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Publisher's Summary

A rip-roaring, high-octane, Texas-sized thriller, featuring two friends, one vixen, a crew of washed-up radicals, loads of money, and bloody mayhem. Hap Collins and Leonard Pine are best friends, yet they couldn't be more different. Hap is an east Texas white boy with a weakness for Texas women. Leonard is a black, gay Vietnam vet. Together, they stir up more commotion than a fire storm.

But that's just the way they like it. So when as ex-flame of Hap's returns promising a huge score, Hap lets Leonard in on the scam, and that's when things get interesting. Chock full of action and laughs, Savage Season is the masterpiece of dark suspense that introduced Hap and Leonard to the thriller scene. It hasn't been the same since.

©2009 Joe R. Lansdale (P)2009 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"A considerable literary intelligence at work... Lansdale sets his story in motion and carries it through with great, sneaky skill." ( The New York Times Book Review)
"One of publishing's best-kept secrets." ( Dallas Morning News)
"For sheer pace, humor, and style, the winner is Savage Season." ( Time Out New York)

What listeners say about Savage Season

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Hap and Leonard, a series you shouldn't miss out

Where does Savage Season rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Savage Season played well as an audiobook. I was so impressed with the story I probably should have picked up the hard copy instead. But, all the time and energy put into making this audiobook was worth such a noteworthy production. Well done.

What about Phil Gigante’s performance did you like?

Phil Gigante's voice was perfect for a Lansdale novel. I was especially pleased with his voice acting on female characters....it didn't sound cheesy.

Any additional comments?

This is the second Lansdale novel I have decided to try on Audible. Overall, the experience was pleasant and entertaining. I'm usually pretty busy when playing a chapter from each audiobook but I always seem to know where I am in the story. Well done to those who put their hard work into this piece.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

action packed awesome read, we need a movie!

I'm late to the party but I'm glad I've finally arrived. First time I heard lansdales awesomeness was in the rogues anthology by George rr Martin & now I'm officially hooked! book 2 here I come!

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

no nice guys

These two guys know that life’s not easy, each has gotten his own share. Hence the ex-prisoner and a Vietnam vet look after themselves. When Hap’s ex-wife talks of easy money they get involved with some nasty people and before they realise it, they are in big trouble and great danger. It get’s pretty bloody and the death toll is high.
I liked the two very different main characters as well as the supporting ones. Weird bunch of people.
The narration was excellent, you immediately recognised which characters was speaking.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

SUE ME, I'VE GOT A JUVENILE STREAK

IT'S ALL COMEDY TO YOU TWO.
You take out chapters 8 thru 16 and this is a five star book. If you are listening and you are between these chapters and tired of all the sophomoric joking, skip to chapter 17, you will not miss any of the story.

I got this during the horror sale, and it is not a horror story. Joe R. Lansdale is known best for his western horrors, but this is not even close to those. It is a fun story, with lots of joking about Blacks, gays, gangsters and sex. As mentioned above I liked it except for the middle of the book, when I got tired of the all the silliness. Lansdale writes a lot of short stories and this is suitable to that, but in novel length it does not work as well. This is basically an adventure story and a remember the sixties story. Having been born in 1958, I was fairly young in the sixties, but I do remember the attitude of the young people of that time and this is spot on.

Narrator is excellent and adds to the enjoyment of the book.

20 people found this helpful

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Dated, Poorly Plotted, Unendurable Banter

Originally published in 1990, taking place during the 1980s, about a bunch of ex-hippies still mired in 1960s counter-culturalism, the first Hap and Leonard book is hopelessly dated. The 60s idealism that had already soured for these characters at that time was already a thing of the past when written -- fast forward thirty more years into an era where fascism is the new radicalism and it's just laughably obsolete and pointless.

But that might have still worked if there was any sort of reasonable plot line. Hap and Leonard, devoid of any skill other than busting each other's chops affectionately, are tasked with finding a long-lost treasure by the aforementioned group of hippies who are devoid of any skills other than busting chops cruelly, and then run afoul of a couple of evil psychopaths. The whole point of the first two-thirds is relentlessly acerbic banter, the only point of the last third is mindless violence.

