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27 December 2010

Savage Season (1989)

Savage Season is Joe Lansdale's first book in what has turned into a series of stories based upon unlikely heroes Hap Collins and Leonard Pine. I can't remember what switched me on to Lansdale, but here I am right at the beginning... Let's see how it pans out...

I guess my biggest fear picking this book up was that it was 20+ years old. I love a little bit of nostalgia as much as the next person, but I really didn't fancy a trip back to the 80s. Actually, there are more references in here to the 60s than the 80s. The book has aged well, and generally the story is fairly timeless.

Right from the off, I was hooked. Joe's style of writing and subject matter reminds me a bit of Elmore Leonard. These are tough people with a sense of humour, doing what they've got to do to get through each day. And they know themselves that they make bad choices, but when you've only got so many choices... what can you do?

In Savage Season our heroes haven't got two dimes to rub together and embark on a money making caper that seems just too good to be true. Well what do you know: It is too good to be true! Shit and disaster ensues and it's an enjoyable ride as it plays out.

The beginning and end of the book are great. I lost it for a while in the middle... but I think that this was due to a stinking cold rather than the book itself.

The characters were believable. The only bit that felt a little over-played was the Leonard Pine gay thing. It seemed to get a lot of coverage for something that was only a minor plot point. Perhaps it has more meaning in later books. Dunno...

Will I try and get hold of Mucho Mojo - the second in the series?

I think that I might just do that!

I give Savage Season a nail-through-the-hand 7. Go buy it!


  1. It's a pretty decent series, although Lansdale can be hit or miss. His best book is probably The Bottoms. It's a standalone, not part of the Hap series.

  2. Thanks for the tip Pete! I'll definitely keep an eye out for 'The Bottoms'.

    And my favourite line in Savage Season?

    "You'd have to pay me more than that to f*** your sister if she had six feet of legs and a pussy like a velvet clam."

    Ha ha! Great stuff!