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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THE FIRST NOVEL IN A FABULOUS SERIES!, 17 Sept. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Savage Season (Paperback)
SAVAGE SEASON by Joe R. Lansdale is the first novel in the "Hap Collins/Leonard Pine" series and clearly demonstrates the path to be taken by these utterly outrageous, yet definably noble characters. As the novel starts out, Hap and Leonard are doing okay. They have steady jobs in the rose fields and are taking a day off to shoot some skeet in the field behind Hap's house. Yep, everything is going pretty good until trouble walks around the corner of the house in the form of Trudy (Hap's ex-wife). Now, I don't know if Mr. Lansdale ever met my ex-girlfriend, but his description of Trudy fits her like a tight pair of spandex pants. Every time Trudy steps back into Hap's life and then leaves him again, it takes several months for him to recover. Needless to say, Leonard hates this lady for the way she treats his best friend. Anyway, Trudy has what appears to be a sweet deal for her loving ex-husband. It seems that one of her other ex-husbands, Howard, was in jail with a man who'd helped to rob a bank of one million dollars. All of the bank robber's cohorts were killed during or after the crime, and he almost bought the farm himself when he crashed his getaway boat into a submerged tree stump somewhere along the Sabine River. The money was never recovered, and the bank robber got life in prison. He gave Howard a general location of where he thought the sunken boat might be, hoping that if Howard were able to find the money, he'd share some of it with him to make his stay in prison a little easier. Since Hap knows the Sabine River like the back of his hand (well, maybe not quite that good), Trudy enlists Hap's help in locating the boat, offering him $200,000.00 for his services. Knowing Trudy as well as he does, Hap immediately gets Leonard to join in so that they can watch each other's backs. It isn't long before our East Texan duo find themselves caught in the middle of a betrayal that surprises neither one of them. The only real question is whether or not they will live long enough to see who actually ends up with the money. SAVAGE SEASON, though not as long or rich in detail as the other novels in the series, is still a fun, fast-paced read. The bantering and interaction between Hap and Leonard is what hooks you into this fantastic series. These two characters come alive in ways that other authors should take a look at. There's a lot to be learned here. Also, this novel offers a good deal of background information on both Hap and Leonard. This is stuff I didn't know because I started reading the series from the middle, then worked forward, and finally finished with the first novel, when I should've started with it to begin with. This sounds like something Hap and Leonard would do. Anyway, I enjoyed finding out why Hap had gone to prison as a young adult, how Trudy came into his life (she's referred to in a number of the other books), how he and Leonard met, and Leonard's background as a Vietnam vet. This information filled in a lot of blanks for me. For me, Mr. Lansdale's prose was smoothly written, offering a glimpse of how he would later develop into the author that he is today. All in all, this was an excellent read for me, and I was sorry to have the story end. I can't thank Joe R. Lansdale enough for this fabulous series. I only wish that he could write a "Hap/Leonard" book every year, while also doing his stand-alone novels. I hope that one of the novels in this series will eventually be done as a movie with Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson in the roles of Hap and Leonard. That would be the dessert after a delicious three-course meal!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Warmly recommended, 14 Jan. 2003
By 
Cornelius Driessen (Spain) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Savage Season (Paperback)
The first in an amazing series involving Hap Collins and Leonard Pine, two most unlikely heroes (though heroes they are). The author performs a powerful magic that transforms a tale with a violent twist about characters that are theoretically undesireable into something unique and hard to put down or forget. Furthermore, should you never laugh out loud when reading this and don't feel moved to buy one of the other Hap & Leonard books I'll be surprised. The story, set in East Texas, is about a treasure hunt, Hap's old girl and much more. Caveat: this is perhaps the weakest of the series, even so it gets 5 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Up **** creek in The Bottoms., 18 July 2013
By 
Arch Stanton (Cornwall, England.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Savage Season: A Hap and Leonard Novel (1) (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) (Paperback)
One time hippy idealist, turned full~time wise assed trouble~maker, Hap Collins, is paid a visit from his ex~wife. The reason being so that he might aid her in finding a very cool million dollars of long forgotten bank job money, sunk in the depths of the freezing cold waters of The Bottoms years before. Having grown up in the area and been promised a sizeable share, (not to mention the hope Hap still holds for rekindling a more permanent reunion with his ex) naturally he agrees, but only if his tough, sarcastic, Vietnam vet buddy, Leonard, can come along to help, 50/50 on his share.

Reluctantly she accepts, but with the dangerous winter chill already in full force, a misguided gang of sixties revolutionaries, about to make the worst move of their lives playing Robin Hood and Leonard already missing his dogs and vanilla cookies, they are gonna need more than a little luck to get out of this one alive...

First in a brilliant series of novels featuring the wise cracking, good guy, kung fu bad asses Hap and Leonard, from author Joe R Lansdale.
I first read this back in the late nineties and I've read everything featuring these two ever since. Packed full of great dialogue, weird Texan characters, morality and good ol brutal violence, these books are an absolute blast and come very highly recommended from this reviewer. This is by no means the best in the series, mostly setting the tone for what is to come in later novels, but with that said, this is still a very entertaining read. 4.5/5
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent first entry into the "Hap and Leonard" series, 7 April 2013
By 
A. Moncrieff (up your a s s) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Savage Season: A Hap and Leonard Novel (1) (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) (Paperback)
If I am not mistaken, this first Hap & Leonard novel is by far the shortest in the series (I'm discounting novellas and short stories) but you get your moneys worth anyway. The story is fairly simple so I won't go into it, but it's streamlined, engaging, full of distinctive personalities and great banter/dialogue between our two heroes. As usual, there's a philosophical engagement lightly examined somewhere in the book, but as usual we're not fed much anything we didn't ask for.

Lansdale's background as, among other things, a writer of horror fiction manifests in some greatly menacing scenes, including a chase, later in the book, but he also seems to have taken a leaf out of the Gregory McDonald school of Humourous Crime Fiction, with lengthy dialogue driven passages, very economical storytelling, and riveting characterisation (not to mention the humour). Plus, the books manage to capture that perfect, romanticised Texas, and the less-than-perfect poverty, racism and ignorance that also appear in that fine state.

It's not the best book in the series but you can read it in a few hours (don't start near the evening!) and it leads fairly well into Mucho Mojo, the better known second book in the series!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Back in print - hooray, 24 Jan. 2009
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This review is from: Savage Season: A Hap and Leonard Novel (1) (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) (Paperback)
The first Hap & Leonard book introduces Joe Lansdales two brilliant characters. Hap is white & could almost be a redneck. Leonard, his best friend, is black & gay. This sets them up as opposites & allows Joe to bounce great dialogue & even better jokes & banter between the two.

The plot involves Hap being unable to say no to ex Trudy when she asks for help to find some hidden money. Against Trudys' wishes he asks Leonard to help & there is a slow-burn build up ending in bloodshed & violence.

There is a back story regarding Haps idealistic, hippy past & his rocky relationship with Trudy which adds to his character.

This has just been re-released with the rest to follow. It's not the best in the series but is a good, solid start. Lots of humour in here & much to admire in Joes easy first person narrative. Great writing.

Start here & read the rest in time for new addition Vanilla Ride in June. You will not be disappointed.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Hap Happens, 11 Dec. 2014
By 
This review is from: Savage Season: A Hap and Leonard Novel (1) (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) (Paperback)
When the woman who left you after you ended up in jail trying to impress her suddenly turns up again it is probably best to be polite, but ask her to leave. But, this is Hap Collins we are talking about and no matter how much his best friend Leonard tells him she is bad, Hap cannot get enough. For fans of Joe R Lansdale’s ‘Hap and Leonard’ series, ‘Savage Season’ is a quintessential outing for the deadly duo. It is the chemistry between the two main characters that make the books a joy to read and that is certainly the case here once more.

This is the first outing for the pair and follows the usual pattern of Hap getting them both in trouble. This time it happens when Trudy tells him there is an easy $200 000 to be made, if only he can find an abandoned boat in The Bottoms (a swamp area in Texas). This being East Texas and a Lansdale novel, things are not going to be easy and some blood is likely to be split. ‘Savage Season’ is not an out and out thriller, but a languid black comedy that takes its time to amuse and bemuse the reader. Lansdale is also a specialist in horror and that influences his crime fiction as ‘Savage Season’ almost feels scary at times.

The special sauce that stops the book being outright horror is the rich vein of humour provided by Hap and Leonard’s bad attitude. If you met them, you would not like them, but seeing as we are on their side, watching them stir things amongst a group of robbers is great fun. It is Lansdale’s descriptive style that raises the book above its generic and slightly flat story. He paints such vivid imagery using his words. This is reflected further in the characters’ dialogue. At times the language is crude, but poetically so – East Texas is described in ways that would make a whore blush.

It is the genius of Lansdale that makes ‘Savage Season’ such a joy to read, the interaction between Hap and Leonard is enough to make you want to read the book and at times I would have preferred a book all about those two busting each other’s chops, rather than a crime novel. It is this element that is the weakest and prevents the book from being a must. It does remain however, a very enjoyable read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A slow burner but comes good in the end ....., 18 April 2013
This review is from: Savage Season: A Hap and Leonard Novel (1) (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) (Paperback)
My hopes were high for this book & unfortunately they weren't met ... that is, until about half way through. I was expecting belly laugh's drowning in sarcasm and witty one liners but this book isn't really that kind of read .. i got my first chuckle on page 105. That said, as the start of a series it lay's the ground rules out pretty neatly and once the story's on a roll it's fast paced & brutal with plenty of cussing thrown in and i devoured the last few chapters in a couple of hours. Hap & Leonard make a cool team if not a little bit stereotyped but their relationship flow's and that's what's pivotal to this story & the rest of the series .... i'd just like a few more laughs please !!
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5.0 out of 5 stars An action-packed read!, 15 Feb. 2012
This review is from: Savage Season (Paperback)
The first book in the Hap and Leonard series and a barn-storming read. Funny, outrageous, action-packed and with protagonists with so much attitude and humour that there are also many lol moments. A great read!
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