Captains Outrageous by Joe R. Lansdale

Captains Outrageous - Joe R. Lansdale

Goodreads Cleanup Originally Read in May 2011


I’ve been listening to these Hap and Leonard books on audio and it’s been quite the experience. If you’ve never listened to the audio versions I recommend buying or borrowing copies. Narrator Phil Gigante does a terrific job of bringing these guys to life in all of their over the top glory and has a friendly, humorous, comforting southern drenched voice that I could listen to all the live long day. Captains Outrageous is book #6 in the series. I recommend reading them in order because this book does reference previous mishaps and mayhem from the previous books.

Leonard and Hap are two unlikely best friends who when together manage to get themselves in all sorts of dangerous, over-the-top situations. Leonard is big, black and gay while Hap is straight, white, very average in looks, brain-power and penis size. And they love each other like brothers. Their camaraderie and dialogue is something to behold. It’s usually vulgar and could be insulting if it weren’t so damn funny. Hap doesn’t understand Leonard’s sexual activities and Leonard feels the same about Hap’s attraction to a woman’s parts.

“I like a big dick. A big tit don’t really do you any good. You get to suck on it or whatever you heterosexuals do, roll it around in your palms or rub your head with it. Whatever. Frankly the thought of it kinda disgusts me. You’re not accomplishing anything there. Just buy a beach ball. Now a dick, there’s something got a purpose.”

Hap starts off the book a little morose. He’s lost his love and is working at a chicken slaughterhouse. The only thing he’s got going for him is his sense of humor and the fact that Leonard is working at the same crappy job and they get to spend some time chit chatting after their shifts. When leaving work one night Hap hears a female scream, witnesses a young lady being attacked and recklessly chases down the culprit. Apparently Hap hadn’t read The Summer I Died because he might’ve thought twice about following up on the scream. Regardless, he saves the girls life because he’s a good guy and his rescue sets off a series of events that will find Hap and Leonard in Mexico where they, of course, find trouble, violence and lots of dead bodies.

This story moves along at a good clip with plenty of raunchy humor and a dark streak of mean but somewhere after they return from the mess in Mexico I felt like it should have been over. Things were getting wrapped up, it seemed, but then more very bad things happen and they return to clean up their mess and the book starts to drag a bit. Maybe I had just had enough of the mayhem and death at that point? I’m not sure but I do know my attention started to drift and for that reason this one squeaks by at four stars and that's because the humor and narration were done so well.