Rumble Tumble (Hap Collins and Leonard Pine Series #5) by Joe R. Lansdale, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Rumble Tumble (Hap Collins and Leonard Pine Series #5)

Rumble Tumble (Hap Collins and Leonard Pine Series #5)

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by Joe R. Lansdale

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Hap and Leonard is now a Sundance TV series.

Hap Collins and Leonard Pine are in for an action-packed adventure when they cross paths with a towering Pentecostal preacher, a midget with a giant attitude, and a gang of bikers turned soldiers of fortune.

Even though a midlife crisis just hit Hap Collins like a runaway pickup truck, he's still


Hap and Leonard is now a Sundance TV series.

Hap Collins and Leonard Pine are in for an action-packed adventure when they cross paths with a towering Pentecostal preacher, a midget with a giant attitude, and a gang of bikers turned soldiers of fortune.

Even though a midlife crisis just hit Hap Collins like a runaway pickup truck, he's still got his job, he knows his best friend, Leonard Pine, will always be there for him, and of course he's got his main squeeze, Brett Sawyer. Things hit a new low, however, when Brett's daughter, Tillie, who has been walking on the wrong side of the law suddenly stands in need of a rescue. It's won't be easy—it never is—but nothing is going to stop Hap and Leonard as they hit the road destined for Hootie Hoot, Oklahoma to shake things up. And with Hap and Leonard at the wheel this promises to be a wild ride.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[Joe Lansdale] is one of the greatest yarn spinners of his generation: fearless, earthy, original, manic and dreadfully funny."—Dallas Morning News

"A folklorist's eye for telling detail and front porch raconteur's sense of pace." —The New York Times Book Review

"Hilarious. . . .  Addictively scarfable. . . . Two thumbs-up, and pardon the barbecue smears."—Texas Monthly "A master at taking a simple everyday event and turning reality upside down."—Mystery Scene "Hilarious. . . . Lansdale is a terrifically gifted storyteller with a sharp country boy wit."—The Washington Post Book World "Lansdale's prose, both laconic and sarcastic, is so thick with slang and regional accent that it's as tasty as a well-cured piece of beef jerky. Readers will want to savor each bite."—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel "Lansdale has an unsettling sensibility. Be thankful he crafts such wild tall tales."—Chicago Sun-Times "A storyteller in the great American tradition of Ambrose Bierce and Mark Twain."—The Boston Globe "Funny, compulsive . . . enjoyably raffish."—Esquire

The Barnes & Noble Review
'Man this was something. An East Texas bouncer, a black queer, a ex-sweet potato queen, a six-foot-four overweight retired hit man and former reverend, and a redheaded midget with an attitude. The only thing we needed to top our wagon off were a couple of used-car salesmen, a monkey and an organ grinder.'

With a cast of characters like that, you know you're in Joe R. Lansdale territory. Lansdale, despite unanimous critical acclaim and a cult following to die for, remains crime fiction's best kept secret. The most beloved of his many novels belong to his series that revolves around the soft-spoken bouncer Hap Collins and his rowdy gay sidekick Leonard Pine, reluctant heroes in Lansdale's darkly funny world. Their latest adventure, Rumble Tumble, is a little more lighthearted than previous outings (particularly the brilliant Bad Chili) but remains one of the year's most important releases.

While Bad Chili focuses on Leonard's love life (or lack thereof), Rumble Tumble turns its attention towards Brett Sawyer, the hot-tempered, tough-talking, red-headed knockout that is currently Hap's flame. Just when Hap and Brett's relationship is coming to a pivotal turn in the road, word comes to Brett — via a gun-wielding backstabbing midget named Red — that her daughter Tillie is in trouble. And this, being a Lansdale novel, is Trouble with a capital 'T.' Red, it seems, was Tillie's pimp, helping her climb the corporate ladder in the wonderful world of hooking. But a few bad judgment calls by both Red and Tillie have ended with Red roughed up and Tilliesentoff to become a personal plaything for 'The Farm' — a Mexican complex for a hundred or so hulking, Nazi-esque motorcycle-riding, killers with a penchant for sex, drugs, and dead prostitutes. And Brett, with the help of Hap, Leonard, and Red's murderer-turned-preacher brother Herman, is going to do what it takes to bring Tillie home.

The plot is even wilder than this brief synopsis makes it sound, but the characters themselves are the novel's true powder keg. Hap, the narrator, would be interesting even if he were only reading the phone book, but with such a wacky crew and a refreshing avoidance of anything remotely politically correct, Rumble Tumble is a consistently hilarious experience. But humor isn't all that Lansdale has going for him; he evokes a truly suspenseful atmosphere, and the complexities of story and character give his writing a depth to which most crime authors don't even begin to aspire. There's no way to predict what can happen in one of these novels: good guys can die, bad guys can survive, hoped-for confrontations can fall through, and seemingly incidental events can turn apocalyptic. Riding shotgun with Hap and Leonard is a roller coaster ride from page one straight through to the frantic finish — and we wouldn't want it any other way.

