Home All 2017 Popular Book Lists

Leonard Elmore (2017 Most Popular Book Lists)

1. Djibouti: A Novel
2. Road Dogs: A Novel
3. Split Images
4. Comfort to the Enemy and Other
5. Swag: A Novel
6. Pronto
7. The Complete Western Stories of
8. When the Women Come Out to Dance:
9. Stick
10. Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules of Writing
11. The Bounty Hunters
12. Freaky Deaky
13. LaBrava: A Novel
14. Out of Sight: A Novel
15. Cat Chaser
16. Unknown Man #89
17. Hombre
18. Killshot
19. The Hot Kid
20. Get Shorty

2017 buy books shipping

1. Djibouti: A Novel
by Elmore Leonard
Hardcover: 288 Pages (2010-10-01)
list price: US$26.99 -- used & new: US$13.23
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0061735175
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review


Elmore Leonard, New York Times bestselling author and "the hippest, funniest national treasure in sight" (Washington Post), brings his trademark wit and inimitable style to this twisting, gripping—and sometimes playful—tale of modern-day piracy

Dara Barr, documentary filmmaker, is at the top of her game. She's covered the rape of Bosnian women, neo-Nazi white supremacists, and post-Katrina New Orleans, and has won awards for all three. Now, looking for a bigger challenge, Dara and her right-hand-man, Xavier LeBo, a six-foot-six, seventy-two-year-old African American seafarer, head to Djibouti, on the Horn of Africa, to film modern-day pirates hijacking merchant ships.

They learn soon enough that almost no one in the Middle East is who he seems to be. The most successful pirate, driving his Mercedes around Djibouti, appears to be a good guy, but his pal, a cultured Saudi diplomat, has dubious connections. Billy Wynn, a Texas billionaire, plays mysterious roles as the mood strikes him. He's promised his girlfriend, Helene, a nifty fashion model, that he'll marry her if she doesn't become seasick or bored while circling the world on his yacht. And there's Jama Raisuli, a black al Qaeda terrorist from Miami, who's vowed to blow up something big.

What Dara and Xavier have to decide, besides the best way to stay alive: Should they shoot the action as a documentary or turn it into a Hollywood feature film?

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Exclusive: Joe Hill Reviews Djibouti

The author of the critically acclaimed novels Heart-Shaped Box and Horns, Joe Hill is a two-time winner of the Bram Stoker Award and a past recipient of the Ray Bradbury Fellowship. His stories have appeared in a variety of journals and Year's Best collections. Read his guest review of Djibouti:

In the spirit of Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules for Writing, here are ten reasons why Elmore Leonard rules–a fact that has never been more obvious than in Djibouti, his 48th novel.

10. The babes. The heroine of Djibouti would be one Dara Barr, who has touched down in Africa to make a documentary about the booming piracy business and maybe win herself another Oscar. Dara is as laconic and unflappable as any of Leonard’s finest heroes (see: Hombre, Swag, The Hot Kid), with a creative and curious streak that marks her as special. Throw in an underwear model named Helene looking to make a married man out of a billionaire who likes to play C.I.A. agent, and you’ve got a book in which the gents are waaaaaay overmatched.

9. The bad boys. Creative writing teachers who want to show their students how to draft an unforgettable antagonist ought to tear out chapter 18 and pass it around. That’s where Leonard tells us the story of James Russell, a clever Miami lowlife, who reinvents himself as Jamal Raisuli, al-Queda bomb-thrower… all in 7 pages of breezy, economical characterization.

8. The talk. Plenty has been written about Elmore Leonard’s mastery of dialogue, and I don’t need to rehash it. Why bother, when I could just quote some of it? An elderly terrorist, jailed in The States, gets talking with James Russell:
“What is it you hope to become in your life?”
“Famous,” James said. “I been looking at ways.”
“Become a prophet?
“I don’t tell what will happen. I do it.”

7. The walk. Everyone hustles in an Elmore Leonard novel; you can’t stand still and hope to score. From the slums, where life is the only thing cheaper than khat, to the clubs, where it’s easier to find a pirate than out on the open ocean, everyone is on their way up or on their way down… in a hurry.

6. The sound.
Leonard famously said that if his sentences sound like writing, he rewrites them, but don’t be fooled. These sentences jump to their own dirty, hothouse jazz rhythm. There isn’t a better stylist anywhere in American letters.

5. The seduction. Dara isn’t just curious about piracy; she spends thirty days on a boat with 73-year-old Xavier LeBo, long enough to fall a little in love with her best friend, and wonder if the old dude can still get it up. Xavier bets her ten-thousand dollars he can. It’s the book’s biggest gamble; trust me, it earns out big.

4. More boom for your buck. A lot of the suspense in Djibouti revolves around a tanker filled with enough liquefied natural gas “to set off an explosion a hundred times bigger than the Hindenburg disaster.” It’s an atom bomb with a rudder and all it needs is a target.

3. The place. Leonard doesn’t beat anyone over the head with his research, but from Djibouti to Eyl to New Orleans (the three backdrops for this story), the details are crisp, unforgettable, and right. You don’t read Djibouti. You live there.

2. The pay-off. Everyone in an Elmore Leonard story wants one, but only the reader is guaranteed to get one, and boy do they, in a final chapter that seems inevitable, yet comes as completely unexpected.

1. The know-how. Let’s get to it. In the fifty-plus years he’s been turning out lean, loose, laid-back thrillers, Elmore Leonard has cast his indelible stamp on American crime fiction, inspired his peers, and spawned a thousand imitators. He’s the kind of guy critics describe as old school, but that’s missing it. Elmore Leonard isn’t old school. He built the school.

(Photo of Joe Hill by Shane Leonard)

... Read more

Customer Reviews (30)

3-0 out of 5 stars Any Leonard is good, but this one has some problems
Dara Barr, a documentary filmmaker, and her aide-de-camp, Xavier LeBo, cruise dangerous waters off the Horn of Africa to interview Somali pirates for her next project. Dara previously explored rape in Bosnia, neo-Nazi extremists and earned an Academy Award for her film on Katrina, shot during the hurricane in her home town.

She has an angle: she wants to depict pirates as misunderstood underdogs who've turned to piracy because other nations have fished out their waters. It's an interesting hypothesis, and their four-week adventure would probably make for a fascinating narrative. However, Leonard makes a dubious choice: he skips ahead to their return and puts Dara and Xavier together in the editing room, where they try to figure out how to put hours and hours of footage together into a coherent narrative. This means that the book has a lot of exposition where Dara and Xavier remind each other of the things that happened to them in the intervening days.

The one thing this does for Leonard is provide the opportunity to discuss the nature of storytelling, as Dara and Xavier debate the possible approaches they might take. Dara's original concept doesn't hold water. The pirates they meet are hardly underdogs. They're debonair and smart men who live in luxury while awaiting ransom payments for the ships in their captivity. Many of them are willing to play to the camera, but Dara and Xavier are armed with high-definition miniature cameras to capture the candid reactions of those who aren't. Dara considers turning her documentary into a feature film. Xavier says that Naomi Watts should play her.

Leonard's researchers have done an impressive job of providing the author with the details of the exotic geography and the geopolitics he needs to create a convincing backdrop for Djibouti. He works in real life events, such as the 2009 attack on the Maersk Alabama, the first American ship and crew taken by Somali pirates. Sharpshooters took out three pirates holding the captain hostage with three well-placed bullets.

Of course, the book is populated with fast-talking, smart-mouthed, colorful characters: Xavier, the 72 year old cameraman who flirts with Dara for a month before making his move. An Oxford-educated Saudi diplomat who calls himself Harry and has a hidden agenda. Billy Winn, the rich Texan playboy armed with an elephant rifle and several cases of champagne who auditions potential wives by seeing how well they last aboard his yacht on a round-the-world cruise. Helene, his latest contestant, who might actually be his match. Idris Mohammed, the suave pirate who has captured over a dozen ships in his illustrious career. Jama Raisuli, who converted to Islam while in prison and is now an al-Qaeda operative who fiercely guards his original identity.

