From: Graham Powell ( bleekerbooks@hotmail.com)
Date: 22 Apr 2003

I finished Joe R. Lansdale's SAVAGE SEASON the other night, and since it came out in 1990 but is set in the 80s it perfectly straddles 80s month/90s month. It's his first Hap Collins/Leonard Pine book, set in the Piney Woods of East Texas. Hap's ex-wife Trudy shows up and gets him mixed up in a scheme to recover some stolen money. Leonard hates Trudy's guts but could use the cash, so he signs on as well.

Turns out there's a whole crowd of refugee idealists from the 60s who are planning on using the money to finance The Revolution. They plan to use the money to buy some guns from some very scary people, who, as it happens, would rather just take the money and leave them with nothing. Complications ensue.

I grew up not far from the area where this story is set, and Lansdale really nails the area and the people who live there. In fact, I was a high school freshamn during the bitter winter of 1983, which figures in the book (first time in 50 years the Red River froze over from bank to bank). This book reminds me a LOT of James Crumley, especially in the way Lansdale makes his characters funny and extreme, but still believable.

Leonard is definitely one of a kind. Gay, black, and not ashamed of either.
  His sexual orientation leads to the best exchange in the book, between Leonard and an ex-hippie named Paco:

"Gay? Are you saying what I think you're saying?"
"I &^#@ men. That clear it up for you?"

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