—Matt Schwartz

Publishers Weekly
Lansdale’s iconic—and occasionally scandalous—crime-fighting duo rides again in this incredible yarn. Hap and Leonard find that the road to Hootie Hoot, Okla., is paved with extraordinary circumstances, a prostitute in peril, and a gang of bikers out for a wild ride. Phil Gigante has a blast delivering the silly one-liners and zingers. His campy and deliberately one-dimensional characterizations are the perfect fit for the book’s purple prose and off-color scenarios. It’s an unforgettable performance that’s downright shameless and tremendous fun. A Vintage paperback. (Nov.)
Like 10-alarm chili, Lansdale is pretty strong stuff... he has become a cult figure.
NY Times Book Review
A folklorist's eye for telling detail and a front-porch raconteur's sense of pace... No tricks, no stylish ennui, no somnambulant remoteness or pointless savagery are required, but a rare sort of gift is, and Joe Lansdale has his in bushel baskets.
Entertainment Weekly Magazine
Author's zest for storytelling and gimlet eye for detail make flamboyant characters believable in this thriller.
Kirkus Reviews
Just when it seems that life is good for Hap Collins and his new lady, Brett Sawyer, Brett gets word that her daughter Tillie is in even more trouble than most Texas prostitutes. According to midget businessman Red Ames and his buddy Wilber, Tillie got on the bad side of Big Jim Clemente, the main man in Tulsa, who sentenced her to service the Bandito Supremes, a crowd of Nazi survivalists, at their encampment south of the border. Since a rescue is obviously called for, Hap and Brett enlist the help of their friend (and Hap's current landlord) Leonard Pine, who stocks up on ordnance like a kid in a computer store before rounding up a crew of soiled Galahads that includes 'an East Texas bouncer, a black queer, an ex-sweet potato queen, a six-foot-four overweight retired hit man and former reverend, and a redheaded midget with an attitude,' as well as a smuggler they don't trust, his paint-thinner-sniffing uncle, and a pilot who swears his plane is just fine for the trip. The only problem is that the tension among the rescuers seems to guarantee tricks and surprises that Lansdale is too lazy this time to provide. A routine adventure in between Hap and Leonard's serious outings that's still enlivened by dollops of the most pungent dialogue this side of Quentin Tarantino.

Product Details

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
Hap Collins and Leonard Pine Series, #5
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)

Read an Excerpt

Rumble Tumble

By Joe R. Lansdale

Warner Books

Copyright © 1998 Joe R. Lansdale
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-446-60757-6

Chapter One

An easy and convincing case could be made that my life has been short on successes, both financial and romantic, but no one could say with any conviction it has been uneventful.

In fact, of late, it had been so full of events, I concluded I had outlived my allotment of outlandish moments, and now the law of averages was on my side for pursuing a relatively tame existence. At least until old age set in and I took up residence in a cardboard box beneath the overpass on Highway 59, taking a dump behind a bush and licking secret sauce off old Big Mac wrappers for sustenance.

That was how I figured most of us baby boomers would finish the race. No Medicaid. No Medicare. No insurance. No couple of million stashed back for our dotage. Maybe not even the cardboard box. Hell, for that matter, we couldn't even be assured of a bush to shit behind.

My dotage was a ways off yet, but a lot nearer than I liked to think. Though I had days when I wished I wouldn't make that geriatric goal-end up in a cardboard box, stiff and rotting beneath an overpass with one of those Big Mac wrappers clutched in my fist-nor did I wish to gain the better scenario of passing on to the great beyond via a crisp white bed in a nursing home with a plate of mashed green peas on my dinner tray and a tube in my dick.

My best friend, Leonard Pine, always says the best way to go is lying in bed listening to a Patsy Cline song, or watching the last fifteen minutes of Championship Wrestling, which was funny enough to kill you.

None for me, though. Times like that, when I was blue and thinking of my exit, I wished to go out between the legs of some wild redhead while striving for a double on a cool winter night, her hot breath in my ear, her fingernails buried in my ass like tacks in a bulletin board.

It could happen.

Currently, I knew the wild redhead. She was my age, forties, her life full of her own unique events. Including setting fire to the head of an ex-husband and beaning his brainpan with the business end of a shovel. But even though she might worry me some when near matches or farm implements, going out between her legs was, as I said, not such a bad way to pass, so I tried to stay within her proximity as much as possible these days, lest I feel a bit of a murmur, a flashing of life's events before my eyes. I could only hope if such a dire situation arose, she would be in the mood and I could fight off the inevitable for whatever time was necessary for me to selfishly satisfy myself.

