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Of Mice and Minestrone: Hap and Leonard, The Early Years

(Hap and Leonard)

4.44  ·  Rating details ·  36 ratings  ·  24 reviews
Pull up a seat and sit a spell. Master storyteller Joe R. Lansdale has cooked up a passel of tales for you about the unlikeliest duo East Texas has to offer.

Hap Collins looks like a good ol' boy, but from his misspent youth on, his best compatriot is Leonard Pine - black, gay, and the ultimate outsider. Inseparable friends, Hap and Leonard attend family gatherings, climb i
Paperback, 240 pages
Expected publication: May 29th 2020 by Tachyon Publications
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Average rating 4.44  · 
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Jan 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Joe R. Lansdale is an author who is not only prolific but consistently adept at whatever genre he chooses to spin his tales. The backbone of his works is the Hap & Leonard series which currently stands at 12 or so books.

How can you not love these guys? Hap is a philosophical white guy with a strong moral code & Leonard is tough, gay black man with an iron will. Growing up as best friends in east Texas, neither should have survived the ingrained racism & prejudice of the Jim Crow era. Lucky for
Dec 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Those familiar with the East Texas legend of Hap and Leonard will thrill to hear stories of their teenage years. For this of us not necessarily that familiar, it's still a worthwhile jaunt. Like an odd couple version of Starsky and Hutch, with one White, one Black, one straight, one gay, Hap and Leonard's Of Mice and Minestrone offer a countrified set of tales that you just enjoy hearing. And they are tales of the pair of them dealing with some of the Jim Crow era divisions, sparring with the ch ...more
Hap and Leonard are among my favorite fictional characters and I'm always excited to be reunited with them. Of Mice and Minestrone is fun and enlightening, especially if you're like me and wanted to know a bit more of Hap and Leonard's history.

The first few stories are from Hap's point of view and they added to my perspective of him. It seems that he was born with his sense of right and wrong. His parents are barely mentioned but they must have had a big impact on his life, because by his teen
Pamela Scott
Dec 08, 2019 rated it really liked it

I’ve read some things featuring Hap and Leonard before but wouldn’t say that I’m a massive fan. That may about to change because I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The title is obviously a play on Of Mice and Men and Hap and Leonard’s relationship is very similar to the friendship explored in that book. However, they also remind me a lot Angel and Louis from John Connolly’s book. They’re my favourite secondary characters so this is a good thing. I enjoyed eve
Jan 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some tales from the early days of Hap on his own, then Hap with Leonard, and finally a section with a few down-home recipes. Only one of the stories (The Watering Shed) has been previously published, the rest are new for this collection.

Joe R. Lansdale has a gift for telling a story. Humor, hard truths, wistful might've beens, seriously serious and shockingly irreverent. His stuff conjures up primal images of tribes of wanderers sitting around a campfire listening to the folklore of their peopl
Elaine Tomasso
Feb 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
I would like to thank Netgalley and Tachyon Publications for an advance copy of Of Mice and Minestrone, a collection of short stories centring on Hap and Leonard’s early years.

This is a slim volume consisting of 5 stories (one divided into two parts) and a collection of recipes referenced in the stories. There is also a very perceptive introduction by author Kathleen Kent.

I really enjoyed these tales of a young Hap and Leonard and their formative experiences. The stories are all new, except The
May 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As always Joe Lansdale signature telling with characters, actions, and words, potent and vivid, ones to crack a smile on a dull day and stir a heart with nostalgic immersion in a scene.

The stories:

The kitchen:

With the first tale the reader are brought to days of youth and nostalgia of Hap and his favorite breakfast, his meal fries and pinto beans, grandmas house and an evening holding stories told by elders passed down to stir and warm the night.

The reminiscings, along with humor, bring a smile
Apr 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley to read and review.

OF MICE AND MINESTRONE: HAP AND LEONARD: THE EARLY YEARS by Joe R. Lansdale is the latest collection of Hap and Leonard short stories, and those familiar with the full length novels as well as the television series (that ended much too soon) based on them will find much to like with this collection.

Hap and Leonard’s early days are quite different in the author’s mind than the portrayal of that time period as w
Apr 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
I have always been a fan of Joe R. Lansdale and his Hap & Leonard stories and this is a great addition to the story about them. I must give thanks to Edelweiss, Tachyon Publications, Netgalley and Baker & Taylor. For those that haven't tried any books in this series you better start right now and add this one to your tbr pile. ...more
May 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Review to come at Grimdark Magazine. ...more
Mar 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Lansdale takes us back to Hap and Leonard's youth in this second volume of tales from their past. I've yet to read the first one yet, but will certainly be looking to based on my enjoyment here. This is unfiltered Hap and Leonard and cuts to the heart of why fans of the series love it so much, especially the last story.

"The Sabine Was High" details Hap meeting Leonard off the bus following his discharge from service in Vietnam and they head off for a fishing trip. It cuts to the essence of their
Oct 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I keep forgetting that Joe R. Lansdale is the best writer of gritty, honest, relatable stories around. I haven't read his Hap and Leonard novels, only the collected short stories and novellas and novelettes, but I cannot wait to get into the novels themselves.

