The Unlikely Affair of the Crawling Razor

The Unlikely Affair of the Crawling Razor

Illustration By Timothy Truman
Adding to cart… The item has been added

Dust jacket by Timothy Truman.

Subterranean Press is pleased to present an all new novella featuring Joe R. Lansdale’s singular horror creation, The God of the Razor.

Edgar Allan Poe’s great private investigator, Auguste Dupin, gets a make-over in this unusual adventure involving a bloody mystery dipped deep in the strange. 

A young woman comes to Dupin and his assistant for help concerning her increasingly obsessed brother; obsessed with the dark world that sets alongside our own, where strange creatures dwell and even stranger events occur. A world where our laws of physics are no longer applicable. A world with its own geometry of evil. It’s the place from which all our nightmares spring.

And now that dimensional world, due to spells and sacrifices, is wide open into our own, releasing the deadliest denizen of the dark—The God of the Razor.  It’s a case that will require all of Dupin’s knowledge and the highest courage from his faithful assistant, as they traverse the Parisian streets, as well as the famous Catacombs of skulls and bones, in search of answers.

Full of twists and surprising revelations, steeped in cold blood and endless shadows, this one is an exciting mind-bender, as well as a magnificent adventure of action and deduction.

Limited: 1000 signed numbered hardcover copies


From Stefan Dziemianowicz, on NetGalley:

“Joe R. Lansdale’s impressive body of work includes what are sometimes described in popular parlance as “mashups”: homages to the work of other authors that mix and match characters and ideas from a variety of sources in pairings whose incongruity often makes for wildly inventive storytelling. The Unlikely Affair of the Crawling Razor is one such story…

“The story is set in 19th-century Paris and narrated by the same nameless sidekick who relates the three Dupin tales as Poe wrote them. Aline Moulin, a beautiful but distressed young woman, shows up in their rooms one morning with their latest case. Aline’s brother Julien, a sensitive writer, has begun acting peculiarly since he was first allowed to visit the Paris Catacombs for scholarly research. A series of gruesome murders have occurred around the city since Julien’s first visit—atrocities that have prompted him to have Aline locked in her room nightly. And now, after the latest murder on the siblings’ front doorstep only the night before, Aline’s brother its missing.

“The reader will guess fairly soon that Julien’s visits to the city’s subterranean ossuaries have unleashed something nasty. And in time the redoubtable Dupin—who always knows more about such matters than he reveals, initially—proves that he has the mettle to counter it. His course of action will necessitate a brush with the Hounds of Tindalos—extradimensional entities contributed to Lovecraft’s mythos by his friend Frank Belknap Long—and a showdown with the Lord of the Razor, a straight-razor-wielding monster who walks the world in footwear fashioned from the heads of his victims… The story is great fun, pulpy in all the right places, and it shines a light on some of the many influences that Lansdale has incorporated seamlessly into his proliferating bibliography.”


From Richard Kadrey:

“Joe Lansdale is one of our best contemporary storytellers. His new novella, The Unlikely Affair of the Crawling Razor, brings Poe’s Auguste Dupin face to face with the God of the Razor in a beautiful and horrifying tale. This is Lansdale’s wild imagination at its best.”


The Unlikely Affair of the Crawling Razor

Dupin looked down to see a trail of blood running between his legs.

I saw Dupin’s posture change. He bent slightly; crumple might even be the word. It was as if knots had been jerked into his spine. Quickly, he regained his posture, dropped his cane, and placed a hand in his pocket.

Slowly he turned, swinging the lantern before him.

I turned with him, and when I saw what had been lurking in the shadows behind us, what was pooled in a loop of light from the lantern, I almost collapsed. Understand, I took all of this in within seconds, but its impact was akin to suddenly finding oneself falling from a tall building when you thought you were about to take a short stair step to solid ground.

He was partially framed in shadow. He almost touched the eight-foot ceiling, the top of his crumpled black hat, anyway. He was broad of shoulder and dark as the bottom of a mine. A bloody human skin with a face was centered on the thing’s chest; it was the monster’s only clothing. The legs were thick at the thigh and thin at the ankle. From there its feet disappeared into the open, tooth-broken mouths of human heads. One “shoe” was a man’s head, the other a woman’s, her long hair wet with gore. The thing’s fingernails were razors. His mouth was wide. His teeth, long, blood-wet stick pins, gleamed in the light. He held an enormous razor in one hand, and its blade dripped blood. Some of the blood ran into the symbols and shapes on the blade. In his other hand, the thing clutched a loop of blood-dripping guts. I didn’t need a formal introduction to know he was the Lord of the Razor.

The designs Dupin had drawn on my shirt crawled like ants on honey.

Dupin jerked one of the geometric-covered papers from his pants pocket, flicked his lantern’s gate open, and stuck the paper into the flame. The paper flared with fire.

Dupin tossed the burning paper in the Lord’s direction with a flick of his wrist, called out a short spell that sounded like an oath.

As the paper floated in the air and the flame came closer to the shape, the creature hissed and dropped the loop of guts, bent as if to leap on us. Dupin tossed the lantern at the Lord. The lantern struck him hard in the chest, burst open, and the fuel and the flames ran over the monster and set him aflame. I was sure all of this was compounded by the spell that had been written on the paper.

He screamed. The flames licked at the tall hat and licked him all over. The flaming monster ran straight toward us. I was so frightened I wanted to bend over and try and crawl up my own asshole.

There was a howl from the beast that ran along my spine like a damp rat fleeing a serpent. The flaming Lord bounced back about a foot. I saw that Dupin had tossed a handful of powder in the air, and in the light given off by the burning Lord of the Razor, it was the color of sulphur. The monster stumbled back as the powder hung in the air and didn’t drop. Still the monster blazed.

Timothy Truman
Joe R. Lansdale
112 pages
United States
Subterranean Press
In Print