Cold Cotton

September 6, 2017 at 6:00 pm (Reads) (, , )

cottonCold Cotton by Joe R. Lansdale

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I haven’t caught up with all of Hap and Leonard just yet (I still haven’t read Rusty Puppy, for some reason), which might have been a mistake before reading Cold Cotton. Within the first couple of paragraphs is a spoiler of sorts. It’s nothing major, I don’t think, but if you’re one of those that doesn’t want to know anything about future events, you should get caught up with the rest of the series before reading this novella.

This time around, Hap is having a little trouble with Li’l Hap, which sends him to a doctor, who in turn sends him to a psychiatrist, and in true Hap and Leonard form, that’s when everything goes south and they get caught up in events bigger than they expected. Why these things are unexpected is anyone’s guess, since every time they get involved with anything, it turns into something bigger than expected.

Leonard gets short shrift in this story, as it’s really a Hap and Brett story. Leonard appears, but the story is really theirs. Lansdale’s trademark dialogue is present, but without Leonard, it has to come from other, newer characters, which is always a little strange to me. I read Lansdale for that dialogue, but it always feels weird that everyone Hap and Leonard encounter talk that way. I’d miss it if it weren’t there, but based on the people I talk to through the course of the day, I’m not convinced that everyone is smart enough to carry of that kind of wit.

The novella has a lot of typos, which is regrettable, but I did buy and read this book as soon as it became available. Maybe future releases will be corrected, but I still feel like some copyediting would have done the book a world of favors.

Cold Cotton is a solid entry into the world of Hap and Leonard, but it doesn’t change the world. Familiar readers will find the usual off-kilter characters and snappy dialogue, and it may bring in new readers, but honestly, the novels are better. Still, it’s a must-read for already-fans of the series.

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