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Publisher's Summary

From the Edgar Award-winning author of the Hap and Leonard series, a hard-boiled novel set in 1960s Texas in which a no-nonsense car salesman faces a tempting decision, a dangerous deal, and an alluring affair.

Ed Edwards is in the used-car business, a business built on adjusted odometers, extra-fine print, and the belief that "buyers better beware". Burdened by an aging, alcoholic mother constantly on his case to do something worthier of his lighter skin tone and dreaming of a brighter future for himself and his plucky little sister, Ed is ready to get out of the game.

When Dave, his lazy, grease-stained boss at the eponymous dealership Smiling Dave's sends him to repossess a Cadillac, Ed finally gets the chance to escape his miserable life.

The Cadillac in question was purchased by Frank Craig and his beautiful wife, Nancy, owners of a local drive-in and pet cemetery. Fed up with her deadbeat husband and with unfulfilled desires of her own, Nancy suggests to Ed - in the throes of their salacious affair - that they kill Frank and claim his insurance policy. It is a tantalizing offer: the girl, the car, and not one, but two businesses. Ed could finally say good-bye to Smiling Dave's and maybe even send his sister to college. But does he have what it takes to see the plan through?

Told with Joe Lansdale's trademark grit, wit, and dark humor, More Better Deals is a gripping tale of the strange characters and odd dealings that define 1960s East Texas.

©2020 Joe R. Lansdale (P)2020 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Highly enjoyable.... Populated with an admirable array of laughable miscreants, this droll, savage novel is vintage Lansdale. The author's storytelling powers remain as strong as ever." (Publishers Weekly)

"Lansdale really makes this used car purr." (Booklist, starred review)

What listeners say about More Better Deals

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Double Indemnity remake

Yes, the plot borrows heavily from the James Cain classic, Double Indemnity, but, hey, it’s rewritten by Joe R. Lansdale, and has his signature humor and unique characters. Even if you know the story, there are some surprises and plenty of action.

12 people found this helpful

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Another great East Texas tale from the master

Joe Lansdale writes in myriad genres and his stuff is always good. I've never been to the place he writes about most, Texas, yet his characters always ring true, as do his plots. More Better Deals is a short novel whose characters suck you right in and the story keeps moving yet never sacrifices quality characterization. The narration is good enough though not excellent. While I prefer Lansdale as horror stories, his more realistic fare like this is still great.

8 people found this helpful

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Good twist .

some good laughs. Easy to follow and great narration.











Brad Sanders voice pulls you right in.

4 people found this helpful

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Ruthless people and zingers with bite

“That plug was like chewing gum stuck in a hole in Hoover Dam. It wasn’t going to hold;
it was mostly there on its honor and it wasn’t a vow it could maintain.”
I love what Lansdale cooks: stories with flavor and bite, like moonshine that does you good, bad, and diabolical as it burns down your gullet.

“The fox doesn’t like to be outfoxed.”
This one had the feel of Wild Things, but less sultry and more blue-collar gritty, or Dirty Rotten Scoundrels if the con-comedy was vicious instead of campy, or maybe even the Texas version of Fargo. It’s chock full of ruthless people scheming and cheating and conning.

“Dave: What kind of woman was she?
Ed: I wouldn’t kick her out of bed for eating crackers.”
This book is for those who can appreciate the dark bent of Pulp Fiction, themes with domestic violence and poverty, trash talk including use of the N word, and protagonists with a decidedly tainted code.

“Nancy: Want to come up stairs with me to screw and have a nightcap?
Ed: Do we have to have the nightcap?”
And yet, the characters have redeeming qualities, the plot makes you root for Ed and the story has a way of imparting morality lessons with surprising depth. Case in point Ed’s relationship with his white momma and his half black sister, and their various thoughts on passing as white. I would have listened just for the twisted fun of it, but I’ll take the side benefit of self-improvement awareness.

2 people found this helpful

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I’m more of a happy ending person…

And this didn’t have one. I guess it was fitting, but it was a bit too depressing for me. As the book progressed and the characters kept getting deeper and deeper into their holes, I confess to feeling a bit anxious. Otherwise, not a bad book overall. Terrific narrator.

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Enjoyed it well enough.

I tend to read the negative comments and go from there. if those comments are just personal preferences where yet there are many more that have positive comments with a general sense of what the author has to say then I purchase it. I'm quite happy to have purchased this one. honestly, I'm a bit disappointed that I had never come across this author. I will surely correct that in quick order.

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Great start, then weakens

At first I thought this was a delicious cross between Raymond Chandler and SA Crosby -- fun banter and good writing -- but then this turned into a kind of dirtbag romp. Still fun, but could have been more, especially with better riffs on class and race. Excellent reader. Recommended.

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Interesting - Not Compelling

I didn't give up on it... Without revealing any spoilers - the book was interesting, and at a point it just jumped the shark (IMO). Once that happened, I just stopped caring about the outcome.

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Very Good Beginning, Then Peters Out

This started off funny, philosophical, and poignant. It turned into a totally paint-by-numbers noir-ish murder story very quickly. The woman was basically a standard con artist and she "put the cat on him" in a totally typical way. Absolutely nothing unexpected happened. Too bad, since it started out so well!

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Trust a used car dealer / repo guy?

This book recalls The Postman Always Rings Twice, in which sleazy people cross and double-cross and triple-cross each other. The plot was over the top (and the twists highly predictable), but the narration was terrific, and it was a quick fun read.

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