But redheads have drawbacks. They can be trouble and they can mess up your law of averages, even when they don't mean to, even when they aren't directly responsible. Trouble sticks to them like pork to a pig's ass, and if the trouble isn't on them, it's on someone close to them.

I know that sounds a little like astrology-the stuff about redheads, not pork-but then again, you been through what I been through, you might come to believe it. And even if I don't believe it in the long run, in the short run, well, I got to consider it.

For me all this got to rolling on a day when I was sorting my stuff in Leonard's barn, where it had been stored for the last few months.

Leonard had owned a house in town for some time now, and when a tornado took my place away, I moved into his old country place, and it wasn't so bad. Then he sold his house in town for pretty good money, had to move back to his country place, and now we were housemates.

Frankly, I felt put out. Even if it was his house. I went from sleeping in the bedroom to sleeping on the couch, and he made me clean up the place more than I liked.

We had roomed together before, for a short time, and it had been okay, but now I had gotten used to living alone again, and I was having a bad time of it. Worse yet, way things were going, I might be moving in with my nasty redhead any day. Brett had invited me, and I wanted to, but I was having so much trouble readjusting to Leonard, and I had known him for years, the idea of living with someone else was goddamn scary. I was suddenly concerned about skid marks in my underwear. Socks that didn't match. Farts, burps, and stink from the bathroom.

I wished my house hadn't blown away.

I wished I weren't so set in my ways.

I even wished I could find a good deal on a mobile home to move to the acreage where my house once stood. And if you knew how much I dislike mobile homes-those plyboard and aluminum tornado magnets in the pleasing shape of a shiny rectangle-you'd realize just how desperate I felt.

Then there was the other side of me. The one that always wanted a relationship. I didn't have a woman in my life, I was pouty and blue, and even watching the September lovebugs hump made me horny. Now I had met someone who had more to offer than just sex. Brains. Humor. A way with fire and shovels. Kind of a middle-aged man's dream, I suspect. And still, I hesitated.

Guess, when you come right down to it, you just can't make me happy.

Anyway, I was on my knees, sorting my stuff in Leonard's barn, which was essentially a gray, peeling, clapboard shell with a dirt floor. I had all my things in cardboard boxes, and I was trying to figure what I should keep and what I should get rid of. During the storm, a large part of my junk had been rained on, wind-blasted, and just generally screwed. Rats had been in it since, and some of the paper and cloth items had been chewed.

Over the last few months I'd been halfheartedly going through the stuff I'd gathered up after the storm. Going through it, not so much afraid of what I might find, but more afraid of what I might not find. Some part of my life gone.

The twister had knocked the largest part of my goods ass over tea kettle, blown them to hell, or maybe worse, all the way to New York City. Maybe up North some Yankee was looking at my books, wearing one of my shoes. Laughing at my photographs. My favorite pants might be in a tree somewhere. My record collection at the bottom of a lake. It was too goddamn depressing to contemplate.

I had just put a batch of ruined books in the trash box when Leonard came into the barn. He was wearing sweats and carrying two cups of coffee. He looked as if he was straight from the shower. His short kinky hair glistened and his face looked like buffed ebony. The sunlight shone brightly through the door behind him, and I could see steam rising up from the coffee, blending with the dust motes in the air. Leonard said, "You going to move in with her?"

I stood and brushed the dust off my hands. Leonard gave me a cup. "I don't know," I said, and sipped the coffee. It was good rich coffee with some kind of chocolate flavoring in it.

"You ought to."

"You trying to get rid of me?"

"Some. You're fuckin' up my house."

"Like it's anything special."

"Hey, it may be a shack, but it's better than your shack, which, I might point out, would be harder to put together than one of those thousand-piece landscape puzzles. If you had all the pieces."


"And the way you handle your domestic business, man, it's tiresome. Think I want to have your old smelly drawers hanging on my couch arms for doilies? Goddamn shoes in the middle of the floor, dirty old socks up under the chair. Hell, man, smells like someone's been wiping their ass and hidin' the paper somewhere."

"You're exaggerating."

"All right, then, your shoes are slightly off center of the middle of the floor. But I still trip over them. Now what about Brett? You movin' in with her, or not?"

"I've been burned so many times in love I'm not sure I want to go through it again."

"Yeah, but all your other relationships were stupid. This one isn't."

"She set her husband's head on fire, burned his car too."

"Don't forget she beaned him with a shovel and he's in a home somewhere trying to decide if blue socks go with a paper hat and a fart."

"There's that."

"Maybe she should have left the car alone, Hap, but way I see it, far as his head's concerned, sonofabitch had it comin'. Besides, she didn't burn his whole head up, just some of it. Guy beats a woman on a daily basis, and one day she's had enough, it's okay she sets the guy's head on fire."

"This coming from an arsonist."

"Don't bring that up. You're tryin' to change the subject. Law let me go, didn't they?"

