Wednesday, August 04, 2010


By Joe Lansdale

This is the latest novel in the Hap Collins and Leonard Pine series, by Texas author Joe Lansdale. Hap and his buddy Leonard are security guards at a chicken processing plant in East Texas. If you aren’t familiar with these guys, Hap is an easy-going redneck who drifts from one loony predicament to another. His pal Leonard is a tough-as-nails black war vet who happens to be one of the very few openly gay guys in the hick town where they live.

When Hap saves a girl’s life he and Leonard are rewarded with a vacation. After a series of confrontations with pushy waiters and Mexican cops Hap and Leonard end up befriending an old fisherman and his beautiful daughter. Hap actually gets very friendly with her, Leonard less so. Of course it doesn’t end there and our heroes end up on the wrong side of a sadistic Mexican gang boss who happens to practice nudism.

It’s a good novel, but not as weird as its predecessor, Rumble Tumble (really bizarre and bloody, funny as all get out too). Still the smart aleck humor of Hap and Leonard is in full force along with Hap’s attempts to make sense of why his life is so aimless and why someone always wants to kill him.

Strangely enough the British edition is what ended up on my bookshelf, which is what happens when you buy all your books at used bookstores.
-Dave Hardy

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