Take two crazy S.O.B.s, add one simple plan, and, well, things go about as well as expected from there. Savage Season is Lansdale’s first novel featuring Hap Collins and Leonard Pine. He would go on to write nine more novels, three novellas, and three short story collections and get his work adapted for TV as Hap and Leonard (recently cancelled after three seasons).
Hap is a white ex-hippie who did time for draft dodging. Leonard is a black gay Vietnam vet. (Savage Season was published in 1990.) They share a job working as field hands, a love of martial arts, middle age, and one hell of a friendship. Things go to shit when that ex walks back into Hap’s life and offers him a chance at easy money.
Lansdale might disagree, but Savage Season features several quintessential country noir elements. There is a strong sense of place, in this case the Piney Woods of East Texas (Lansdale’s an East Texas native). There are colorful characters. It is decidedly low-rent, with criminals of the two-bit variety, if not just the one bit. A simple plan explodes into way too much violence. And the protagonists never quite come out ahead.
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