Then there is the banter. Maybe in 1990 it was a mark of one's post-racist, post-sexist, post-homophobic character for a liberal white guy to playfully make fun of his gay black friend and the woman he loves, and maybe it was OK for the real racists to use extreme language as a form of contrast, but by today's standards, the dialogue is just plain offensive and hard to listen to, even harder to justify.

Or put it another way: in 2021, there are more important ways for a skillful writer to demonstrate one character's post-racism and another character's persistent racism than by simply using racist slurs ironically vs. unironically. In 2021, Hap's banter is performative at best -- and interestingly, Joe Lansdale even uses the term "performing" in that exact sense long before it became a common term.

Maybe this won't bother you, maybe for you the language is justifiable because it is delivered in character. I'm normally OK with that myself. In this case, it's just too much, especially in the service of a story and set of characters that are so uninteresting and unappealing in the first place (with the exception of Leonard, the primary target of the bad language).

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Hapless Hap and Leonard

The AMC series, 'Hap and Leonard', brought me to the book the TV series on which it's based. I want to read some of the later books, and figured I'd better start with the first installment.

I like that the book is from Hap's first-person POV. We gain insight into Hap's heretofore rudderless life. Instead of taking the wheel for himself, he's just letting the wind take him where it will. The same applies to Leonard; he's allowing Hap to sweep him along a dead-end path. It all culminates with a bunch of revolutionary wannabes dragging him into a murderous situation. Yeah, not the best life choices going on in this story.

The dialogue between Hap and Leonard is my favorite aspect of the book. You hear the affectionate brotherly bond they have inside their banter.

Phil Gigante does a great narration. His voice perfectly suits the style of Joe R Lansdale's story.

Recommended.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Joe can put the word down

The greatest living author in his field or genre.. By far and without a doubt.

1 person found this helpful

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Hap amd Leonard

Hap and Leonard are my favorite literary duo since Poirot and Hastings. Hap and Leonard may have even surpassed Poirot and Hastings. I recommend this book to all who love action, comedy, and great story-telling.

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    3 out of 5 stars

So I wanted to know what eastern Texas was like...

This series was recommended to me when I asked people "what the heck is the deal with east Texas?" Other than the setting, I didn't know anything about it other than it stars a white straight liberal dude (Hap) and a black gay conservative dude (Leonard).

I had my doubts within the first few minutes. Hap an Lenard are best friends, but their friendship is based on repeatedly insulting each other, to show how comfortable they are with each other. Which is fine, but these insults involve the N-word being said freely by both parties, which got jarring to listen to.

Then we meet Trudy, Hap's ex-wife and the only female character with any development. Her introduction reads like one of those r/menwritingwomen posts:

"Trudy was about 4 years younger than me, 36, but she still looked 26. Had long blond hair and legs that began at the throat. Good legs, that were full at the thighs and dark of skin, and she knew how to use them. Had that kind of walk that worked the hips and gave the breasts that nice little bounce that will make a man run his car off the road for a look."

Which could be a parody, except this was published in the '90s so it's actually the thing being parodied.

Still, I wanted to know what east Texas was like, and this seems distressingly authentic, so I continued listening...

...and I'm glad I did, because Savage Season is actually a charming and fun (if dated) adventure. The plot is a bad-decisions-lead-to-worse-decisions type of affair, with Hap and Leonard trying to score some money while dealing with some strawmen '60s-never-died revolutionaries. Not my cup of tea exactly, but the saving grace is Hap and Leonard's dialogue, along with Hap's internal monologue. Their perspective is interesting, even if I disagree with 80% of what they say, and JD Jackson's voice makes them sound likable even so.

I'm probably going to read more of the series if I can find them on sale, or at least I'm going to give the TV show a try.

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Easy listening until the “high octane” final 25%

The summary promised high octane action, but the first 4 hours of this 5 hour book is a slow build. That’s not a bad thing, but it did have me wondering if I’d bought the right book. Then the final 25% kicked in, and it was Reservoir Dogs fabulously high octane.