billy Bob Daniels, a patent-medicine pusher and trick shooter who claims to be the illegitimate son of Wild Bill Hickock, joining an entourage consisting of a kindly ex-slave named Albert, and Rot Toe, the wrestling ape. Adventures on the road which include swiping the mummified remains of Billy Bob's "pa" and swindling settlers with their concoction of watered-down whiskey stoke personal tensions that only aggravate troubles when their wagon rolls into Mud Creek and Billy Bob is called out by Texas Jack, a dime-novel desperado who, legend says, intimidated even Wild Bill. Lansdale's affection for the classic western is never in doubt, although he spends much of the novel skillfully deflating the romance of heroic reputations made as much by luck and exaggeration as by skill with a gun. The true charm of the story, though, is iin its telling, which melds laconic humor, colorful colloquialisms and outrageous figures of speech into a Twainesque tall tale. This novel endures as a modern western classic.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.



Used availability for Joe R Lansdale's The Magic Wagon

Hardback Editions

2018 : Hardback
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Title: The Magic Wagon (Signed) Limited Numbered Edition
Author(s): Joe R Lansdale
ISBN: 0-9990361-9-X / 978-0-9990361-9-8
Publisher: BookVoice Publishing
Availability: Amazon   


2001 : USA Hardback
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Title: Magic Wagon
Author(s): Joe R Lansdale
ISBN: 1-892284-95-2 / 978-1-892284-95-2 (USA edition)
Publisher: Subterranean Press
Availability: Amazon   


September 1988 : UK Hardback
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Title: Magic Wagon (Gunsmoke Western)
Author(s): Joe R Lansdale
ISBN: 0-85997-864-8 / 978-0-85997-864-4 (UK edition)
Publisher: Electric Power Storage
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


June 1988 : UK Hardback
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Title: Magic Wagon (Lythway Large Print Books)
Author(s): Joe R Lansdale
ISBN: 0-7451-0735-4 / 978-0-7451-0735-6 (UK edition)
Publisher: Chivers Large print (Chivers, Windsor, Paragon & C
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


October 1986 : USA Hardback
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Title: The Magic Wagon
Author(s): Joe R Landsdale
ISBN: 0-385-23269-1 / 978-0-385-23269-2 (USA edition)
Publisher: Doubleday
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


Paperback Editions

September 2001 : USA Paperback

Title: The Magic Wagon
Author(s): Joe R Lansdale
ISBN: 1-892284-81-2 / 978-1-892284-81-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: Subterranean
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


June 1988 : USA Mass Market Paperback
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Title: Magic Wagon,the
Author(s): Joe R Lansdale
ISBN: 0-553-27365-5 / 978-0-553-27365-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: Bantam
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Audio Editions

July 2012 : USA Audio edition
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Title: The Magic Wagon
Author(s): Joe R Lansdale
Publisher: Crossroad Press
Availability: Amazon   


July 2012 : Canada Audio edition
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Title: The Magic Wagon
Author(s): Joe R Lansdale
Publisher: Crossroad Press
Availability: Amazon CA   


July 2012 : UK Audio edition
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Title: The Magic Wagon
Author(s): Joe R Lansdale
Publisher: Crossroad Press
Availability: Amazon UK   


Kindle Editions

May 2018 : USA, Australia, Canada, UK Kindle edition
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Title: The Magic Wagon
Author(s): Joe R Lansdale
Publisher: BookVoice Publishing
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU