The Drive-In Books

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The Drive-In is a series of novels set in a drive in cinema by Joe Lansdale. The first novel of the “Drive-In” series of novels is “The Drive –In” that was first published in 1988 and quickly gained popularity. The series of novels are best classified as horror thrillers.

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Order of The Drive-In Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 The Drive-In ( By: Joe R. Lansdale) 1988 Description / Buy
2 The Drive-In II: Not Just One of Them Sequels ( By: Joe R. Lansdale) 1989 Description / Buy
3 The Drive-In 3: The Bus Tour ( By: Joe R. Lansdale) 2005 Description / Buy
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The Drive-In opens to a jam packed cinema where the protagonists are sitting in their car enjoying the beloved scary monster movie and some popcorn, when the drive in itself becomes the movie. All the patrons of the drive in cinema had come for some mayhem, rampaging madmen, bloody murders and all kinds of a horror fest on screen. But now a mysterious force has trapped in all the patrons as their night out turns out into an exhibition of the worst of humanity.

“The Drive-In” the first novel of the series tells the story of a group of friends out in town looking to have some fun at the drive in. They are ready for the time of their lives having heard rave reviews about a new horror movie. They have kicked back in their car to take it all in when suddenly the mayhem that was to be on the big screen turns real. Trapped in their cars with no means of leaving they have to witness some of the most horrific of terrors inside a jam packed drive in cinema.

Their first thought is to find a way to escape all the mayhem and get out of the drive in. But it is not going to be so easy. What follows is an amazing story of survival through the horrors of a human population gone mad. It is an amazing story full of dark humor and razor sharp wit that showcases the excellent story telling skills of Lansdale that have won him several top awards over the years.


The Drive-In was nominated for Best novel in the 1988 Bram Stoker Awards.


Drive-In: The first novel of the series which has been nominated for several awards is definitely one of the best novels of the series. Introducing the story of a dark cinema full of horrors that comes out from seemingly nowhere, it is an excellent novel that grips one from the first page to the last with its savagery. The Dark and humorous piece is a must read title in the series.

The Drive-In 2: This book is an even more outrageous narrative hat takes horror to a new high. Just when the friends thought the mayhem had subsided and they could leave the drive-in, they go out to find a world destroyed. They are now in a prehistoric jungle with only one highway left of their previously modern world. To make matters worse the jungle is full of man eating dinosaurs.

The friends have no option but to knuckle down and make the best of the situation until they run into Grace, a martial arts expert from Texas who is determined to go to the end of the road. Things get even darker when they walk into a town with a bizarre normal. The authorities encourage public suicide, the people attend a church of pain and film where alien drive-in gods are the stars. All over the town hang posters of carnivorous films with the latest starring a monster cowboy with a taste for human flesh.

The Drive-In 3: The Bus Tour: This book continues the weird and wild wonders of the Drive-In world. The series goes into a whole new level of confusion and whacked with floods ravaging the country. Twelve foot catfish, vile creatures, and finally a look at the mysterious force that has resulted in the horrors of the Drive-In Cosmos. It is a classic novel that takes one on a wild ride of amusement and fun in one of the most bizarre of worlds.


Many “Drive-In” fans are also fans of the “Book of the Dead” series of novels by Craig Spector and John Skipp. These are anthologies of horror stories by different award-winning authors such as Douglas E. Winter, Robert R. McCammon, Stephen King and Joe R. Lansdale. “Drive-In” fans also enjoy the “Last Zombie” series of novels by Brian Keene. The series of novels follows the adventures of Dr. Ian Scott and his medical team that are on a quest to destroy the last zombie left in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse.

What Is The Next Book in The Drive-in Series?

There doesn't seem to be an upcoming book in The Drive-in Series. The newest book is The Drive-In 3: The Bus Tour and was released on February, 2nd 2005.

1 thought on “The Drive-In”

  1. I’m excited to check out this series! I weirdly am missing Halloween right now so I’m in the mood for a creepy read. Mixed reviews on Amazon, but I figure I’ll give them a chance and go back to Stephen King if need be.

    Are there any recommendations for someone like me, looking for a scary book? Any input is appreciated!

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