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Mucho Mojo: A Hap and Leonard Novel (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) Paperback – January 6, 2009
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"A witch's brew of a tale. . . . [Lansdale has] a folklorist's eye for telling detail and a front-porch raconteur's sense of pace.”—The New York Times Book Review“Mucho Mojo is some major magic. . . . as funny as all get out. . . . A story of richness of character and setting.”—Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel “Lansdale's prose has the mean terseness of James M. Cain. . . . Welds the grungy nihilism of pulp to the deliberate exaggerations of the tall tale.”—Newsday"Like 10-alarm chili, Lansdale is pretty hot stuff."—People
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.
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That's not the point. From the two books I've read in Lansdale's Hap and Leonard series, I've learned that the plots can be a little farfetched and sometimes predictable. Not a problem! As long as these two best friends are sparring (literally and figuratively) with each other and the other characters, this quick-witted duo can lead me anywhere and I'll be happy.
In this outing, Leonard returns to his childhood hometown to accept an inheritance from his late uncle, and from there on, it's pure Hap and Leonard shenanigans. Ever the good guys (with questionable judgement), Hap and Leonard embark on adventures ranging from stopping drug dealers to solving a series of murders.
As always, the subject matter is serious, but liberally dosed with dark humor and wry wit. This series is strongly character driven, and Lansdale's main characters, Hap and Leonard, are so well written they can carry any storyline.
'Mucho Mojo' is an action-packed roller coaster ride that's just entertaining as hell!
The book was a good read, well written and picks up where the first book left off. The back-and-forth between the main characters is hilarious and still finds a way to make you think. I can't wait to start the next one.
Despite what seems to be overwhelming evidence, Leonard can't believe his judgment of character could be so far off, and with the intermittent and reluctant help of the local PD, Hap and Leonard see if they can unwind a story that clear uncle Chet - or at least confirm his guilt. Along the way, Leonard falls hard in a torrid love affair with a young black attorney, while both boys match wits (some) and trade punches (mostly) with the local drug gang holed up in the crack house next door.
With Lansdale, especially when Hap and Leonard are featured, you can count on enough action and martial violence to have Lee Child's Jack Reacher straining to keep up. Think of James Lee Burke's Dave Robicheau with a sense of humor and half the baggage - that's Hap Collins. But unlike Child's precise, sterile and no-nonsense prose, Lansdale's brutality is softened with his southern wisdom - an enlightened but believable no less charming good old boy who mixes enough morality and intelligence in his mayhem to make this more than a simple mystery. Never one to shy away from controversy, Lansdale wades into the weighty topics of child pornography and drug abuse with more standard murder and corruption, while taking a glancing shot at religion, with the politics of race and homosexuality as much a part of Lansdale's stories as east Texas' humidity.
So maybe the wily Lansdale shows his cards a bit too early before a satisfying if predictable climax, Hap's love interests do little for a story that stands strong without them, and perhaps the breakneck pace slows for a nap or two along the way. But if you like smart dialog laced in dark humor, fast action with a decidedly bloody edge, and smart characters wrapped up in writing that you know Lansdale had to bust his tail to make it look this easy - this is crime fiction not to be missed - a series and an author well deserving their "American classic" accolades.