Summary and book reviews of Honky Tonk Samurai by Joe Lansdale

Honky Tonk Samurai

A Hap and Leonard Novel

by Joe R. Lansdale

Honky Tonk Samurai by Joe R. Lansdale X
Honky Tonk Samurai by Joe R. Lansdale
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  • First Published:
    Feb 2016, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2016, 352 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Donna Chavez
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About this Book

Book Summary

Only Hap and Leonard would catch a cold case with hot cars, hot women, and ugly skinheads.

The story starts simply enough when Hap, a former 60s activist and self-proclaimed white trash rebel, and Leonard, a tough black, gay Vietnam vet and Republican with an addiction to Dr. Pepper, are working a freelance surveillance job in East Texas. The uneventful stakeout is coming to an end when the pair witness a man abusing his dog. Leonard takes matters into his own fists, and now the bruised dog abuser wants to press charges.

One week later, a woman named Lilly Buckner drops by their new PI office with a proposition: find her missing granddaughter, or she'll turn in a video of Leonard beating the dog abuser. The pair agrees to take on the cold case and soon discover that the used car dealership where her granddaughter worked is actually a front for a prostitution ring. The mystery of her disappearance only deepens from there.

Filled with Lansdale's trademark whip-smart dialogue, relentless pacing, and unorthodox characters, Honky Tonk Samurai is a rambunctious thrill ride by one hell of a writer.

1

I don't think we ask for trouble, me and Leonard. It just finds us. It often starts casually, and then something comes loose and starts to rattle, like an unscrewed bolt on a carnival ride. No big thing at first, just a loose, rattling bolt, then the bolt slips completely free and flies out of place, the carnival ride groans and screeches, and it sags and tumbles into a messy mass of jagged parts and twisted metal and wads of bleeding human flesh.

I'm starting this at the point in the carnival ride when the bolt has started to come loose.

* * *

The truck windows were rolled down and the heat wasn't quite unbearable yet, but the air had the smell toast gets as it begins to brown and you know the butter will spread clean. In less than a half an hour, about noon, my butt crack would be completely filled with sweat and breathing the air would be like swallowing fishhooks. I was already looking forward to loose clothes, a big glass of ice tea, and lots of air-...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

In Lansdale’s contemporary crime thriller (the latest in his Hap & Leonard series) about two East Texas “brothers from another mother” who earn money where they can – from chicken sexing to private investigating and more – the first person narrative is at once down home and sharp as a diamond tipped glass cutter. This dichotomy sets the tone for narrator Hap Collins’s philosophy of life: even though things can appear to be opposites their multiple facets allow them to peacefully coexist.   (Reviewed by Donna Chavez).

Full Review (586 words).

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Media Reviews

Library Journal
This latest installment . . . features strained humor, excessively vulgar language, and a paper-thin plot. The characters, both good and bad, are devoid of any likable characteristics, even Hap as he sentimentally ponders parenthood. The attempted sharp repartee falls short in this failed attempt at a humorous mystery.

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Terrific ... This shambolic, action-packed novel will ensnare new readers and satisfy devoted fans alike. With the Sundance Channel's highly anticipated Hap and Leonard cable series coming in early 2016, this really could be Lansdale's year.

Booklist
Starred Review. This is damn fine reading from Lansdale ... Don't miss it.

Kirkus Reviews
Starred Review. The camaraderie and down-home scatology carry the day. Let's hope there's more of that good feeling to come in this terrific series.

Reader Reviews

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Beyond the Book

On Becoming a Private Investigator

Private InvestigatorIn Honky Tonk Samurai, private investigative agency owner, former police lieutenant Marvin Hanson decides to sell the agency and go back to work for the police department. When he offers protagonists Hap Collins and Leonard Pine the opportunity to buy him out he's met with a certain amount of resistance. "Us?" Hap says, "You're really talking to us about owning a business? I don't know our names and 'business owners' ought to be said in the same breath." Both men acknowledge they like the work but want nothing to do with the responsibility of keeping books, paying property upkeep and taxes, etc. That's when Hap's "red-headed woman" Brett Sawyer decides she has been a nurse long enough and offers to take up...

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