HAP AND LEONARD is an engrossing and essential addition to Lansdale’s series

Pair of new reviews for HAP AND LEONARD, a giveaway, plus three fresh interviews with Joe R. Lansdale.

Lansdale was interviewed by Dave Davies on FRESH AIR.

LANSDALE: I saw my dad once – I have a real quick story here. We lived up by – on a hill in – just off Gladewater, Texas, just outside of it, and I was about 5. And he got me a little dog because I was alone a lot. My mom and I were there and there was no – we didn’t have a TV at that time. We had a radio. And there was a honky-tonk below us, but across the highway was a drive-in theater where we watched cartoons and movies. And my mother would make up the dialogue, which meant years later, when I actually saw those, I thought, damn, my mom was a liar. They didn’t say that.

DAVIES: Well, just to clarify, you actually – you didn’t actually get into the theater. You were watching across the street…

LANSDALE: No, we watched it from the house…

DAVIES: So you had no sound.

Lansdale in the studio for his FRESH AIR interview

LANSDALE: Looking out the windows, had no sound, so she just made up the stories. And they were pretty good, you know? And so I was learning storytelling early on. And my father was a great storyteller. But the story here is he got me the dog and that dog and I like brothers. We ate out of the same bowl when my mother wasn’t looking. And one day we were out playing. We went up behind the house. There was a house on a hill above ours, and it was covered in flowers. You had to cross a little creek to get over to it, and my dog went up there and he started digging in the flowerbeds. Well, I didn’t know this was wrong. I was, like, about 5 years old probably. And a guy came out of the house and he grabbed my dog by the hind legs, hit him in the back of the head with a pipe or a stick or whatever it was and threw him in that creek. And of course this devastated me. I ran home. I told my mother. We didn’t have a phone. A lot of people didn’t back then. And she walked to some house down the road and called my father.

And it seemed like it was no time at all, though it may have been, I – my father drove up in – his car was a black car. It was like Mr. Death showing up. And he got out of the car and he started going up the hill and he said you stay here. And of course, you know, I didn’t. I followed him. And as he went up the hill, he knocked on that guy’s door and when that guy came out, he’d hit that guy with everything he had. Didn’t say a word, just hit him, knocked him completely out, grabbed him by the ankles, pulled him out, swung him through those flowerbeds for a long time until they were flat and then threw him in the creek where he’d thrown my dog.

He went down and got the dog. It was alive. And that dog died when I was 17 – fell off the porch – just – we were both looking at the sun – sunset or the sunrise – I forget which – and he just died right there. But from then on, my father was my hero and still is. But to me – maybe that was overly violent and people would sue you today, but, you know, what? I don’t care. He had it coming.

For the rest of the interview, visit FRESH AIR.


The wait is almost over! We’re are just days way from the series premiere of SundanceTV’s HAP AND LEONARD. In honor of the good news, five lucky fans have a chance to win a two-book HAP AND LEONARD prize-pack ‐ a copy of Honky Tonk Samurai, the latest Lansdale novel from Mulholland Books, and Hap and Leonard, the new short story collection from Tachyon. Just sign up for the HAP AND LEONARD newsletter and you’ll be automatically entered for a chance to win.

The deadline for entry is Wed., Mar. 2 at 10PM EST. No purchase necessary. See full rules for details.

For OCTOBER COUNTRY, Blu Gilliand praises the engrossing HAP AND LEONARD.

And there’s Hap and Leonard, a collection of short stories, novellas and material featuring the brothers-from-other-mothers, due in March from Tachyon Publications. Although the purist in me would send Hap and Leonard newbies straight to the first novel (1990’s Savage Season), this new collection would also be a good place to start, stuffed as it is with short, concentrated bursts of everything that makes the series so good: the dark (often gleefully juvenile) humor; the bone-crunching (yet never gratuitous) violence; the laugh-out-loud banter; and the impeccable storytelling skills Lansdale brings to the table.


There’s something to recommend in every story in Hap and Leonard, but as always there are a couple of standouts. “Bent Twig,” in which the boys seek to rescue the ne’er-do-well daughter of Hap’s longtime girlfriend, Brett, contains one of my all-time favorite scenes from the series, in which the boys find themselves on stage during a local talent show, singing “The Old Rugged Cross” to an unappreciative crowd. “Not Our Kind” takes us back to the early days of Hap and Leonard’s friendship, and provides a clue as to where their trademark wit may have originated.

Hap and Leonard is an engrossing and, in many ways, essential addition to Lansdale’s series. If the Sundance television series captures a tenth of the grit, wit and charm of Lansdale’s books, the bandwagon is about to get mighty crowded. I’d suggest jumping on now so you can tell people, “Hap and Leonard? Yeah, I’ve known those boys for a while now…”

George R. R. Martin asks Joe Lansdale questions at Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe, New Mexico (source: SundanceTV)

Lansdale journeyed to Santa Fe for a special HAP AND LEONARD screening. At the event he sat down for conversation with GAME OF THRONES creator George R. R. Martin.

Referring to Hap and Leonard as “perhaps the world of PI’s most unique partnership,” SPEAKING OF MYSTERIES interviews Lansdale on their podcast.


Successful and compelling blue-collar crime fighters (somehow that’s a tall compliment) Hap Collins and sidekick/friend/hang-along Leonard Pines are a strange duo, keeping themselves just shy of time spent behind bars. Somehow they get entangled with all sorts of cretin.

In this collection of the Hap and Leonard tales of near-madness, one story, “Hyenas,” features Smoke Stack, a bank-robbing killer and his ilk. Hap and Leonard were just trying to rescue Donny from Stack’s plan, which was going to prove deadly to Donny, but the stakes have been raised. Hap and Leonard’s one-upmanship to Stack has some very high hilarity.


“The Boy Who Became Invisible.” A poor lad growing up in an abusive household is also tormented at school. One kid recognizes the torment, does very little to investigate it and almost nothing to prevent the inevitable from happening.

“Bent Twig.” Hap and Leonard are involved in a rescue operation of the daughter of Hap’s girlfriend. Unfortunately, as usual with Hap and Leonard, people do get hurt.

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