William ‘Bayou Billy’ McCall is an infamous outlaw who dies ignominiously at a very old age. He leaves behind a mixed history of anti-heroism and unethical immorality in the form of legends and tall tales. The two towns in which Bayou Billy simultaneously lived, Sawdust City, Texas, and Albie, Louisiana, immediately begin to bicker over which one will get to bury the notorious criminal and thus achieve the prominence that goes with the burial. Pascal Waterford, the mayor of Sawdust City and a die-hard alcoholic, is cheered by Bayou Billy’s death. He knows that Billy has previously promised his body to Sawdust City in exchange for free utilities. The gain of a tourism attraction in the form of a famous felon’s gravesite will save Sawdust City from economic ruin and salve Pascal’s scruples. Ophelia Rector, a prominent citizen of Albie and owner of the local mortuary, knows of Billy’s similar promise to the mayor of Albie for cessation of taxes and complimentary utilities. Her loving pet project is the restoration of Albie’s cemetery and the promotion of the same into a grand memorial park. Her need for control over Bayou Billy’s cadaver is obsession personified. Both Pascal and Ophelia will fight to the bitter end to discover how low each can sink in their efforts to obtain the rotting corpse of a dislikeable man whose fame was more prestigious than the man himself. Revised in April 2018 for language.
This is not the biography of an old West gunslinger. But, it is a story of two small towns fighting over his remains. The characters are amazing. The situations that occur are complex and humorous. It’s a long read but worth it.
I have to admit that it wasn't until about a 3rd of the way through the book that I really got hooked. It was a little slow going at first, but something kept me reading on. I'm glad I did because the story just got better and better. What an outrageously hilarious tale. Sadly enough, I could see something like this occurring. However, it made for a mighty fine story. I loved all the colorful language used in the story too. It made it even funnier. I'm impresses that the author came up with so many nasty, yet intelligent insults. I wish my brain could come up with some of the horrific terms that the author did. Genius!!
Engaging and funny
I couldn't put it down, it just kept growing on me. At first I thought "this is disgusting" then I really got into the antagonism between the characters and how everyone knew what was doing on yet couldn't change the circumstances to suit them. The best part was the flashbacks into Billy's life and what a character there!