The book doesn't start out like a caper, but it turns into one when the Aphrodite, a liquefied natural gas tanker enters the stage as a potential floating bomb. Everything and everyone converges on the Aphrodite for an explosive if slightly incredible finale. At 85 years old, Leonard is still going strong, even if some of his creative decisions are a little dubious.

3-0 out of 5 stars The best of the worst.
Good and bad news. This is Leonard's best work since "Tishomingo Blues," but that is not saying much as I believe the master has lost his touch.This book is the usual "shaggy dog" tale, that takes you more into the characters than the plot, but neither are very interestig.He somehow makes Somali pirates boring by, insead of following the story in "real time" he has two characters reviewing it for the reader verbaly while they look at film footage that they have shot.
The plot goes soon into foiling a terrorist plot with a forgettable tidy twist at the conclusion.I will say this is his best book in years, but should not rank up there with his classic works.It took a litte plodding to get through, and though I did not enjoy it as much as I had hoped, I am glad that, as a fan, I read this one.
All in all - not for the casual fan being introduced to his work for the first time.

5-0 out of 5 stars Elmore's the best
Leonard just gets better. Does he know these wanna-be crooks personally? What a bunch of losers! But Leonard knows how to tell a story, how to keep it exciting, how to make those losers shine even as they fall on their faces, make us laugh at them and rejoice that we're just reading a book about their stupidity rather than trying stuff like that ourselves.

5-0 out of 5 stars DJIBOUTI: You couldn't ask for more
I was told at an early age that if a book interests you enough --- whether it be due to a recommendation from another reader, a jacket summary, a review, etc. --- you should give it a chance and read at least the first 100 pages. I thought of this when I picked up DJIBOUTI, Elmore Leonard's new novel. The book begins slowly as Leonard takes his time assembling his setting and cast of characters. What was really disconcerting for me, though, was his narrative method, which consists of jumps between the present, where the two main characters comment on what happened, and the past, related in flashbacks. It was minimally distracting, but I thought the cardinal flaw was that it took away from the suspense element of the story. How wrong I was. Which, of course, is why it's important to read the book, particularly if it's by an author of Leonard's caliber.

DJIBOUTI has a promising premise. Leonard, never one to take the familiar road, has moved outside of his comfort zone of middle America and into the exotic setting of Djibouti, which, for those of you educated after 1973, is a country on the Horn of Africa. Dara Barr, an award-winning independent filmmaker, has traveled there with the idea of filming a documentary about the Somalian pirates who have been disrupting merchant shipping in the area. While Barr initially has a preconceived notion of the pirates as some sort of modern-day Robin Hoods, she loses that erroneous perception soon enough.

It is Xavier LaBo, Barr's cameraman, assistant and all-around right-hand man, who has the pirates' number from the jump. LaBo is a striking figure, six-feet, six-inches tall and 72 years old, a native of New Orleans who in any given situation is quietly the smartest person in the room. He is good at sizing people up, and connecting any number of seemingly disparate elements, an important talent to have when separating the wheat from the dangerous chaff that populated the Djibouti environs. These include Billy Wynn, a Texas billionaire who may or may not be 300 pounds of horse manure in a 200-pound bag, with all sorts of disparate contacts at his beck and call; Helene, Billy's girlfriend and prospective wife; Idris, a Mercedes-driving pirate who is doing quite well for himself; and Harry Bakar, a self-styled diplomat who seems to be playing both ends against the middle for his own benefit.

The focal point of all of these folks is a natural gas tanker that has been taken by the pirates and held for ransom, and is in the crosshairs of Jama Raisuli, a Miami native who is a prison convert to Islam and a member of al Qaeda. Raisuli is a loose cannon, clever as a jackal and almost as smart. Even when things go right for him, they go wrong, a turn of events that makes him even more dangerous than he already is. Motivated by a combination of fanaticism, hatred and revenge, Raisuli seemingly cannot be stopped or diverted, which puts him on a collision course with Barr and LaBo when they least expect it.

Elmore Leonard has a magnificent body of work that speaks for itself; it is thus all the more amazing that on the back nine of a brilliant career, he should publish a work that I would consider to be among his best. And while there is much to love in DJIBOUTI --- the plot, the wordcraft, and the characterization, particularly that of LaBo --- my favorite element is the manner in which my opinion took a 180-degree turn from mild disappointment at the beginning to exhilaration at the end. You couldn't ask for more.

--- Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub

2-0 out of 5 stars 2 1/2 Stars for the Novel
Elmore Leonard gave me a treatment for a movie rather than a novel. I bet it will be another John Travolta ('Billy') vehicle. I really like some of the ideas that he tossed out--for example, enjoyed the role Billy character and his girl Friday played, but I didn't care for the loose ends--for example, why were some people perfect shots--did they use perfect guns? All in all, I was disappointed with this novel, but will pay to see the movie :) ... Read more

2. Road Dogs: A Novel
by Elmore Leonard
Paperback: 288 Pages (2010-05-01)
list price: US$13.99 -- used & new: US$4.48
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0061985708
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review


Jack Foley and Cundo Rey are road dogs: trusted jailhouse comrades watching each other's back. They're so tight, Cundo's using his own money and his shark lady lawyer to get Foley's sentence reduced from thirty years to three months. And when Jack gets out, the wealthy Cuban criminal wants him to stay in Cundo's multimillion dollar Venice Beach house—right across from the one where Cundo's common-law wife, professional psychic Dawn Navarro, resides. There will certainly be some payback expected, though Jack can't figure out what. Sexy Dawn's intentions are a lot clearer. But Cundo's coming home earlier than anticipated, and Jack smells a double-cross cooking—the kind that could turn a road dog into road kill.

Amazon.com Review
Amazon Best of the Month, May 2009: Be Cool. If Elmore Leonard hadn't already used it for the sequel to Get Shorty, it would have been a natural title for this deliciously breezy follow-up to another Leonard-to-Hollywood hit, Out of Sight. You may best recall Jack Foley, as played by George Clooney, bantering with Jennifer Lopez in the trunk of a jailbreak getaway car, but when Out of Sight ended, Foley was headed back to the clink to finish a 30-year bid. Road Dogs opens with Foley on the van to prison with Cundo Rey, a pint-size Cuban who soon engineers their early release--legally, this time. Jack's happy to be out and enjoying the California hospitality of Cundo and his wife Dawn (both Leonard veterans too, from LaBrava and Riding the Rap). But Dawn is lovely and wily (and maybe a psychic), Cundo is a murderously jealous husband who may well think Jack owes him big-time, and Jack? Well, when you've robbed a hundred-twenty or so banks, is it that easy to go straight? As so often with Leonard, the real fun is less in the action than the talk, especially from Foley, the pleasure-minded, level-headed hood: an ex-con whose biggest con may be that he is exactly who he says he is. --Tom Nissley

Questions for Elmore Leonard

Q:Where did the inspiration for the title Road Dogs come from?

A: Road Dogs was on a list of prison expressions my researcher Gregg Sutter got for me: inmates who watch each other’s back. I liked the sound of the words together.

Q: What made you decide to bring back Jack Foley, Cundo Rey, and Dawn Navarro now? What is it about these three characters that stuck with you through the years?

A: Foley was played by George Clooney in Out of Sight. I imagined George in the scenes I wrote and it worked. Dawn Navarro was the psychic in Riding the Rap, a supporting character ready for a leading role. Cundo Rey from LaBrava, another favorite of mine, also deserved a bigger role, so I brought him back..

Q: Any chance Foley and the woman he loves, Federal Marshal Karen Sisco, will be back in the near future?

A: I’m not sure Foley is up to robbing another bank. But Karen Sisco, the federal marshal in Out of Sight, could show up again; maybe working for her dad, a private investigator.

Q: One of the hallmarks of your writing is your gift for the telling detail. When Foley is offering Cundo Rey’s money man, Jimmy, some advice about his skimming, he tells him that Cundo won’t kill him, but he might “break your legs with a José Canseco bat.” That’s one of those small yet wonderfully deft touches that adds color without slowing the pace. How do you do this so well?

