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Vanilla Ride (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) Paperback – July 27, 2010

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Frequently Bought Together

Vanilla Ride (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) + Captains Outrageous: A Hap and Leonard Novel (6) (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) + Rumble Tumble: A Hap and Leonard Novel (5) (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)
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Product Details

  • Series: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; 1 Reprint edition (July 27, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307455459
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307455451
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #558,980 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Last seen in 2001's Captains Outrageous, Lansdale's East Texas twosome of Hap Collins and Leonard Pine, who specialize in daring jobs for hire, are in fine fettle—slightly older and wiser, still prone to down-home philosophical rants and as eager as ever to lead violence by the nose. In their seventh raucous outing, the unlikely partners—Hap's a white, horny heterosexual good ol' boy, and Leonard's a black homosexual Vietnam vet—rescue a friend's daughter from the clutches of drug dealers. Unbeknownst to our heroes, the dealers are part of the Dixie Mafia, which proceeds to send waves of assassins in retaliation, each worse than the last. Joking as they go, Hap and Leonard dispose of each with their usual brand of brutality. Then, the mafia sends its weapon of last resort, Vanilla Ride, a beautiful hit woman. Edgar-winner Lansdale's storytelling skills are as sharp as ever—bursts of action, moments of reflection and lots of shooting the breeze before trouble comes calling again. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


"Anything but ordinary crime writing by one of the best in the business."--Los Angeles Times
"Joe Lansdale may be Texas' bloody answer to Mark Twain."--Austin Chronicle
"The best crime novel I've read in years."--John Weisman, The Washington Times
"[Joe Lansdale] is one of the greatest yarn spinners of his generation: fearless, earthy, original, manic and dreadfully funny."--Dallas Morning News

“Every page of this book brims with humor and character and most of all, kick ass story telling.”--Michael Connelly
"There's no bullshit in a Joe Lansdale book. There's everything a good story needs, and nothing it doesn't."--Christopher Moore, author of A Dirty Job and Fool
"Hilariously funny, to the point that your heart almost stops while you are laughing.”—Bookreporter
“The Hap and Leonard books explore questions of race, sexuality and religion in modern red-state America. Hap is a white heterosexual good old boy. Leonard is a black homosexual Vietnam vet. . . . Laughter is the common bond.”—Texas Observer 

More About the Author

Joe R. Lansdale is the author of over thirty novels and numerous short stories. His work has appeared in national anthologies, magazines, and collections, as well as numerous foreign publications. He has written for comics, television, film, newspapers, and Internet sites. His work has been collected in eighteen short-story collections, and he has edited or co-edited over a dozen anthologies.

Lansdale has received the Edgar Award, eight Bram Stoker Awards, the Horror Writers Association Lifetime Achievement Award, the British Fantasy Award, the Grinzani Cavour Prize for Literature, the Herodotus Historical Fiction Award, the Inkpot Award for Contributions to Science Fiction and Fantasy, and many others.

A major motion picture based on Lansdale's crime thriller Cold in July was released in May 2014, starring Michael C. Hall (Dexter), Sam Shepard (Black Hawk Down), and Don Johnson (Miami Vice). His novella Bubba Hotep was adapted to film by Don Coscarelli, starring Bruce Campbell and Ossie Davis. His story "Incident On and Off a Mountain Road" was adapted to film for Showtime's "Masters of Horror." He is currently co-producing a TV series, "Hap and Leonard" for the Sundance Channel and films including The Bottoms, based on his Edgar Award-winning novel, with Bill Paxton and Brad Wyman, and The Drive-In, with Greg Nicotero.

Lansdale is the founder of the martial arts system Shen Chuan: Martial Science and its affiliate, Shen Chuan Family System. He is a member of both the United States and International Martial Arts Halls of Fame. He lives in Nacogdoches, Texas with his wife, dog, and two cats.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mel Odom TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Reading one of Joe R. Lansdale's Hap and Leonard East Texas crime novels always brings tears to my eyes. I'm not crying. I'm laughing so hard that I'm near busting a gut. He's just that funny, that rednecked, and that insanely offensive in everything he puts on the page.

VANILLA RIDE is the first Hap and Leonard novel that's come down the pipe in a while, and I have to admit that I was somewhat antsy we might not see any more books about the two near-do-wells that have so captured my imagination. Joe's a busy guy and likes to have a lot of irons in the fire, from screenplays to comics to short stories to novels about crime and novels about horror. In the meantime, he runs his own martial arts dojo where he's invented his own style that's been recognized in the martial arts community.

