The Glory Bus
By Richard Laymon
The Glory Bus was
first published by Hodder Headline in April 2005—four years after
Laymon's death. A few months later, in September, the book was
reprinted by Leisure Books, under the title Into the Fire.
central character is a young lady called Pamela. Overnight she has gone
from being a happy newlywed to being a widow and it's all because of a
rather strange individual named Rodney. He has been lusting after
Pamela since high school and now he has finally got what he has always
wanted. Of course, it was necessary for him to kill Pamela's husband
first, and then tie her up and kidnap her, but he's still got what he
Rodney has a house in the middle of the dessert and that is where he
intends to take Pamela. Before he reaches home though, she persuades
him to stop the car so that she can relieve her bladder. Rodney doesn't
want to stop, but the chance of watching her do her business is just
too much for him, so he stops.
Norman is the next character to be introducted. Maybe things would have
been different if he'd locked his car door before he went to pay for
the fuel. Or, then again, perhaps he shouldn't have wasted
time going back for jerky. Either way, when Norman returns to
the car he finds Duke sitting in the passenger seat and he refuses to
be moved. Norman is the kind of guy that gets tears in his eyes and
Duke is the kind of guy that gives people tears in their eyes. He is a
hard man. Argument is out of hte question. They head off down
the road together.
Boots isn't likely to win any beauty contests, but she has a certain
slutty charm and, on Duke's insistence, Norman stops and picks her up.
So far, it's as if Norman has been hijacked and he intends to dump the
pair as soon as possible. When his chance finally comes he lets it slip
through his fingers because, by then, he has developed a lusty interest
in Boots. Both his companions are trouble, so pretty soon Norman is in
trouble, and he and the gruesome twosome are heading out into the
desert to escape the police.
The glory bus travels the dusty plains picking up those who are in
trouble. No ticket is required, but don't talk to the driver when the
bus in motion. Pamela takes a trip on the bus after her escape from
Rodney and, later on, so do Norman, Duke and Boots.
There are some very engaging and unique Characters in The Glory Bus and,
in true Laymon style, some of the characters have nasty personality
flaws. I found Norman particularly interesting. He changes quite a bit
as the story progresses and by the final pages I was wondering how much
of what Norman did could be put down to the company he was keeping, and
how much was the real him emerging.
The Glory Bus is
about 442 pages and it moves at a pretty decent pace and provides
plenty of reasons to keep the pages turning. The average chapter
contains eight pages, so it never really becomes necessary to
put the book down in the middle of a chapter. It's an interesting book
that should appeal to a wide variety of readers, but as with much of
Laymon's work, The
Glory Bus contains sexual elements and scenes of gore that
some people may find offensive.
List of Richard Laymon books reviewed on this site ~