Chadwick's Reviews > Rumble Tumble

Rumble Tumble by Joe R. Lansdale
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's review
Nov 04, 08

bookshelves: noir, texas
Recommended for: erik
Read in November, 2008

Totally candy. An East Texas caper novel with sex, violence, jokes and heart, I suppose.

Hap and Leonard are a good ole boy odd couple. Hap, the narrator is a sometimes bouncer. He's the white guy. Leonard, a genial gay psychopath is the black guy. Over the course of ten or so novels, these two carve a swath of good-natured mayhem and destruction across the Southwest, usually more or less in the name of good.

Rumble Tumble is much of the same. Hap and Leonard head north from Leonard's spread outside of Houston to a town called Hootie Hoot, Oklahoma. Their quest: to rescue Hap's girlfriend's daughter from a life of prostitution under the thumbs of some rather nasty Okie criminals. The girlfriend, Brett, is a hard-as-railroad-spikes sex kitten. She's along too, armed to the teeth and full up with mean.

Along the way there are plenty of gunfights, dismemberment by shotgun, a comic midget murderer, and lots of wisecracks. This ain't a complex novel. The plot is basically "Some people go to a place where some other people have something. They shoot the people, and they take the something." What makes it work is Lansdale's prose. He's great at creating likable characters. His storytelling is suspenseful and economical, and his sense of humor is pleasantly dark and vulgar.

On the downside, some of his characters voices run together, especially the good guys--all tough, Texas, and with a heart of gold. And his brand of toughness can get a little annoying--enough with the I hate cats jokes already. We get it. Real men like dogs. And don't drink too much. Hate guns but can shoot the dick off a gnat from a mile. Okay.

But yeah, you got a day to kill, pick this up for a train ride.

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