A: Realism is the key to my style of writing and dialogue is what keeps it moving, always in live scenes. Rather than use my voice, my language, to describe what’s going on, I let the characters tell who they are and what they’re up to by the way they talk. Scenes are written from a character’s point of view, never mine.

Q: Many of your characters are working class stiffs and tough, intelligent broads. What draws you to these kind of characters? What do you think accounts for their popularity?

A: My women often upstage the guys; they’re natural, their own person, while my cops and criminals talk the way I’ve observed them through research and being on the scene.

Q: What’s next for Elmore Leonard?

A: Next comes Djibouti, with Dara Barr, a documentary filmmaker with the Somali pirates off the coast of East Africa. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (96)

4-0 out of 5 stars Not one of his best, but great nonetheless
Elmore Leonard's writing is always top-notch.His stories move along nicely, not to mention he has an unbeatable ear for realistic dialogue, interesting characters, and unusual plot twists.As a long-time fan of his, I liked Road Dogs but would not rank it among his best.If you are reading Leonard for the first time, I'd recommend you start with one of his best, such as Get Shorty, rather than this one.

3-0 out of 5 stars Nice follow up to Out of Site, but no where as good.
I liked it, but that's because I like Elmore Leonard and the Jack Foley character. As far as an Elmore Leonard book goes, it's somewhat weak. It has the familiar type characters, and familiar plot twists, but the story itself just wasn't compelling. I felt like Foley was wasted here. Usually when Leonard does a sequel to a character, the book is better. Like Stick was to Swag, or his other familiar characters. Is it a good read non the less? Yes. Just not a great follow up to Out Of Sight.

2-0 out of 5 stars painful, painfully bad
I'm shocked that there are people who think this is a good book. Were you spotting Waldo prior to reading this one?

The premise is a good one in that you have some older prison guys who are used to watching out for one another. Everything else is so beyond description I don't know why someone with his experience level could have written this. The characters just randomly change their minds with no prior indication that they would do so. Its like he was writing and thought, "wow, I have to get this guy to back down but I don't want to change any of the prior scenes. I know, I'll just have the guy say that he looked tired last time even though the time frame is 3 weeks and he has noted being incredibly determined in the past. Yes, that'll do".

Its an awful book to be honest and modestly readable from a length standpoint and whatnot. I would avoid at all costs.

2-0 out of 5 stars Road Weary
Love Elmore Leonard but not this book.Didn't care about or connect with any of the characters.This book was confusing in areas.Don't recognize Venice Beach from this book either.

3-0 out of 5 stars Road Dogs: A Review
In Road Dogs, Elmore Leonard reunites characters from several earlier novels, principally Jack Foley, the All-American bank robber from "Out of Sight." When last seen, Jack was headed off for a thirty-year stretch in the pen, having been shot in the leg and captured by his one-time lover, Marshall Karen Cisco.

Jack is now released early, after serving only a few months, thanks to the hot shot lawyer hired by his prison pal, Cundo Rey. Jack and Cundo are road dogs--friends who watch each others' backs while doing time together. Cundo, who is about to be released himself, sends Jack to live in one of his exclusive Venice, California beach houses. Cundo's other beach house is inhabited by Cundo's extremely sexy and ambitious common-law wife, Dawn Navarro.

Jack expects that Cundo will want something in return for his generosity. Dawn has plans of her own regarding Cundo's fortune, and when Cundo gets early release lots of schemes are set into play.

As is always the case in an Elmore Leonard novel, the characters are far more interesting than the thin plot. And, as always, the author does not disappoint. These are great characters and watching them play with and scheme against each other is great fun. Leonard fans will rejoice. ... Read more

3. Split Images
by Elmore Leonard
Mass Market Paperback: 384 Pages (2002-10-01)
list price: US$7.50 -- used & new: US$3.78
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0060089547
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review


Quintessential Elmore Leonard, Split Images stars Palm Beach playboy Robbie Daniels. He's the kind of guy who gets away with everything -- even murder -- until a vacationing Motown cop, Bryan Hurd, starts asking questions. When this millionaire reptile reveals the psychopath beneath his slippery skin, Hurd finds out this is one helluva way for an out-of-town lawman to spend his vacation.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (17)

5-0 out of 5 stars Darker than usual
You can get the synopsis from other reviews.I just want to say that SPLIT IMAGES is a bit darker than Leonard's usual work but no less satisfying.Millionaire psycho Robbie Daniels ranks right up there with the best of the author's colorful villains.And though his good guys are never as delicious as his bad guys (good guys never are), this is one of Leonard's best.

5-0 out of 5 stars More great characters from Elmore Leonard
Here's an oldie, but goodie in the list of Elmore Leonard's titles!Set in Palm Beach and Detroit, the story is filled with the interesting characters that Leonard exells at bringing to life!

5-0 out of 5 stars Welcome to the incredible
Weeks after finishing this story I found myself awaking and mentally replaying scenes from it over and over. It's that good.

The images have been seared so indelibly in my mind I doubt they'll ever leave me. Which may not be all that bad of a thing.

5-0 out of 5 stars Palm Beach -- Motor City with a tan -
Snap! - the millionaire from Detroit who looks like a cheerleader rubs "his flat belly, tan and trim," while he tells the investigating cop Walter how he shot a Haitian who was supposedly coming at him with a machete in his Palm Beach back yard.Right away we are in the picture and we're hooked in order to see this narcissistic sociopath get what's coming to him.The smiling George Hamilton look-alike is dumb about details so he has to enlist Walter as chief dogsbody and cheering squad. Walter is a triggerhappy joy to behold, a Lawrence Welk fan who grew up in the Hamtramck area of Detroit -- his favorite pinup girl is Norma Zimmer, one of the Champagne girls on the Welk show. I wish I didn't remember that.

Bryan, who joins the case later and eventually makes the collar, is also from Detroit.Bryan is laconic (somewhat like Spencer, Robert Parker's sleuth) but isn't burned out or addicted to the job (like Rankin's John Rebus or Connelly's Harry Bosch).When he goes on vacation he sits on the beach and reads National Geographics and drinks Jack Daniels.He's a perfect match for the just-turned-thirty writer Angela who has been scoping out Mr. Sociopath for an article about rich people.All the good guys have a sense of humor and the dialogue is great fun - especially when the cops are tweaking the criminals who don't know they're being laughed at.Leonard is the Hemingway of crime fiction -- his dialogue captures complex motivation in crisp photoshots.

Nasty things happen, even to the wrong people, but Mr. Tan Belly does indeed get his comeuppance.A great read.I lived in South Florida during the eighties and Leonard brings it all back - the heat, the biting bugs in the scrub, the palmetto bugs...ahhhhhhh....

4-0 out of 5 stars Fun and Games with Elmore Leonard
Split Images was fun to read!Elmore Leonard's books are fast, chocked full of interesting characters and punchy dialogue.A Detroit policeman, Bryan Hurd, must prove that a local millionaire, Robbie Daniels, is a serial killer.The book moves from Detroit to Palm Beach, FL, following the charming Robbie as he plans his ultimate thrill kill.The characters are alive and the plot has a few excellent twists.Pick this book up and have a good read. ... Read more

4. Comfort to the Enemy and Other Carl Webster Stories
by Elmore Leonard
Paperback: 224 Pages (2010-10-01)
list price: US$14.99 -- used & new: US$8.57
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0061735159
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review


The "Hot Kid" of the U.S. Marshals Service, Carl Webster maintains the law with a cool, showdown attitude. He's one of the richest creations in Elmore Leonard's half century of delivering the goods. From his appearances in the critically acclaimed novels The Hot Kid and Up in Honey's Room, Carl returns to lay down the law in a novella that originally appeared as a serial in the New York Times Sunday Magazine.

