A welcome addition to the Hap and Leonard mythos, BORN FOR TROUBLE showcases Joe R. Lansdale’s shit-talking, shit-kicking badasses at their finest

Joe R. Lansdle’s BORN FOR TROUBLE: THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF HAP AND LEONARD continues attract attention with mentions in Andrew Dansby’s list of notable books of 2022 for Houston Chronicle’s Preview and Dave Writes and Draws (and Reads) yearly summation. Alan J. Porter recommends the collection. Meanwhile, The Horror Zine reprints the short story “Old Charlie” while showcasing a pair of 2023 Lansdale publications: The Donut Legion and THINGS GET UGLY: THE BEST CRIME STORIES OF JOE R. LANSDALE.

Design by John Coulthart

Any new offering from Nacogdoches author Lansdale that includes his beloved characters Hap and Leonard is welcome. I worried the short story format might lose the luster gained by Lansdale’s gift for a long narrative. Nope. Turns out he possesses a gift for intricate storytelling. This collection is a welcome addition to the Hap and Leonard story.

Houston Chronicle’s Preview

BORN FOR TROUBLE is a new collection of Hap and Leonard stories, which is always cause for celebration. Unlike the past couple of collections, which focused on the boy’s early years, the stories in BORN FOR TROUBLE cover Hap and Leonard in their later, more mature years. Don’t panic, mature refers only to their age. They are still, for the most part, the same shit-talking, shit-kicking badasses you know and love.

Dave Writes and Draws (and Reads)

While the mystery and action of these stories is always fun (in a twisted sort of way) it is the relationship between Hap and Leonard that is the heart and soul of these books. It’s for that reason that my favorite part of this collection is the first part of “The Briar Patch Boogie” story which is nine pages of the two of them just bitching at each other about a failed fishing trip.

BTW even if you haven’t read a single Hap & Leonard novel the recent short story collections are very accessible and a great way to discover these characters.

Alan J. Porter

Hi there. Catching much?

Well, they’re in there. Just got to have the right bait and be patient. You don’t mind if I sit down on the bank next to you, do you?

Good, good. Thanks.

Yeah, I like it fine. I never fish with anything but a cane pole. An old-fashioned way of doing things, I guess, but it suits me. I like to sharpen one end a bit, stick that baby in the ground, and wait it out. Maybe find someone like yourself to chat with for a while.

Whee, it’s hot. Near sundown, too. You know, every time I’m out fishing in heat like this, I think of Old Charlie.

Huh? No, no. You couldn’t really say he was a friend of mine. You see, I met him right on this bank, sort of like I’m meeting you, only he came down and sat beside me.

It was hot, just like today. So damned hot you’d think your nose was going to melt off your face and run down your chin. I was out here trying to catch a bite before sundown, because there’s not much I like better than fish, when here comes this old codger with a fishing rig. It was just like he stepped out of nowhere.

Don’t let my saying he was old get you to thinking about white hair and withered muscles. This old boy was stout looking, like maybe he’d done hard labor all his life. Looked, and was built, a whole lot like me, as a matter of fact.

“Old Charlie” The Horror Zine