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First things first might as well get it out of the way, Phil Gigante is not the narrator of this book after a long a successful history of narrating Joe R. Lansdale books a change had to be made (see last part of review for more info as to why) Christoper Ryan Grant does a decent job of filling in those giant boots though. He didn't have the range of Gigante but does a passable good ol boys accent which seems to fit the setting, maybe a bit more deep south vs South/South western. But it doesn't distract from the story which is the most important thing.
Story wise Lansdale remains at the top of his game. The language of these books have always been their strong parts and Honky Tonk Samurai carries that forward. There are absurdist moments, that literally had me laughing out loud in the check out line while listening on my ipod. In many ways you know what you are going to get when listen to a Hap and Leonard novel, the two long time friends who are the laid back get along to get by type of guys are pulled into some form of trouble/mystery and have to fight curse and con their way out of it. I won't spoil things but will say there are some significant changes to the formula in Honky Tonk that break the status quo and may point to end game for the dynamic duo. The story features many series favorites putting in appearances including the fun and cocky Jim Bob Luke, the grizzled veteran Martin and of course the tough as nails but still manages to be sexy Brett.
I would say, you would enjoy the story if this is your first Hap and Leonard novel, but you will get a much deeper appreciation if you have been following the series up to this point, as it does touch on themes and relationships that have developed over the history of the two main characters. Either way give it a go you will not be disappointed, and if you have even 1 funny bone in your body it will be tickled.
Many are upset about the departure of Phil Gigante who readings of these books have helped to shape the identities of the characters within. But before you judge the book or audible too harshly take a second and enter his name into google and you will understand why he isn't doing the book and I actually applaud audible for getting rid of his services even knowing that it will probably lead to some negative reviews. So while its a loss talent wise, there is a gain in integrity and I look forward to hearing more Lansdale books by Christopher Ryan Grant in the future.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful
This was one entertaining story ! I have followed the (mis)adventures of Hap and Leonard since the beginning of the series,and each one gets better. Action, humor, unique characters, it doesn't get much better. And, IMHO, the narration was fantastic ! Please have Christopher Ryan Grant narrate the next book in this series.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful