Publication Order of Hap & Leonard Books
|Savage Season||(1990)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Mucho Mojo||(1994)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|The Two-Bear Mambo||(1995)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Bad Chili||(1997)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Rumble Tumble||(1998)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Captains Outrageous||(2001)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Vanilla Ride||(2009)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Devil Red||(2011)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Hyenas||(2011)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Dead Aim||(2013)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
Publication Order of Hap & Leonard Collections
Created by the award winning American writer Joe R. Lansdale, this series has been running for some time now to much critical and commercial acclaim. With his strong idiosyncratic voice, Lansdale has become a powerful presence within his field producing genre fiction that has helped progress not only his own work, but has also inspired others in the process. Having created a number of series in the past as well, this is a popular line of books that exemplify the greatest strengths of Lansdale as a writer and what audiences have come to love. The series itself features two anti-heroes of sorts in the form of the eponymous Hap and Leonard who always do their best to do the right thing, although it doesn’t always work out the way they want it to. Trying to make ends meet, they’re two men in their late forties who have seen a lot over the years and just want to settle down, but they can’t seem to quite manage it as something always comes up. Set within LaBorde, a fictional town said to be located in East Texas, they have found themselves to be the constant source of misadventures over the course of the novels.
There’s now said to be a television series on the way, which will begin shooting in 2015 and will last for six one-hour long episodes in total so far, airing on the Sundance channel. Due to the books highly episodic nature, they’re ideal for this particular format, along with charting the characters gradual progress throughout their entire run. With this set to reinvigorate interest in the franchise it doesn’t look like it’s going to be disappearing any time soon, as there’s plenty more to come yet into the foreseeable future.
Initially published on the 1st of August, 1994, this was to be the second book in the now hugely popular Hap and Leonard series, following on from the first book ‘Savage Season’. Re-released later in 2009 on the 6th of January, it sought to bring light to some fairly contentious themes within its story, as Hap and Leonard deal with their latest problem. Further establishing the characters and their current station in life, it builds upon the events of the previous novel, expanding upon certain traits and exploring more of their pasts.
Hap Collins has a shadowy past having spent a large portion of his youth inside prison due to avoiding his draft for the Vietnam War after being a young activist. Over the following years he has gone on to work through a succession of unpleasant jobs for low-pay, something which he’d rather put in the past. Now working alongside Leonard, he’s found a new calling and a new purpose as the two operate together as the best of friends, despite clashing sometimes. Leonard Pine is a former Vietnam veteran who has a lot of anger issues, largely due to being both black and gay, factors which has led to him witnessing the unpleasant side of human nature over the years. Forced to fend for himself and stand-up to the bullies throughout his life, he began with his homophobic Uncle who would shun him as a child growing up. Quick to temper, he is the more fiery of the two, as he has many issues concerning anger, constantly getting furious and is also the more trigger-happy of the pair as well, with Hap not really liking guns in that he’s adverse to them.
Working for private investigator Marvin Hanson, they find themselves embroiled in a new case, this time involving a murder case involving the uncle of Leonard. Living next to a crack house, Leonard’s Uncle Chester is found dead leaving behind a suspicious set of circumstances surrounding his death. Finding the skeleton of an infant under the floorboards in his house, they discover it wrapped in a number of illicit images of children, something which shocks Leonard to the core. Not wanting to believe his uncle was capable of such a heinous crime as well as not wanting him to be a monstrous child abuser, Leonard attempts to set out to find the root cause of what really happened here. Hoping to prove his innocence the two set out to learn the truth, but it might turn out that they wont like what they find.
The Two-Bear Mambo
Published on the 1st of September, 1995, this was to be the third book in the Hap and Leonard series, now an already well established franchise following the last two books. With the character now well known by their readers, this delved more into plot, taking a deeper narrative, whilst still featuring new insights into their personalities. It also worked in that it progressed their arc, as Lansdale was now a lot more confident with who they were and what the tone of the novels was.
Heading into another small town in East Texas, they find they’re up against an insidious form of racism as it appears the area of full of Klansmen. On the trail of Hap’s ex-girlfriend, and African American woman, they both fear something may have happened to her after she went there searching for a set of thought to be long lost tapes of a legendary blues-man. Trouble arises when the locals, who are ambivalent to their plight and the plight of the missing woman, start viewing them as trouble along with the police force. Not taking kindly to outsiders, they’re soon finding themselves up against the entire town as it appears someone doesn’t want them to find what they’re looking for.
The Hap and Leonard Series
With a lot more potential to keep expanding upon the series and a television show on the way, it looks like this line of books may still have some life in it yet. There’s a lot more story to tell with the characters and their offbeat nature and progressive narrative means that they still have much to offer in the way of material and plot. Joe R. Lansdale has been writing them from the beginning of the nineties right up until 2013, so it doesn’t appear that he’s losing any traction with them. With over eleven books so far, it appears to be a title that has a lot of room to explore too, something which Lansdale doesn’t appear to be giving up anytime soon.Book Series In Order » Characters » Hap & Leonard