A quintet of reviews for Joe R. Lansdale’s wrought and fun HAP AND LEONARD.
Photo: Karen Lansdale
At LIT REACTOR, BH Shepherd gives the collection the “Bookshots” treatment.
Joe R. Lansdale is one of the all-time heavyweight Texas storytellers, and Hap and Leonard are obviously his most prized creations. You can tell he is having too much fun putting them in strange situations and seeing what happens, a joy the reader shares as they watch the title characters stumble and struggle through nasty situations that are somehow always worse than what they seem. Hap Collins’ narration is the pinnacle of the Lansdale voice, equal parts vulgar and academic. Many of the characters they meet are jokes personified and the situations they find themselves in are frequently absurd, but the story always pivots before it becomes too unbelievable. Hap and Leonard are capable combatants, but they are not action heroes. While they are clever, they are not master detectives that need only a shred of evidence to solve a mystery. If you are a fan of the genre and looking for a new character to get into, Hap and Leonard won’t steer you wrong.
W. K. Stratton for the THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS writes about the book.
This is turning out to be the year of Hap and Leonard. This month Hap and Leonard debuted on the Sundance TV. Moreover, HAP AND LEONARD, the retrospective book, debuts this month from Tachyon Publications. In it are the collected short stories about the pair, including a new one, “Not Our Kind,” in which we learn how the two collaborators against evil met when they were in high school. The stories are well wrought and fun, even if they don’t quite carry the weight of the novels in the series.
BOOKGASM’s Alan Cranis reviews HAP AND LEONARD.
For those new to either Lansdale or the series, this latest collection is an excellent introduction to the kind of trouble these two often find themselves in; all the while exchanging some of the funniest, lovingly antagonistic, and memorial dialogue of any crime series. New readers will soon find themselves seeking out the previous Hap and Leonard novels, which fortunately are all currently available in paperback reprints.
Lansdale fans need only know the title of this new collection to have them immediately adding it to their bookshelves, and either revisiting or finally experiencing these wonderful but slightly shorter adventures of Hap and Leonard.
HAP AND LEONARD was the Killer Nashville Book of the Day.
In stories like “Dead Aim”, the meat and potatoes of the book, we see well-developed, polished characters trying to protect a woman from a disgruntled future husband—or so it seems, at first glance. As the story continues, the two men find themselves in a predicament, which includes a dodgy lawyer and a mountain of debt owed to thugs.
Now a SundanceTV original series, the book draws the reader in by creating comedy and crime-related tension in every nook and cranny of each story. With all the mystery, humor, and sharp-shootin’ mixed in, you meet characters so easy to connect with, you forget you’re reading a book and feel like you’re simply just getting to know someone.
Bill Crider mentions the collection at MYSTERY SCENE.
Joe Lansdale’s HAP AND LEONARD is a collection of tales about two of the most entertaining characters in crime fiction. In the opening novella, Hyenas, there’s a young man in trouble. He’s mixed up with some really bad folks, and his brother asks Hap and Leonard for help in extracting his brother from the mess. Hilarity and violence ensue—as they do in the other stories here. One story, “Veil’s Visit,” is a collaboration between Lansdale and Andrew Vachss. The character of Veil might remind you of one of the authors. Besides the stories, there’s an introduction by Michael Koryta, an interview with Hap and Leonard conducted by Lansdale, and a short essay on how the series came to be. Rumor has it that the e-book version of this collection will have a somewhat different table of contents, as well as a short memoir about a certain Bill Crider and his long friendship with Joe Lansdale.
For more info on HAP AND LEONARD, visit the Tachyon page.
For more info about HAP AND LEONARD RIDE AGAIN, visit the Tachyon page.
Covers by Elizabeth Story