The title novella—plus two Carl Webster short stories—traces Carl's career from his run-in with 1930's gangsters to his investigation of a murder at a German POW camp in Oklahoma. This time it's Carl against war-seasoned Afrika Korps Nazis. With its pitch-perfect dialogue, compelling characters, and classic charm, Comfort to the Enemy is vintage Leonard.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars Nice Introduction to Leonard's Work, Which Seems More Promising Than This Collection
Thanks to the publisher and goodreads for the advanced reading copy.

Comfort to the Enemy is a collection of two short stories and the eponymous novella starring Carl Webster. The two short stories, "Showdown at Checotah" and "Louly and Pretty Boy" also appear in the book, The Hot Kid.

I've known about Elmore Leonard, having seen the movies Get Shorty and Out of Sight and having loved the tv show Justified. But I never got around to reading his work until now.

As expected, Leonard's got style and every character is just cool, cool, cool. Carl Webster reminds me of Raylan Givens of a different era.

I preferred the two short stories over the novella, as I like the cowboy marshal hunting down or meeting bank robbers more so than solving a murder revolving around Nazis. A lot of the mystery solving also involved longer-than-usual and therefore less-spunky dialogue, which diluted what was supposed to be Leonard's forte.

I'm not sure if this collection is meant to satiate existing fans of Carl Webster or to entice new readers to read the Carl Webster novels The Hot Kid and Up in Honey's Room. As a new reader, I'd say this book successfully piqued my interest in Leonard's other books, even if the novella contained herein was less than perfect. ... Read more

5. Swag: A Novel
by Elmore Leonard
Paperback: 272 Pages (2009-04-01)
list price: US$14.99 -- used & new: US$7.89
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0061741361
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review


The smallest of small-time criminals, Ernest Stickley Jr. figures his luck's about to change when Detroit used-car salesman Frank Ryan catches him trying to boost a ride from Ryan's lot. Frank's got some surefire schemes for getting rich quick—all of them involving guns—and all Stickley has to do is follow "Ryan's Rules" to share the wealth. But sometimes rules need to be bent, maybe even broken, if one is to succeed in the world of crime, especially if the "brains" of the operation knows less than nothing.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (31)

5-0 out of 5 stars All Elmore, all the time!
This is another in a long line of truly great books.I love Leonard's character, absolutely love the dialogue.This is another reason why, after I read my first novel in the 1980s, I walked into the nearest bookstore on payday and bought 15 books by him.I read them all before the next payday and went out looking for more.One of my favorite binges!!

4-0 out of 5 stars Fun, Fun, Fun with lots of great characters.
This was a good book. At first I thought it was like a bunch of small stories about two newbie stick-up men. How they went about thinking on how to stick-up grocery stores, bars, etc... and then actually pulling them off. But then, as the book went on, every thing started to get really well tied together in this great plot. This is one of my favourite Elmore Leonard books. The characters were great as what the plot. This is also the introduction to the Stick character who after you read this book, you wanted more of. (He then later followed it up with the book...Stick) SWAG is classic Leonard at its best.I've read about 20 of his books and this is within the top 5.

4-0 out of 5 stars Swag: A Novel
Another very good, easy read from Mr. Leonard.The kind of book I like to read on a long flight.

5-0 out of 5 stars Leonard's Best Novel
I've read about 15 of Elmore Leonard's novels. Many of them are excellent. But Swag is his all-time best.

The novel concerns two Detroit lowlifes - Frank Ryan and Ernest "Stick" Stickley (Get the joke? - Frank and Earnest). Frank Ryan sells cars at a dealership and sees Stick steal a Camaro. The police catch Stick. However, in court Frank claims that he cannot identify Stick.

After court, the two men get to know each other in a bar. Frank tells Stick that they should go into armed robbery because - of all possible crimes - it offers to highest payoffs for the fewest risks. Frank shows Stick a list of ten rules that he has created for success in armed robbery.

Leonard does a great job of developing the relationship between the two men. Frank is the leader. He is a glib alcoholic who enjoys the criminal life. Eventually, he becomes a spendthrift and breaks most of his ten rules. Stick is a serious-minded redneck with a long rap sheet. He is ambivalent about the robberies and worries about going back to prison.

This novel has many of Leonard's hallmarks: snappy dialogue, surprising plot twists, and cool characters. Chapters 13 and 14 - covering two armed robberies - are worth the price of the book by themselves. Leonard's descriptions of the two robberies build incredible tension.

Swag is both an action novel and a "buddy" story - and it works on both levels. It's also a wonderful time capsule of mid-1970s Detroit. If you love mysteries, you owe it to yourself to read Swag.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read
This novel, although not the most recent work of Leonard's, its excellent. It encompasses a character which many people can relate and puts him in a completely new life with money and girls. You will not be able to put this book down, I read it in about 2 days, and by the end it becomes so intense you are reading as fast as you can. The ending of the book and the last line are perfect. ... Read more

6. Pronto
by Elmore Leonard
Mass Market Paperback: 400 Pages (2010-04-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.07
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0062020315
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review


The feds want Miami bookmaker Harry Arno to squeal on his wiseguy boss. So they're putting word out on the street that Arno's skimming profits from "Jimmy Cap" Capotorto—which he is, but everybody does it. He was planning to retire to Italy someday anyway, so Harry figures now's a good time to get lost. U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens knows Harry's tricky—the bookie ditched him once in an airport while in the marshal's custody—but not careful. So Raylan's determined to find the fugitive's Italian hideaway before a cold-blooded Sicilian "Zip" does and whacks Arno for fun. After all, it's a "pride thing"...and it might even put Raylan in good stead with Harry's sexy ex-stripper girlfriend Joyce.

Amazon.com Review
In the world of Elmore Leonard novels, cops and criminals get by with agrudging respect for each other's capabilities:
Harry had been arrestedby Buck Torres a half-dozen times or so; they knew each other pretty welland were friends. Not socially, Harry had never met Buck's wife, butfriends in the way they trusted one another and always had time to talkabout other things than what they did for a living.
Right now, 66-year-old Harry Arno's in trouble. In order to get at hisboss, Jimmy Cap, the feds told Jimmy that Harry's skimming off the sportsbook he runs, the idea being that Harry will testify in exchange forprotection from Tommy Bucks (a.k.a. the Zip), Jimmy's enforcer. But Harry'sgot a few tricks up his sleeve. Then when a straight-shooting U.S. Marshalldecides to spend his vacation tracking Harry down, all hell breaks loose.Set in Miami, Florida, and Rapallo, Italy, Pronto is anotherbrilliantly executed combination of suspense and black humor from themaster of crime fiction. --Ron Hogan ... Read more

Customer Reviews (20)

5-0 out of 5 stars Classic Leonard
US Marshal Raylan Givens has to be Elmore Leonard's favorite hero.The author has brought him back in several books (and Givens has even come to life in the recent TV series "Justified.")In PRONTO, Givens is on the trail of a self-destructive bookie who's been skimming from the mob, and a contract has been taken out on the man's life.The action shifts from Miami to the Italian Riviera and what could be better than putting classic Leonard lowlifes in Italy?The joy is in watching the bookie, the hitman, and the lawman interact and in drinking in the spot-on dialogue.

1-0 out of 5 stars Great writer - bad book - , like reading a comic book
This writer is good , must of been in a hurry when he wrote this - you should be able to return it and get your money back,Just felt like reading a comic book. This is the book you can put down

5-0 out of 5 stars couldn't put it down
This is for fans of the TV hit "Justified".This book ends where "Justified" begins.If you like that show, you'll love this book and the adventures of Raylin Givens..the no-nonsense US Marshall.This book is a fun, entertaining read.It leaves you wanting more.I'm a Leonard fan for life.

5-0 out of 5 stars Alas, poor Harry
It does seem like main characters named Harry are inclined to be less than Honest Joes who get themslves in jams by their own fault.Harry Arno, a bookmaker who's been skimming off of his corpulant boss for years now is set up by the feds to trap the big fish.U. S. MarshallRaylan Givens, in the tradition of stereotypical Texas Rangers or even the Lone Ranger with the double motive for tracking Harry down to compensate for his having lost him as a captive some years previous and also to thwart hitman "the ZIP", pursues Harry and his girlfriend from Miami Beach to Rapello, Italy.In other words, this is the fast moving, humorous and violent yarn one has come to expect from Elmore Leonard and will be no disappointment to his fans.

