Wednesday, May 1, 2019

The Elephant of Surprise by Joe R. Lansdale

A storm is brewing and Hap and Leonard find themselves once again in the midst of a storm of their own making. Sort of.

Hap and Leonard are driving along, minding their business, when a girl stumbles into the road. Of course they stop to help and find that her tongue has been mangled, almost cut through. And it doesn’t take long for the men responsible to stumble into the road themselves. Hap and Leonard take off, saving the girl temporarily. They quickly find out the girl is the target of a mob boss whose goons aren’t willing to let anything stand in the way of getting to her - even the worst storm East Texas has seen in ages. 

I am a huge fan of the Hap and Leonard tv show. HUGE! So I was understandably disappointed when it was cancelled three seasons in. Which is why, even though this book is 13 books into the series and I'm generally a staunch read them in order person, I had to dive in.

If I had to choose just one word to describe this series it would be fun. Of course I don't have to choose just one word. And yet, the series is just that, fun! It's also funny, a bit raunchy, and dark. Lansdale does have a twisted sense of humor.

He's also got a fabulous knack for creating a pair of characters so amazingly fabulous that readers keep coming back for more. Hap and Leonard aren't just the good guys, they're good guys!

Hap is a war protester and Leonard is a gay black man who served in Vietnam. And they're best friends. In East Texas. This particular installment is set present day, but the series began in the 80s with Savage Season (which is also the subject of the first season of the show).

There are times when the plot of The Elephant of Surprise gets a bit ridiculous. But Hap and Leonard go along with it swimmingly, making it that much more amusing to read. And having watched the third season so recently, there were times when I felt the storm plot line was a bit too close to the other, but it is East Texas and I'm from Louisiana and storms of the century are more common than anyone down there would like.

This is another one I had the pleasure (and I do mean that) of listening to on audio. The narrator, Christopher Ryan Grant, made me more than a little homesick! I'm a picky audio book listener and he is a wonderful narrator! If audio is your jam, check this one out over at Libro.fm!

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