OF MICE AND MINESTRONE is kind of a follow-up to the collection, BLOOD AND LEMONADE. In BLOOD AND LEMONADE, Hap and Leonard first meet, they are young teenagers and young adults. The stories are raw and beautiful. I loved those coming-of-ag
Apr 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
*copy from Netgalley in exchange for a review*

It’s that time again: when I take a few minutes to stop trying to convince all of you to go and read whichever cool SF&F book is on my desk at the moment, and instead try and convince all of you to read the next Hap & Leonard book. Joe R. Lansdale has been writing these books for quite some time now - I think there’s now something in the area of twenty books, and three seasons of a TV show. The series, centred around the titular old-poor Texan Hap, a
Bill Stevens
May 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2020
Fans of Hap and Leonard will be happy to see some of the duo from the early years in this collection. Mixing a young white boy and a young gay black boy in Texas during a not so great time in our country can lead to some very interesting adventures. Glad to say that Joe R. Lansdale worked that line well.

This is a smaller installment it seemed and consists of five stories as well as a exciting cookbook chapter in the end. The book moves very quickly and it kept my attention so I was able to move
Z Aung
Mar 14, 2020 rated it liked it
I never grew up in a small town full of people with small minds and prejudices, but this book made me feel like I was right there with the characters. Hap and Leonard are a pair of ordinary boys trying to do some good in the world and survive.

The way Landsdale writes, I can almost smell the dust and cornbread and sausages. Feel the oppressive dry heat on my skin. The stories are both lyrical and stripped bare slices of life. Though not my usual fare, I really enjoyed this.
Roger Bailey
Mar 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
I've been a Lansdale fan for a few years now and Hap and Leonard are great characters. This collection really only contains five stories and then recipes. Of the five stories within its definantly a good read for fans of the series. The previous early Hap and Leonard stories focused mostly on Hap and in some cases didn't feel like Hap. This one feels more true to the characters. My favorite is a simple story of the two comparing fighting in Vietnam and being in prison.
Kay Mcleer
Mar 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Had never read any of the previous books in the series but still enjoyed reading this. The characters were interesting and I enjoyed reading this.
Jan 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is my first Lansdale book and so also first read of Hap and Leonard. I am now going to acquire the whole set because I love the characters.
I also discovered that there's a tv show!

You can tell Lansdale loves these characters and he put so much life into them that it sucks you in and doesn't let go. I laughed a lot and actually became interested in the boxing section. I don't enjoy boxing so that was a pretty big deal. This is kind of a prequel to the Hap and Leonard series and a good place
Danny Farham
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A delicious collection of short stories for Hap and Leonard fans old and new. For the old fans, (like myself) you learn more about the things that made Hap grow into the person he is. For people new to Hap and Leonard, this is a good introduction to a great series.

The stories added depth to the wonderful relationship, and I breezed through them in one sitting.

After the stories, I was pleasantly surprised to find recipes for some of Hap and Leonard's favorite treats. I cooked Hap's - Death by Chi
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I received a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I've read most of the Hap and Leonard stories, and Blood and Lemonade is probably my favourite of these. Of Mice And Minestrone is very much on the same lines - short stories from Hap Collins as a youth, giving context and backstory to his life and his relationship with Leonard Pine.

Joe R Lansdale is a phenomenal writer, and the first short story - a simple account of a Collins family dinner - had me tearing up. The writing is s
Random Male Reader
Dec 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Even though this goes from before Hap met Leonard to just after war/prison Hap and Leonard this is a great read for fans of the series. there are multiple great short stories staring one or the other or both.

As a fan of the series I always check to see when more Hap and Leonard is coming, I was upset that sundance canceled the live action tv show and was really hoping one of the streaming services would pick it up as a original series, Sadly all we have is the books to fill the void and thankfu
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Loved, loved this, short shores of ‘the boys’. I don’t normally read short stories because I don’t like short stories BUT Lansdale writes his so well conceived from plot to characters it’s as fulfilling as a novel. I read constantly but I can count on one hand how many authors use language so visually yet tight. Every word is a joy to read in Lansdale’s hands
Thank you publisher and netgalley for allowing me this arc
Doug Yonce
Dec 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Like a pair of old slippers, it’s nice to slip into a Hap and Leonard novel. But in this one we get to reminisce as the protagonists’ tales from the past are shared in a way that make the reader relate past and present. A nice present indeed! I received an advanced digital copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Margaret Sankey
Dec 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Fun collection of short stories (with recipes) covering Hap and Leonard's time as teenagers in late 1960s East Texas, where theoretically the Civil Rights Act has been applied, but where Jim Crow is alove and well in the hands of local assholes, the sheriff's department and southern customs.
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Champion Mojo Storyteller Joe R. Lansdale is the author of over forty 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 more than two dozen short-story collections, and he has edited or co-e ...more

Other books in the series

Hap and Leonard (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • Savage Season (Hap and Leonard, #1)
  • Mucho Mojo (Hap and Leonard, #2)
  • The Two-Bear Mambo (Hap and Leonard, #3)
  • Bad Chili
  • Rumble Tumble (Hap and Leonard, #5)
  • Captains Outrageous (Hap and Leonard, #6)
  • Vanilla Ride (Hap and Leonard, #7)
  • Devil Red (Hap and Leonard, #8)
  • Honky Tonk Samurai
  • Rusty Puppy

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