4-0 out of 5 stars Changing Your Home Doesn't Change Who You Are
Harry Arno the bookie has to escape mob guys and the cops by fleeing to Italy, but of course they follow him there. The foreign setting was a nice change for Leonard, though it lost its way in the middle. Moving things to Italy really saved this one. All characters were well drawn, especially the straight-shooting Raylan, who should get his own movie or TV show (hear that, McCloud?). Some of the plot got a little convoluted, thus the long middle, but Leonard does a fine job as always of wrapping things up nicely. This could have been a third shorter, plot-wise. The details about Sicilians, mob life, girlfriends, and everything from the Foreign Legion to Ezra Pound would have to stay of course. Leonard is just too good at that stuff to lose it. ... Read more

7. The Complete Western Stories of Elmore Leonard
by Elmore Leonard
Paperback: 576 Pages (2007-05-01)
list price: US$15.99 -- used & new: US$5.21
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0061242926
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review


Before he brilliantly traversed the gritty landscapes of underworld Detroit and Miami, Elmore Leonard wrote breathtaking adventures set in America's nineteenth-century western frontier—elevating a popular genre with his now-trademark twisting plots, rich characterizations, and scalpel-sharp dialogue.

No author has ever written more evocatively of the dusty, gutsy heyday of the American West than Elmore Leonard. This complete collection of his thirty-one Western tales will thrill lovers of the genre, his die-hard fans, and everyone in between. From his very first story ever published—"The Trail of the Apache"—through five decades of classic Western tales, The Complete Western Stories of Elmore Leonard demonstrates the superb talent for language and gripping narrative that has made Leonard one of the most acclaimed and influential writers of our time.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

2-0 out of 5 stars Misleading advertising
Unfortunately I purchased this the day before Christopher Beck posted his comment pointing out that although the name of the CD is "The Complete Western Stories of Elmore Leonard," and the cover posted with it says "unabridged," the CD is in fact only 2 of the 11 stories, or about one hour of reading.I was setting out on a 6-hour drive, and had to race back on-line and purchase a substitute by overnight, an expense I was not happy about.I just looked it up today, and it says that it is a "CD [Abridged, Audiobook, Unabridged] [Audio CD]."Good luck making sense out of that.Deconstructing it, it seems to make sense, but it certainly counts as misleading advertising at best.However, the two stories are great, and if the price for two short stories makes sense to you, then the purchase is good.

2-0 out of 5 stars save your money

ISBN-13: 978-0060749927



5-0 out of 5 stars Western Stories
I like the Western stories of Elmore Leonard a lot, good descriptions, exciting and always a surspise ending, read the book twice which says a lot

4-0 out of 5 stars Read all details
This CD came in perfect condition. It's the title that gets you. Even though it's called The COMPLETE Western Stories of Elmore Leonard...this is just 2 stories from the book. It was my fault for not reading everything. So pay attention to what you buy!

4-0 out of 5 stars Great condition
Book is in perfect condition and fit description exactly.Make sure to account for a long delivery time. ... Read more

8. When the Women Come Out to Dance: Stories
by Elmore Leonard
Paperback: 240 Pages (2004-01-01)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$3.93
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0060586168
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review


Elmore Leonard, a literary icon praised by The New York Times Book Review as "the greatest crime writer of our time, perhaps ever," has captured the imagination of millions of readers with his more than three dozen books.

In this short fiction collection, Leonard demonstrates the superb characterizations, dead-on dialogue, vivid atmosphere, and driving plots that have made him a household name -- and once again illustrates that the line between the law and the lawbreakers is not as firm as we might think.

Federal marshal Karen Sisco, from the bestselling novel Out of Sight, returns in "Karen Makes Out," once again inadvertently mixing pleasure with business. In "Fire in the Hole," Raylan Givens, last seen in Riding the Rap and Pronto, meets up with an old friend, but they're now on different sides of the law. In the title story, "When the Women Come Out to Dance," Mrs. Mahmood gets more than she bargains for when she conspires with her maid to end her unhappy marriage.

All nine stories are Elmore Leonard at his vivid, hilarious, and unfailingly human best.

Amazon.com Review
What a treat! The nine stories in this collection--some never before published, others available only in anthologies or magazines--demonstrate why Elmore Leonard has achieved both bestsellerdom and critical acclaim. Ranging in length from a four-page trifle to two novellas of 50-plus pages, these are gems of sly humor, suspense, and, above all, character. Most are in the contemporary crime-fiction vein that made Leonard famous, but a few are more contemplative set pieces, and there's one fine Old West story (Leonard was a Western writer before he became a crime king).

Longtime fans will recognize some familiar faces, including the U.S. marshals Raylan Givens, from 1993's Pronto and 1995's Riding the Rap, and Karen Sisco, from 1996's Out of Sight (played by J. Lo in the movie). But whether familiar or new, the people in these stories lunge off the page and seize you by the lapels. Nobody writes character and dialogue like Leonard. In fact, several tales feature some rural white-trash bad guys who are so utterly plausible that you'll look over your shoulder next time you drive a country road.

The short story format suits Leonard's stripped-down style beautifully. While one or two of the slimmer pieces feel a bit disposable, all nine are engaging, and the best are breathtakingly good--the crispest, best-plotted stuff Leonard has published in years. --Nicholas H. Allison ... Read more

Customer Reviews (25)

5-0 out of 5 stars Utter goodness...
Leonard remains master of his domain.America's greatest crime-fiction writer again astounds readers with this collection of short stories.From a washed up baseball player, to an unlikely arsonist, to a lawman whom isn't afraid to use his piece, Elmore Leonard fails to disappoint in any of his nine shorts.A must read for Leonard fans and a great intro book for the noobs.10 out of 10.

1-0 out of 5 stars Where's my book?
I'd love to give a review of this book, but I still haven't gotten it yet.Apparently the book dealer recommended by Amazon has some sort of problem.

5-0 out of 5 stars Funny, Scary, Wonderful Stories
Before the Coen Bros., before the Edgerton Bros., there was Elmore Leonard. Been watching "Justified" and wanted to read the stories, which are great.Would definitely use this seller again. Mm

5-0 out of 5 stars A great introduction to Elmore Leonard
Either way, this is a great collection, whether you're new to the author or are a veteran reader of his novels.This has two novellas and seven short stories, each quite distinctive.Two are from his days as a western writer.Fans will recognize characters from Leonard's novels.My favorites are the two novellas and the title story, but all are worth reading.

5-0 out of 5 stars Shorts as good as his longs
I was once lucky enough to have Elmore Leonard write me a letter.In it, he said that Hemingway taught him to "set up a scene quickly, with no waste."That talent has served Leonard well in his novels, and even better here in a collection of nine of his short stories.Every scene is set within the first page, the first paragraph even, and from then on its pure "Dutch," doing things only he can do.I highly recommened this collection to anyone looking for a good "crime" read and especially for budding authors of all genre.

Speedo ... Read more

9. Stick
by Elmore Leonard
Mass Market Paperback: 416 Pages (2002-08-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$3.25
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0060085630
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review


After serving time for armed robbery, Ernest "Stick" Stickley is back on the outside and trying to stay legit. But it's tough staying straight in a crooked town -- and Miami is a pirate's paradise, where investment fat cats and lowlife drug dealers hold hands and dance. And when a crazed player chooses Stick at random to die for another man's sins, the struggling ex-con is left with no choice but to dive right back into the game. Besides, Stick knows a good thing when he sees it -- and a golden opportunity to run a very profitable sweet revenge scam seems much too tasty to pass up.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (17)

5-0 out of 5 stars Another great Leonard novel
Elmore Leonard wrote this book in the early '80s just when he was hitting is stride with contemporary crime novels.STICK has all the trademark elements of an EL yarn--a down-to-earth hero surrounded by a bag of mixed nuts, colorful but lethal bad guys, beautiful women with issues, lean prose, and lines of dialogue so good you sometimes have to stop and read them twice.If you like his later books, you should go back and read the earlier ones.They're so much fun they should be illegal, and STICK is no exception.

