Friday, December 28, 2012

Listened: "Savage Season" by Joe R. Lansdale

Listened: Savage Season by Joe R. Lansdale, 1990 (book) and 2009 (audio), Overdrive download.

First Hap and Leonard novel and answers some questions I had about their pasts.  Quite good, as usual.  Much humor, as usual.

Hap and Leonard are shooting skeet when Hap's ex-wife, Trduy, shows up.  Leonard promptly leaves.  Leonard hates Trudy.  Trudy and Hap met in the '60s and got married.  Both of them were gung-ho activists and Hap decided his act of revolution would be to get drafted, refuse induction, and heroically go to jail.  Trudy was right along with him on the plan. Until Trudy changed her mind while Hap was in Leavenworth and she divorced him.

Trudy is a sexy beast and in the intervening years has boomeranged back to Hap, wrapped him around her finger, and her around his dick, and then dumped him cold.  The last time that happened Hap went on a major booze bender until Leonard pulled him out of it.  Hap has sworn her off but falls right into bed with her.

Trudy has a proposal.  Another of her ex-husbands, Howard, was also in prison for Fighting the Man and had a con pal who told him about lost bank robbery money.  Trudy and Howard want to recover the cash.  The cash is in the Sabine river near the town Hap grew up in.  They want Hap to help for a cut of the take.

Hap asks Leonard to help out.  Howard and Co. are leftover '60s do-gooders.  Howard and Co. plan Revolution!

Things happen.  Leonard is rude and insulting.  Hap pines for Trudy although he knows she is a tramp and is now with Howard.  Humorous situations.  Leonard and Hap love each other.  Leonard and Hap insult each other.  Leonard and Hap are doublecrossed by do-gooders.  Do-gooders are double crossed by a gun runner.  Gun Runner is very unpleasant.  Gigante's narration is a very good performance.

Hap and Leonard go to hospital.  Everyone else dies.

1. Has anyone ever done a simile count for H&L books?  There are a ton.
2. Gratuitous vanilla cookies.
3.  Lousy, cold weather.
4.  Nothing about Leonard's uncle, just his parents.
5.  Hap is not as angry and violent here as in later novels.  Lansdale does not explore Hap's dichotomy: his dislike of violence that still falls to his temper.  Peace-and-love Hap's dislike of violence even though he is very good at it.  Hap wanting a peaceful life but always taking on potentially violent work.
6.  That's right.  Dichotomy.  I also know what bifurcated means.
7.  I just read a Lee Child novel where Reacher says he does not fight for the underdog, Reacher says, "I hate big smug people who think they can get away with things."  Hap and Leonard fit in there.


Todd Mason said...

That connection between Hap and the protag of KUNG FU (or Billy Jack) hadn't quite registered on me before...Lansdale so much better at verisimilitudinous details (I think I know how to brachiate) than the tv or filmmakers in those cases...haven't tried the Child Reachers yet, probably won't make any special efforts toward the Cruise-controlled one...

Graham Powell said...

This is probably my favorite of the series, not just because of how good it is but also because I grew up not far from Nacogdoches, and I clearly remember the cold winter that features in the novel. It was in 1983, when the Red River froze over for the first time in many years.

Lansdale really nails the East Texas environment, as well as the people who live there.

Gerard Saylor said...

My father grew up in Irving with family around the state including East Texas. When LONESOME DOVE was first aired my father remarked how accurate Tommy Lee Jones's East Texas accent was. Probably no great feat for Jones to speak that way.