"It was a miracle." And it was. Leonard had burned down three crack houses, and each time he'd managed to get off. 'Course, I helped burn down one of them, so I couldn't be too self-righteous.

"They let Brett go, didn't they?" Leonard said.

"The judge was a lecher. She was young then. She wore tight shorts and a halter top. I'm surprised they didn't throw her a parade and give her the key to the city. Way she looks now, back then, man, she must have been something."

"Being queer, it's hard for me to know what a good-lookin' woman's supposed to look like, but I figure Brett's it. She's got all her workin' parts, don't she?"


"You get along, don't you?"

"Yeah. She's funny. I like being around her. We seem to have something going besides dating and rutting, although I hasten to add I don't want to undervalue rutting."

"Then what's the holdup?"

"I just don't want to screw up again."

"Hap, that's what you do best. And if you ain't willin' to screw up, you ain't ever gonna get any of the good out of life either. That's the way of the world, according to Leonard Pine. And keep in mind I just went through somethin' worse, and I'm out here lookin' for love all over again. It's the way of our species."

"We're a stupid species."

"Yeah, but we're consistently stupid. So, you get what I'm sayin'?"

"You're as big a screwup as me?"

"No one is, Hap. But thing is, even though you fuck up more than most, everyone fucks up. Only difference with you is you think your fuckups matter more than anyone else's. Strangely enough, there's a kind of conceit in all that."

"I reckon you're right."

"Good. Why don't you tell her you're moving in?"

"Because I'm still not sure."

"You see her today, right?"


"She's expecting an answer, right?"


"Do it."


Excerpted from Rumble Tumble by Joe R. Lansdale Copyright © 1998 by Joe R. Lansdale. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Joe R. Lansdale is the author of more than a dozen novels, including Vanilla Ride, The Bottoms, Sunset and Sawdust and Leather Maiden. He has received the British Fantasy Award, the American Mystery Award, the Edgar Award, the Grinzane Cavour Prize for Literature, and seven Bram Stoker Awards. He lives with his family in Nacogdoches, Texas.

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Rumble Tumble (Hap Collins and Leonard Pine Series #5) 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
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RUMBLE TUMBLE, the fifth novel in the series, by Joe R. Lansdale continues the saga of Hap Collins and Leonard Pine, beginning where BAD CHILI left off. It all starts when Hap¿s girlfriend, Brett Sawyer, tells him that a man called on the telephone and said that he had news about her wayward daughter, Tillie, but that it¿s going to cost her five hundred dollars to find out what it is. Hap, and his good ol¿-buddy Leonard (think Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson¿thanks, Dale!), accompanies Brett to the seedy motel where the voice on the phone is staying. It turns out there are two men at the motel¿a redheaded midget with an attitude the size of King Kong and a stupid giant-size piece of white trash who thinks he¿s tougher than he actually is. Both guys want to make some quick money by telling Brett that her daughter, who¿s a prostitute, is being held against her will in Hootie Hoot, Oklahoma by the local crime lord, Big Jim Clemente. Naturally, it isn¿t long before Hap, Leonard, and Brett are heading to Hootie Hoot to rescue the trick-turning prodigal, but nothing is ever easy for these folks. After a big confrontation and a shootout in Big Jim¿s house of ill repute, the trio finds out that Tillie¿s been sent to Mexico to sexually service a gang of bikers called the Bandito Supremes as punishment for a misdeed. Hap and Leonard are two tough hombres, but the odds against rescuing Brett¿s daughter just got considerably higher with the addition of a biker gang of killers. Before the week is over, our two favorite amigos are going to have to deal with the treachery of a midget that can do handstands, an ex-biker turned preacher who wants redemption for his past deeds, a Texas armadillo in need of little friendship and kindness, and a shootout in old Mexico that will remind you of the ending in the movie, The Wild Bunch. RUMBLE TUMBLE delivers with full force the fun and excitement expected from any ¿Hap Collins/Leonard Pine¿ novel. The characters are deftly drawn, the dialogue is true to the ear, and the story line has all of the ingredients necessary to fulfill one's desire for action, suspense and drama. Mr. Lansdale has created Hap and Leonard with not only a strong sense of humor, but with an avid sense of justice and honor. These two men also have a profound view of life and how to live it that gives the reader an opportunity to think about his or her own belief system. This fantastic series is definitely more than just popcorn entertainment for the masses. It¿s a great author¿s attempt to tell a good story, while at the same time reflecting on what it means to be a decent human being and staying true to one¿s values. I can¿t recommend the ¿Hap/Leonard¿ novels enough. This is writing that has power and honesty, and is able to touch the heart, as well as the funny bone. Now, it¿s time to pick up MUCHO MOJO, the third book in the series, and find out what the dysfunctional duo was like before Brett came into the picture.