4-0 out of 5 stars Everyone after a buck
Things haven't changed much as everyone is still trying to score.If you aren't one of the predators, you may be eaten.If you are one of the predators, you may still be eaten.There are con men, drug dealers, and people with money looking for investments.People can sell drugs, they can sell information, or they may sometimes sell their bodies. Earnest "Stick" Stickley has just served 7 years in a Michigan prison for an armed robbery that went bad.He used to sell used cars, although they were usually not his cars.You will get a little insight into surviving on the inside.Now he is out, and has returned to Miami to visit his daughter.An invitation to ride along on a simple assignment seems routine until things go very, very bad.But Stick finds opportunities in adversity, scoring money, and scoring with various women.It's one of those stories where various people get to the top and then get dragged down as people feed on each other.

4-0 out of 5 stars Stick with Elmore's best
He's a pulp-fiction sausage-factory, but 'Stick' is a great book (especially the start of it), and so is 'Get Shorty'.I also remember liking 'Freaky Deaky' and 'Glitz' (named after Elmore's unique style?); but 'Be Cool', 'Cuba Libre', 'La Brava' and 'Gold Coast' weren't any good.The Westerns ... indifferent.

5-0 out of 5 stars Elmore is just the best!
Every Elmore Leonard book is terrific. This book continues the outstanding characterizations and dialogue that have earned Leonard the reputation of best living crime writer, perhaps of all time.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of his best
as always the dialogue is only as he does it along with the fast moving plot,I also fell for a new to me authorMichelle CozzensIt's Not Your Mother's Bridge Club ... Read more

10. Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules of Writing
by Elmore Leonard
Hardcover: 96 Pages (2007-11-01)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$6.90
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: B001P3OLFQ
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review


"These are the rules I've picked up along the way to help me remain invisible when I'm writing a book, to help me show rather than tell what's taking place in the story."--Elmore Leonard

For aspiring writers and lovers of the written word, this concise guide breaks down the writing process with simplicity and clarity. From adjectives and exclamation points to dialect and hoopetedoodle, Elmore Leonard explains what to avoid, what to aspire to, and what to do when it sounds like "writing" (rewrite).

Beautifully designed, filled with free-flowing, elegant illustrations and specially priced, Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules of Writing is the perfect writer's--and reader's--gift.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (48)

1-0 out of 5 stars One star for format, not content
I want to think this book was not Leonard's idea.

I came across it a few days ago in the library, and, being an admirer of Leonard's work, sat down to look through it.

It amounts to a perversion of one of the basics of good writing: Brevity. Often, a single sentence occupies an entire page. Not a long Faulknerian sentence, but ones equal in length to the those I've just used.

The unoccupied white spaces would easily hold a short story of average length. That, plus the use of thick card stock for pages and gratuitous illustrations suggest that an entire forest died to satisfy some publisher's idea of clever packaging. Apply the same technique to "Moby Dick" and your local library would have to build a separate wing to hold just one copy. (I haven't done any calculations, but I don't think it's much of an exaggeration, if at all.)

Google "Elmore Leonards 10 rules of writing" and you get the entire thing for free. All three pages.

4-0 out of 5 stars I love the experience of this book
I found this book in the store and read it right there in the aisle.All the way through.Put it back on the shelf thinking, "OK, I know that..."Walked away.Came back.Put the book in my shopping cart (nice bookstore, that, with a cart so you don't have to lug your books all over).

Ten little rules, LOTS of white space, instant comprehension, and a LIFETIME to learn."leave out the parts the readers tend to skip."If only I could do that on the first pass!OR the 23rd!! (and there are my three exclamation points, so I'm all used up for the next 99,800+- words...)

I have Stephen King On Writing.I have Robert Bly.All my books on how to be a better writer serve their purpose.10 Rules for Writing will go on the shelf next to the others, and I'll bet it comes down a whole lot more often.When I need to remember that beautiful books and great book design matter.When I need to be reminded that it really is pretty simple.I spend a whole lot more on a whole lot less.Three fancy coffees will leave only weight gain; this little book might actually make a difference in my life.

1-0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing -- would be better as a pamphlet
Elmore Leonard is a terrific writer, and I admire his stuff. I have written non-fiction for 40 years, and my conclusion is that this book is a mere shadow of what it could have been.

Of the 89 pages, printed on very thick paper to give the volume some substance, fully 41 are blank. Many of the remainder contain a sentence or a brief paragraph.

All the advice, which is excellent, could have been delivered in a pamphlet. I expect a book on writing to contain more, well, writing.

I got this book used, but I still feel ill-used.

You'll get more good advice for less money if you pick up a copy of "On Writing Well" by Zinsser

5-0 out of 5 stars Elmore Excels!
Elmore Leonard has created here, a book that says just what it needs to and no more. It is quirky and amusing, whilst giving the budding writer some really sound advice. You can read it in one sitting or take your time to soak up the esoteric knowledge contained within these definitive pages. A must for all people serious about the writing craft.

4-0 out of 5 stars `If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.'
This was originally published in The New York Times on 16 July 2001 as `Easy on the Adverbs, Exclamation Points and Especially Hooptedoodle'.The article was part of a series in which writers explore literary themes.

So, why consider buying the book?Well, the illustrations by Joe Ciardiello weren't in the article.And if a picture is worth a thousand words, then there are a few thousand words here in addition to the original article.

This is not a `how to write' guide, although consideration of each of these rules would certainly assist writers in their quest for effective writing.I like each of these rules - especially 5: `Keep your exclamation points under control.'The overuse of exclamation marks is one of my pet hates: if the words themselves cannot get my attention then appending an exclamation mark won't help.

I have a copy of the article, and recently borrowed a copy of the book.I'm still considering whether I need to own my own copy.Yes, it's a slender little book, but size isn't always indicative of quality.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
... Read more

11. The Bounty Hunters
by Elmore Leonard
Mass Market Paperback: 336 Pages (2002-04-01)
list price: US$5.99 -- used & new: US$2.64
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0380822253
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

The old Apache renegade Soldado Viejo is hiding out in Mexico, and the Arizona Department Adjutant has selected two men to hunt him down. One -- Dave Flynn -- knows war, the land, and the nature of his prey. The other is a kid lieutenant named Bowers. But there's a different kind of war happening in Soyopa. And if Flynn and his young associate choose the wrong allies -- and the wrong enemy -- they won't be getting out alive.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Elmore Leonard Westerns
I love a GOOD Western novel - non-fiction too - and E. Leonardis tops.

3-0 out of 5 stars Passable early effort
Not the best of the westerns by Leonard, but good enough for a quick air trip or afternoon at the beach. As the author's output decreases, there's still enjoyment in his early work.

4-0 out of 5 stars Classic story
This is one of those books that distinguishes itself within the genre.It's nice to read a book that's so character driven, in a category famous for its gunfights, outlaws, and stories that blend in to one another.

4-0 out of 5 stars excellent novel debut
This is actually the first Elmore Leonard novel I've read despite having been a fan of several films based on his crime novels rather than his westerns (e.g., Out of Sight, Jackie Brown, Get Shorty). I was in the mood for a western, however, so I picked this one up. For a novel released in 1953, I certainly wasn't expecting something this dark and violent. The Bounty Hunters seems to anticipate the spaghetti westerns of Sergio Leone by over a decade. The story is fairly simple, but it's handled so capably that it still feels fresh over fifty years later. The only problems I had with the story were the stereotypical representations of the Apaches and the Mexicans. What helps to offset this, however, is that the titular bounty hunters are, in fact, the most evil sons of guns in the entire book. They're characters you can't wait to see get their bloody comeuppance. Honestly, by the end, I was cheering for the Apaches,--lead Apache Soldado is such an intelligent and capable character that I found it hard not to cheer for him--and I believe Leonard has a bit of admiration for them himself. (Whether or not that admiration translates into a balanced depiction is another matter entirely.) I highly enjoyed this book, and I look forward to reading more of Leonard's western fiction. Who knows; maybe I'll eventually get around to reading some of his crime novels.

