Photo: Karen Lansdale
On OCTOBER COUNTRY, Blu Gilliand praises the mosaic novel.
The stories vary in length but not in quality—all are exceptional. In keeping with the rambling nature of the wrap-around segments (and with real conversations in general), they’re not presented in chronological order. However, despite this unconventional approach, BLOOD AND LEMONADE fits right in with the rest of the Hap and Leonard catalog. Rights are wronged, fists are thrown, vanilla cookies are consumed, and lessons are learned.
HAP AND LEONARD: BLOOD AND LEMONADE is a wonderful piece of storytelling, and a worthy addition to a great series.
BATTERED, TATTERED, YELLOWED, & CREASED reviews the book.
There’s blood, and bitterness, a pean to the innocence of youth and the naivete we see when we look back at our childhoods as adults. Because things were never quite rosy as we remember them being, as the stories show, dealing with bullying, racism, sexism, and homophobia. Even as Hap looks back at his past, there are no rose-tinted glasses, with the rotten elements shining through just as clear as the good moments.
The stories capture Hap’s important memories—some powerful, others poignant, some a bit funny, most a bit sad. The stories in BLOOD AND LEMONADE are all solid and entertaining, if dark; they give a good idea of how Hap came together as a person, the world he grew up in.
Journey back in time to witness one of Hap and Leonard’s young adventures in the story, “In the River of the Dead.”
HAP AND LEONARD: IN THE RIVER OF THE DEAD — CHAPTER 3
They brought us on the boat and had us sit down on the deck. The deck was wet and I could feel it through my pants. It made my ass cold. Now that they weren’t shining the lights right on us, I could actually see them better. August was the biggest, and I took him for the planner. He had a way of leaning forward all the time, as if he was about to take off in a sprint. He was too big a man to get far that way, I judged, but he was certainly the right size for twisting your head off. The man with the rifle, the leanest of the three, had a nervousness that made me nervous. I didn’t like the way he handled the gun. His hair was cut short like the other two, so short I figured they might as well just go on and shave their heads. All three looked kin. Brothers or cousins perhaps, the thin one being the most different in size, but not in facial features.
“There’s some dead people down there in a boat,” said August, “but you know that. I can tell by looking at you. But what you might not know is they’re there for a reason. They been hauling off stuff that isn’t theirs.”
“Yeah,” said the one with the rifle. “They fucked up.”
“What kind of stuff?” I asked.
“They don’t need to know shit,” said the one with the rifle.
“It’s alright, Tom. I want to tell them. Besides, they knew the bodies were there, I promise you. Come on, admit, you knew they were there.”
We said nothing.
“That’s alright,” August said. “I’m going to tell you all about it.”
“Why the hell should you?” Tom said.
“Know what they’re looking for, that’s why.”
“You don’t have to tell them why, just what it looks like,” Tom said.
“I know that,” August said.
James Purefoy and Michael K. Williams as Hap and Leonard
Alex Fletcher at BT TV offers HAP AND LEONARD: 5 reasons you will love this AMC series.
1. Purefoy + Williams + Hendricks = TV gold
Bringing together some of TV’s most iconic stars from legendary shows such as The Following, Mad Men and The Wire, it’s hard not to be excited about this lead trio.
However, what’s particularly exciting about Hap and Leonard is that all three stars are playing against type, fleshing out these colourful and intriguing characters in style.
Hendricks is unrecognisable from her years as 60s secretary Joan Holloway.
Meanwhile, Purefoy and Williams are a dream combination, bouncing off each other’s contrasting styles and it’s easy to see why Williams suggested his old pal would be perfect for the part.
2. Joe R Lansdale
If you’re unfamiliar with the author’s work, this should help fix that problem. An underrated and thrilling novelist, he’s well known for his work in the horror genre and he’s becoming a big hit with screen adaptations – most famously the film COLD IN JULY starring Michael C Hall.
His books jump between genres and are always fast-paced page-turners, which make them a perfect fit for TV mini-series.
RAIN MAN DIGITAL hosts MIKE AND CLINT’S HAP AND LEONARD HOUR podcast.
Mike and Clint’s Hap and Leonard Hour is a fan show completely dedicated to discussing Sundance TV’s pulp comedy noir.
The discussions for season 1 will be available in March for free for only one month, after that it will revert back to subscription only. Season 2 discussions will be available starting in March and will revert back to subscription only after 6 weeks.
For more info about HAP AND LEONARD: BLOOD AND LEMONADE, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover by Elizabeth Story