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The Two-Bear Mambo: A Hap and Leonard Novel (3) [Paperback]

Joe R. Lansdale
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 5 2009 Vintage Crime/Black Lizard
Full of savage humor, heart-stopping suspense, and a cast of characters so tough they could chew the bumper off a pickup truck, The Two Bear Mambo is classic country noir.In this rollicking, rollercoaster ride of a novel, Hap Collins and Leonard Pine take a break from their day jobs to search for Florida Grange, Leonard's drop-dead gorgeous lawyer and Hap's former lover, who has vanished in the Klan-infested East Texas town of Grovetown. Before she disappeared, Florida was digging up some dirt behind the mysterious jailhouse death of a legendary bluesman's son, who was in possession of some priceless merchandise. To Hap and Leonard, something don't smell right. With murder on their minds, Hap and Leonard set out to investigate as only they now how . . . chaotically.

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From Publishers Weekly

Veteran Lansdale brings back his incomparable Texas team of narrator Hap Collins and Leonard Pine for an encore that's just as funny and violent and gripping as their first appearance in Mucho Mojo. Police Lt. Marve Hanson agrees to forget the duo's role in the Christmas Eve torching of a crack house if they go to the small East-Texas town of Grovetown to find his girlfriend (also Hap's ex), lawyer Florida Grange, who was investigating the jailhouse death of a black man who possessed some valuable old blues recordings. The Klan is alive and well in Grovestown and Hap, who is white, and Leonard, who is black and gay and habitually introduces himself as "The Smartest Nigger In The World," don't endear themselves to the locals. But they do track Florida to a dilapidated trailer park, where her trail ends. The conclusion, which involves a graveyard and an epic flood, is gruesome, frightening and captivating. Throughout, Lansdale intersperses some horrific and hilarious anecdotes (one is about a chihuahua that comes to a bad end: "Yeeech," says Leonard. "I'm just glad it wasn't a real dog"). This is strong stuff, filled with sexual references and violent racism. The mystery involves what happened to Florida and what happened to the dead man's music. But the heart of the tale is the friendship of Hap and Leonard, which is rendered by Lansdale in perfectly pitched, profanity-laced repartee and guided throughout by a strong moral compass.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Bad guys beware: Lansdale's protagonists put it all up front. The narrator Hap, an opinionated, sarcastic, white heterosexual, and partner Leonard, a bull-headed, blunt, black, homosexual arsonist, travel to small, racist Grovetown, Texas, to search for news of their investigative-lawyer friend Florida. While looking for information about a black man who reputedly hanged himself in the town's notorious jail, Florida disappeared. Lansdale's prose also hangs it all out, with an eye to precise description, an ear to the proper word, and a mind to expository wit. Highly recommended.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Humor with a heavy dose of racism June 23 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Hap and Leonard just can't seem to keep themselves out of trouble. At the beginning of The Two-Bear Mambo, Leonard is yet again setting fire to the drug dealers' house next door. Their friend Lt. Hanson has to take them in just because, but when Hap's ex-girlfriend -- and Hanson's current squeeze -- Florida Grange goes missing, Hanson agrees to drop the charges if Hap and Leonard will go look for her in Grovetown, a burg in East Texas known for its violent Klan members, and where Florida was last seen.
The Two-Bear Mambo is so far the most unflinching in its portrayal of Southern racism. Grovetown is even worse than I could have imagined and Lansdale does not look away for a moment. Leonard is the obvious target, but Hap's association with him brings him into the fray of violence as well. And as for Florida: well, no one as yet has admitted to even seeing her...
My white Southern guilt was intensified while reading The Two-Bear Mambo; the characters, their ideas, and their violence are all-too familiar from my upbringing. So much so that I could barely even bring myself to read it in public, afraid of what the people around me -- seeing the N-word on nearly every page -- would think I was reading (as if the barely euphemistic title weren't embarrassing enough).
But the trademark Lansdale humor abounds in sarcastic remarks and in the first-person narration of Hap -- whose difference from the author himself seems to be getting less and less. Lansdale has said that he is very comfortable with the voice of Hap and the easy-going prose makes that obvious. Despite my emotional reaction to the book, I look forward to continuing the adventures of Hap Collins and Leonard Pine. I'm glad they can't keep away from trouble; if they did, I'd be reading some other book that isn't nearly as fun.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A TOWN'S PURE EVIL ALMOST KILLS OUR TWO HEROES!!!! Sept. 12 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
THE TWO-BEAR MAMBO by Joe R. Lansdale continues the saga of Hap Collins and Leonard Pine where MUCHO MOJO left off. It starts out with Hap arriving at Leonard's house on Christmas Eve night. Blasting out of his friend's home is the music to "The Ballad of Davy Crockett" and Leonard is next door, kicking righteous butt and burning down the neighborhood crack house once again. The police pull Hap and Leonard in, but Lieutenant Marvin Hanson gets them off the hook, provided they do him a small favor. It seems that Hap's old girlfriend, Florida Grange (the one who left him for Hanson) took off to Grovetown, Texas to do an article on a black musician who supposedly hung himself while in the custody of the local police. Florida has suddenly vanished, and Hanson wants Hap and Leonard to pay a visit to Grovetown to see if they can find out anything. The only problem is that this particular Texas town is right out of the fifties and sixties. It's a viper's nest filled with Klansmen, led by Jackson Brown, who enjoy murdering the black folks and seem to be getting away with it. Both Hap and Leonard know that they're going to have their hands full just trying to stay alive as they attempt to investigate Florida's disappearance. Even together, as tough as they are, both men are going to find out that they've bitten off more than they can chew when they take on the populace of Grovetown. They'll find themselves in the middle of free-for-all that would put Billy Jack to shame and come very close to getting beaten to death. Read more ›
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
I can't praise Lansdale enough. As well, I can't understand why he hasn't become as popular as he so well deserves. I LOVE these Hap and Leonard novels, with their wise-cracking, hard hitting, politically incorrect protragonists. This is two fisted action without so much as a concerned whim for anyone's feelings - you will find something to make you laugh on nearly every page. Great stuff. If you haven't yet read Lansdale, this is an excellent place to start. The writing is good enough that any reader will find themselves drawn in, if not for plot then dialogue, and if not for dialogue for setting. Somehow Lansdale pulls it all off without ever seeming strained or contrived. High pulp the stands with the best of them - Goodis, thompson, Whittington, Rabe, and now Lansdale. Get it while you can!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best one Sept. 8 2000
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I love this series. This book in particular is, I think, the best and the ending is excellent. Joe Landsdale is my favorites writer. I am proud to be part of this cult.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another Winner from Lansdale June 24 2000
By tdeal11
Format:Mass Market Paperback
These Hap Collins/Leonard Pine books is probably the best series you've never heard of. If you're already a fan of the books , you know what to expect, a good plot, great characters, and maybe the best dialogue in the business. Two-Bear Mambo is my personal favorite. If you just discovered this series , start with the first book "Savage Season" and jump right in.
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5.0 out of 5 stars take this one to the beach this summer May 31 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The writing is light and fun. The characters are fascinating,and believe in things. Leonard, who is black and gay, "would walkthrough the fires of hell with a hand bucket ......... water if he thought he was doing the right thing." What I would consider to be the theme, "that some humans are better than others but the best humans are still just human" supported and enhanced the story.
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