5-0 out of 5 stars Elmore Leonard sure can write
Besides writting great modern day novels Elmore Leonard can and does wirte great Westerns. "The Bounty Hunter" is a great read. I believe this was one of his frist novels if not the first. Keep up the good work Elmore. It is a pleasure to read anything you write. ... Read more

12. Freaky Deaky
by Elmore Leonard
Mass Market Paperback: 448 Pages (2002-10-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.20
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0060089555
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

He used to be on the bomb squad, but it's not until he transfers out that Chris Mankowski really begins juggling with dynamite. Rape and revenge are just the tip of the iceberg in a twisty tale that brings Detroit's denizens to life -- and occasional death -- in all their seedy glory. Electrifying, explosive, and unexpected, this is Elmore Leonard at his suspenseful best. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (39)

5-0 out of 5 stars A savory stew of colorful characters
What Elmore Leonard does so brilliantly is take a bunch of characters (and I mean that in both senses of the word) who cover every moral shade of gray from basically good to pure evil, puts them all together in a setting, and lets them marinate.The results are always delicious, a guilty pleasure, a feast.FREAKY DEAKY stands out for the variety of devious characters he juggles.The dialogue is sharp, the humor sharper. It's amazing Hollywood hasn't made this one yet.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best appreciated by readers who grew up during the 60's
This is top drawer Leonard, but definitely is aimed at a particular generation.It does open with pages and chapters of dialogue between pairs of characters before things truly start happening, but it will definitely please Leonard's fans.

3-0 out of 5 stars Just OK
I like Elmore Leonard, but this one is ultimately unsatisfying.Too many long scenes of two characters discussing things they did in the 60's.Too many scenes of characters discussing whether A1 or ketchup is better on a hamburger.The cop is an unlikeable loser living at home with his folks.No depth to his characterization.Too much depth on the hippies.

Worst of all, an underwhelming ending.I was left with "That's it??"You've got all these sleaze bag characters in one room, and that's the best you could think of??

Skip it unless desperate.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not His Best, But Still Great!
Set in Detroit, Freaky Deaky is more than a crime novel. Leonard weaves memories of the Sixties throughout effortlessly and, like Rum Punch, is as much about growing older as it is about bombs and thugs.

As usual, it's not the big things that make this Elmore Leonard novel enjoyable. It's the little things that impress, like speech patterns. He definitely has the best ear for dialogue of anybody I've ever read, and the trend of realisitic talk continues here. Each character has an individual accent and speech pattern, which helps in a novle with so many characters.

You almost forget about the crime drama with all of the human drama that goes on, and I mean that in a sincee and positive way.

However, I have to say that this is not my favorite EL novel, and it is certainly not a good starting point for anyone just getting into his world of crime. Don't get me wrong, it's still a great book, but there are others that are better. When you've written as many books as Mr. Leonard, that tends to happen.

The biggest problem is that it's just too long. If twenty or fifty pages had been cut out, then it would have been a lot tighter and would move a lot faster. That's really the only problem with the book. Overall, it's a good read and not disappointing, but something about it leaves you wanting more.

4-0 out of 5 stars Characters are the highlight of an excellent thriller
A trio of former 60s radicals, who were always more thrill-seeking opportunists than truly idealistic revolutionaries, orbit an alcoholic millionaire who seems to have only a handful of brain cells remaining.They are all scheming to get their hands on his money.Some of their schemes involve explosives, which leads to the accidental involvement of a former Bomb Squad officer and an aspiring starlet.Once Elmore Leonard gets these characters and their conflicting agendas bouncing off one another, a solid, entertaining thriller is the result.This is my first Leonard novel, and I'm pleased to find that his reputation for masterful dialogue is richly deserved.All of the characters are well-drawn, but Woody, the millionaire, is a particularly brilliant invention.The climax seems a bit abrupt, though it has the virtue of being poetically just. ... Read more

13. LaBrava: A Novel
by Elmore Leonard
Paperback: 432 Pages (2009-04-01)
list price: US$14.99 -- used & new: US$0.01
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0061767697
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review


Joe LaBrava first fell in love with femme fatale movie queen Jean Shaw in a darkened theater when he was twelve. Now he's finally meeting his dream woman in the flesh, albeit in a rundown Miami crisis center. Cleaned up and sober, though, she still makes LaBrava's heart race. And now that Jean's being terrorized by redneck thug Richard Nobles and his slimy Marielito partner Cundo Rey, Joe has a golden opportunity to play the hero. Or he could wind up the patsy—or dead—in the final reel.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (16)

5-0 out of 5 stars Elmore Leonard rules!
I would rank LaBRAVA among Leonard's best.It was the first of his books I read, and since then I've been an addict.Nobody does crime fiction like him.He is my inspiration as a writer.Curling up with a Leonard novel is always a treat, and LaBRAVA is sheer pleasure.

5-0 out of 5 stars Read this book now.
If you want to understand how The Master does it, read LaBrava now.No living American author - not even Richard Russo (although he sometimes comes close) - can tell a story like Elmore Leonard.LaBrava is a classic.Then Read "Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules of Writing" and give copies to (1) your high school-aged children; (2) your college-aged children; (3) your kids in graduate school; (4) your lawyer; and (5) your financial advisor.Save one for yourself.

5-0 out of 5 stars Shoulda been a black & white movie
If it walks like james M. Cain and it tastes like James M. Cain, then it must be Elmore Leonard. After reading the ten or twelve most recent Leonard novels and short story collections as they were published and thoroughly enjoying them, it became time to try some of his earlier work. LaBrava was the first, published more than twenty years ago. I was floored by the atmosphere of South Beach in the early eighties, so reminiscent of James M. Cain's noir novels like The Postman Always Rings Twice, Butterfly, and Serenade, published in the 1940s, with their elaborate, devious plot twists, photographic detail, and brilliant flawed characters. To those qualities Leonard adds his ear for dialogue.The plot revolves around ex secret service agent turned photographer Joe LaBrava, his fairly elderly former bookie friend turned hotel operator, and a slightly faded starlet. 'Nuff said. It's perhaps Leonard's best.

4-0 out of 5 stars Crime Novel at its best
This was my first Elmore Leonard novel but it will not be my last. Believable characters and a look at some of the seediness of south Florida. All finished of with a nice twist. What more do we need?

5-0 out of 5 stars A Pure Delight
Reading "LaBrava" provided me the most fun I can remember with a novel.It's my sixth Leonard novel, and it's my favorite without a close second.All the things you expect from Leonard are present here - vivid portraits of a slimy setting, colorful and dynamic characters, and snappy, pitch-perfect dialogue.

What's more present in "LaBrava" than in the other Leonard works I've read are a truly likable hero and a spicy, entrancing romance.

If you're looking for an introduction to Leonard but aren't sure where to start, look no further."LaBrava" is a classic. ... Read more

14. Out of Sight: A Novel
by Elmore Leonard
Paperback: 368 Pages (2009-04-01)
list price: US$14.99 -- used & new: US$5.45
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: B003F76J5A
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review


World-class gentleman felon Jack Foley is busting out of Florida's Glades Prison when he runs head on into a shotgun-wielding Karen Sisco. Suddenly he's sharing a cramped car trunk with the classy, disarmed federal marshal and the chemistry is working overtime—and as soon as she escapes, he's already missing her. But there are bad men and a major score waiting for Jack in Motown. And the next time his path crosses Karen's, chances are she's going to be there for business, not pleasure.

