Hyenas

Joe R. Lansdale, Subterranean (www.subterraneanpress.com), $25 (104p) ISBN 978-1-59606-356-3
In Lansdale's wry, casually violent novella about roughneck buddies Hap Collins (white and straight) and Leonard Pine (African-American and gay), the two knights-errant befriend a hapless fellow whose younger, weaker brother has fallen in with extremely bad company—he's just joined a gang of bank robbers whose leader is used to increasing his own share of the loot by killing the other gang members. As usual, the dialogue is deadpan tart and the action extreme but convincing. Readers will find themselves simultaneously grinning and flinching. The book also includes "The Boy Who Became Invisible," a story Hap tells about something he witnessed years before, perhaps explaining why he's inclined to stand up for people who aren't as good at defending themselves as he and Leonard grew up to be. Lansdale (Vanilla Ride) once again proves he's the East Texas master of redneck noir. (Jan. 31)
Reviewed on: 12/13/2010
Release date: 01/01/2011
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