Monday, July 13, 2009

Vanilla Ride -- Joe R. Lansdale

It's been a long time since Joe Lansdale's last Hap and Leonard novel, but the boys are back, and they haven't lost a step. Heck, they might even have gained a couple.

Vanilla Ride starts off with a bang. So to speak. And then Leonard and Marvin Hanson show up at Hap's house. Marvin has a favor to ask. His granddaughter's hanging out with a bad crowd, and he'd like for Hap and Leonard to get her back for him, whether she wants to leave or not. The guys agree, and before long the shooting starts. It hardly lets up for the next 200 pages or so because Hap and Leonard have unknowingly stepped in it once again, and they find themselves working for the FBI, being hunted by various killers hired by the Dixie Mafia, and fighting off some of the biggest, toughest, peckerwoods they've ever taken on. And that's mighty big and tough, folks. There's even an alligator!

Amid all the shooting and explosions, there's the usual raucous humor, the philosophical asides, the hilarious dialog, and even a little cussing. Okay, maybe there's a lot of cussing. So what are you waiting for? Get a copy now, or you might have to wait another eight years before Hap and Leonard show up again. After all they go through in this one, they might even want to retire.*

*Just kidding, folks. Joe's next book will also feature the dynamic duo. He's already started writing it. Devil Red will probably show up in next year. Something to look forward to.


Donna said...

Oh I am so full of glee at your review, and desperate to read this one. And to know there's another Hap and Leonard on its way too is excellent! I love everything he writes - he's a wonderful writer.

Sunnyjoe said...

I read it a couple of weeks ago and it is great. Right now I am listening to the audio version and it makes the book even better.


Anonymous said...

Joe Lansdale's a gifted guy. he wrote wild westerns before he discovered there's hardly a dime in it. He's in clover now.


Doc Quatermass said...

I still think Sheriff Dan should spend some time with Hap and Leonard, Bill. maybe he'd get a little smarter about not taking back up when he wants to check something out. Maybe they can teach him a like MMAs, too. A while back I picked up a hardcover edition of Joe's LEATHER MAIDEN at Half Priced Books for $14. Back in May I picked up a signed copy of TEXAS NIGHT RIDERS, LOST ECHOES and RETRO PULP TALES edited by Joe (which includes a story by that Bill Crider fellow). The three inadvertently still had sale prices on them and there was a storewide sale on music, comics, DVDs and action figures and since I spent a hefty chunk of change on those items and had been a pretty good regular customer when I had more cash to spend, the manager gave me the 30% off on top of he sale prices left on the books. (Around the same time I added to my Sherlock Holmes collection at HPB with a copy of MURDER IN BAKER STREET: New Tales of Sherlock Holmes w/ a ss by Bill.) Sometimes life is good. LOL

Keith Rawson said...

Mr. Lansdale is in Phoenix tonight and I can not wait!! I've been reading him since I was 12-years-old and I've only gown to love his books more and more as I grow older. It should be a great time.

Bill Crider said...

Be SURE to tell him you've been reading his books since you were 12. And tell him I said "hey."