The Two-Bear Mambo: A Hap and Leonard Novel
Joe R. Lansdale, , read by phil Gigante. . Brilliance Audio, $29.99 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-4233-8432-8
In bringing Lansdale's rollicking Edgar Award–winning novel to life, Phil Gigante goes to tremendous lengths to capture the ambience of good-old-boy charm met with darkly comic dysfunction. Unlikely best friends and crime-fighting partners Hap and Leonard reveal themselves through an assortment of delightful nuances and insecurities, as Gigante injects race, sexual orientation and cultural identity into his portrayals of the principals without falling into one-dimensional stereotypes. Gigante juggles the sprawling cast of townspeople in the Klan hotbed of Grovetown, Tex.; particularly memorable turns include the town's police chief, whose gruff demeanor and insensitive buffoonery belie innate wisdom and judgment. Even minor characters vividly enhance the landscape thanks to Gigante's attention to detail. The marriage of Lansdale's creativity and Gigante's pitch-perfect delivery makes for a sublime listening experience, assuming that audiences can handle the raw subject matter and language.
Reviewed on: 08/31/2009