Joe's a friend, and I like him and his way of thinking a lot, so you'll have to forgive me. We grew up around (and probably were) the same kind of miscreants, troublemakers, and rabble-rousers that he writes about. We both know small town minds and ways, and both of us can pass for socialized individuals for hours at a time. But we ain't never truly moved away from those small towns.

At any rate, that's the background that Joe always brings to his book. The way he writes it? That's the way it is. Oh, the running gun battles, bar brawls, and body count is probably exaggerated a little, but that's to be expected of a first-rate small town storyteller if he's to keep the attention of his audience.

VANILLA RIDE starts off as a favor for Marvin Hanson, another series regular. Hanson's granddaughter has holed up with a drug dealer and Marvin already threw the guy a beating that didn't take.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By C. Williamson VINE VOICE on July 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I've read all of Joe Lansdale's novels, and this one might be the most fun yet. Hap and Leonard are back and in a boatload of trouble (just the way we like 'em), and it's the getting into and then out of that trouble that provides the core of the book -- that and the relationships between the two and their assorted friends and foes. Tonto is a great new addition, as is the title character, and they're filled with the rich character touches we've come to expect from Lansdale. The action is non-stop, but the book still manages to be thoughtful and introspective. The final paragraph is a textbook study in the way to effectively end a novel, and wraps a fist tight around your heart. Lansdale just keeps getting better -- reading him is to remember why you started reading books in the first place and why you still love to now. Write on, Joe!
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Wayne C. Rogers on July 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Okay, this is probably going to be a long review, so bear with me. First of all, I have a lot of things here to say about Joe R. Lansdale. I've said many of these things before in other book reviews, but I'm going to repeat them because I want you to know whom Joe Lansdale is, and I want you to buy and read his books. This author deserves to be on every bestseller list there is in the county, but so far it's only the Italians who have chosen to recognize him first as a great American writers. Shame on us!

I first became acquainted with the horror fiction of Joe Lansdale back during the late eighties and early nineties. It wasn't until the year 2000, however, that I actually read something by him. The book was The Bottoms, and it blew me right out of my little white cotton bobby socks. The Bottoms is probably one the best novels I'd ever read and I eventually wrote a review on it, stating that this book deserved to have been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. I felt that way then, and I feel that way now. A few months later, author John Connolly (creator of the fabulous "Charlie Parker" series) paid me a visit when he was in Las Vegas to promote his newest novel. He was looking at the books on my shelves and saw The Bottoms. He picked it up and said, "This is a great book." He then asked if I'd ever read any of Joe's Hap Collins/Leonard Pine novels. I told him no, and he ordered me to get a few, saying they would have me laughing my butt off, while delivering a solid story of suspense and redneck violence.

I took John's advice and ordered every Hap/Leonard book that Lansdale had written up to that point and started reading the series from the middle outward, beginning with Bad Chili.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Juha K. on November 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a long-time fan of Joe R. Lansdale as well as Hap & Leonard. "Mucho Mojo" is one of my favorite books: A tightly-written thriller that has a great plot, laugh-out-loud humour and truly dark moments. Two-Bear Mambo and Bad Chilli make up the rest of my top three for much the same reasons.

However, to me Rumble Tumble marked a downturn in the series (or perhaps a step back to the simpler style of Savage Season). The plot seemed like an excuse to show as much strangely nihilistic violence as possible. Captain's Outrageous suffered from the same problems - Hap and Leonard even seemed nastier than before, their humor more cruel (for example, the scene in the Mexican jail cell with the millionaire's son.) I don't think I'd ever hate a Hap & Leonard book, but I was far from loving them.

Vanilla Ride arrives after eight long years and features a dedication to Hap & Leonard fans. I hoped this would mean a return to what I consider the better days, but the problems I mentioned are still around. Any mystery elements seem forgotten in the whirlwind of violence as our boys take on half of Dixie Mafia. I don't know if it's character development, but Hap now seems ready to kill at the drop of a hat. I liked it better when he had to struggle with his conscience.

On the bright side, it's always nice to see Marvin Hanson and Jim Bob, and the back-and-forth between the characters is still a joy. And even if the fights are laid on a bit thick, they are intensely written. On the whole, the book feels fresher than the two previous efforts.

Mr. Lansdale's recent work shows that he can still write a great mystery plot. I hope he will save one of them for the next Hap & Leonard book, because no matter what, I will always have a soft spot for East Texas' finest.
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