Amazon.com Review
When Jack Foley, a career bank robber, surfaces aftertunneling out of a medium-security penitentiary in Florida, he comesface to face with Karen Sisco, a beautiful federal marshal. Though thebarrel of her shotgun is pointed right at his face, she doesn't shoot,and Foley's accomplice, Buddy, overpowers her and puts her in thetrunk of a car. Foley gets in with her and the car takes off, theescapee seemingly home free. In the cramped darkness of the trunk, thecriminal and marshal find they have much in common and by the time thecar reaches its destination, the two have become infatuated with eachother. After Karen manages to escape, she and Foley try to reconnectoutside the confining roles of kidnapper and victim. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (57)

5-0 out of 5 stars Classic Leonard
GET SHORTY's Chili Palmer might be just a little bit cooler than this book's hero, bank robber Jack Foley, but Foley is still pretty damn cool.Only in an EL novel, would a felon on the run put the moves on a US Marshal.Their meet-cute moment in the trunk of a car is a hoot.Reviewers have complained that the movie version of OUT OF SIGHT with J. Lo and George Clooney tops the book, but I disagree.They're each good in their own way, but EL's writing has a wry, interior texture that's never adequately captured on the screen.As usual, the plot is inventive, the characters jump off the page, and the dialogue is better than eating chocolate.

4-0 out of 5 stars I'll be reading more Elmore
Good one. Although this is the first book I've read by Leonard, I'll def be doing another! Great characters and development of place. Good pace and no bull. Slighlty quirky and fun.

4-0 out of 5 stars Another Round of the Good Old Stuff
It's been several years since anyone posted a new review of "Out of Sight."Well, I just read it for the first time, and it is vintage Elmore Leonard.

The book's plot moves along nicely, there are interesting characters and situations, there is typical excellent dialogue and there are some very funny lines - mostly from Buddy.

If you're looking for a "beach" or "airplane" book - this one is tough to beat.I strongly recommend "Out of Sight."

5-0 out of 5 stars Another Winner
In typical Leonard fashion, this is a book you can't put down. The two main characters are so meant for each other and so evenly matched--and so destined to a face-off at the climax of the book. Simply said: it's a wonderful read.

2-0 out of 5 stars WASTE OF TIME---
This was one of those books that fizzled out causing me to feel I wasted my time. By the end, I could not care less what happened to whom or why. ... Read more

15. Cat Chaser
by Elmore Leonard
Paperback: 256 Pages (2005-03-17)
list price: US$14.45 -- used & new: US$0.69
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 075381966X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

The last time Florida motel owner George Moran was in the Dominican Republic he was in a uniform and people were shooting at him. Years later he's back looking for a girl he lost - and finding one he'd be better off without. But that doesn't matter to George while he's sleeping with beautiful Mary de Boya - only when he discovers his lover is the wife of a former death squad general in exile with mob connections. So much for the trip down memory lane - now Moran finds himself in a cat's cradle of drug deals, swindles, vengeance and murder.Amazon.com Review
In the world of Elmore Leonard novels, two ex-soldiers can sitaround a hotel swimming pool in Florida and, as if it were perfectlynatural, chat about a friendly fireincident during an "interventionist action" in Santo Domingo. Hischaracters have learned the futility of complaining about a life wheredeadly violence and moral obligations are all too frequentlyintertwined. In Cat Chaser George Moran is the hotel manager who gotshot at back then; now, he'srekindling his intimate acquaintance with the wife of Andres de Boya, aformer Dominican military enforcer who currently invests in real estatewith a healthy sideline in drugs.

A dizzying series of plot twistsinvolving various grifters and strongmen (both hired and freelance) leadsto the grimly comic suspense action that Elmore Leonard fans have come to knowand love. But as always, it's Leonard's impressive ear for dialogue thatraises Cat Chaser above the herd of crime novels. An example:

"That'scorrect," Scully said, "I'm a consultant... I advise people on businessmatters, act as a go-between, bring people together that want to makedeals... things like that. You want to know any more, come by my office,we'll have a coffee sometime. Okay? Right now I'm going to see Mr. Pradi.Where you come in--I'm gonna knock on his door, he don't open it then Imight have to kick it in. I mean the business I got with him is thatpressing. So you can give me a key and maybe save yourself a door. What doyou think?"
Well, what do you think? --Ron Hogan ... Read more

Customer Reviews (14)

3-0 out of 5 stars Oddly satisfying
I have to say, as a person reading WAY outside her chosen genre, I enjoyed this book pretty well. This is one of the books I acquired when my husband and I merged our libraries, and I probably would not have gotten to reading it any time soon, had it not been for Go Review That Book! [...]
I enjoyed the fast-paced writing style, as well, with the exception of how we seemed to be jumping in to the middle of the action towards the beginning. It took quite some time to really get a feel for these characters, and by the time I did, I felt like I had missed some plot points that I hadn't understood were important because I hadn't gotten to know the characters. It sort of felt as though I was reading something from the middle of a series, but as all the characters seemed to have their stories neatly tied up in this book, that must not be the case.
The resolution of the tale was quite satisfying, although throughout the book, I didn't really see how it could come to a conclusion I'd be happy with. I'm impressed with Leonard's story.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another great one
This is the usual Leonard set up--descent guy who's not afraid to get his hands dirty, an alluring woman in need of saving, and a bunch of bad guys one worst than the next--but in EL's hands it never gets old.He scores again thanks to his wry wit, needle-sharp dialogue, and wonderful characters.I'm very surprised this book isn't still in print with a major publisher.What the hell's wrong with these people?Leonard will still be selling long after we've forgotten teen vampires and ditzy chicks on spiritual journeys.Trust me on this.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great of Leonard's
One of my favorites of Leonard's (I've read most of his more recent books, only a few of his westerns), with the great dialogue and storyline seen in his stories.A former Marine who served in the Domincan Republic decides to try to find a woman who saved his life there.Great characters and dialogue.

5-0 out of 5 stars Cat Chaser
I love Frank Mueller as a reader.Product was in good condition.
The reading is excellent. Delivery was in a timely manner.
Thanks for the enjoyment. I am listening to it presently.
Thank you so much.

3-0 out of 5 stars Solid characters, weak plot
George Moran is a man who married into money and divorced out of most of it.Earlier in life, he served in the military and saw some brief action in the Dominican Republic.Now running a small motel, he returns to the Dominican Republic to see the places where he fought without the stress of combat and also to search for a girl who was his enemy at the time but who also intrigued him.While there, he meets up with the wife of a former Dominican general who was also known to him when he was married.The two had always had a connection of sorts and they end up in a passionate affair.I won't give away any more specific plot details but there is a fair amount of intrigue as well as the near-constant threat of violence and murder.

Elmore Leonard is well known as a master of prose and the narrative here is certainly clear and crisp.Most of the characters were interesting, even some of the minor ones that are barely part of the story.While the author is sometimes classified as a mystery writer, this is neither a mystery nor a detective story.It's crime fiction featuring a more or less ordinary guy getting caught up in a mess and trying to work his way through it.

The plot was the weak spot for me.The Dominican angle wasn't that interesting to me to begin with and the whole angle with the girl there never really went anywhere.I also found it difficult to empathize with George's lover who carries on an affair and wants to leave her husband but keeps waiting around because she hasn't had time to write out the perfect goodbye speech yet.She knows that he's had many people killed and that he knows about her affair but won't leave for far too long.

The story takes several turns but most felt muddled, instead of being suspenseful twists.I don't want to overstate the case, this is not a bad book.But it was a disappointment because I had heard a lot of good things about Elmore Leonard and I can't say that I was enthralled with my first experience reading him.Established fans may enjoy it, but if you're looking to try the author for the first time, I'd recommend looking at one of his other works. ... Read more

16. Unknown Man #89
by Elmore Leonard
Mass Market Paperback: 368 Pages (2002-06-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.15
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0060082216
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Detroit process server Jack Ryan has a reputation for being the best in the business at finding people who don't want to be found. Now he's looking for a missing stockholder known only as "Unknown Man No. 89." But his missing man isn't "unknown" to everyone: a pretty blonde hates his guts and a very nasty dude named Royal wants him dead in the worst way. Which is very unfortunate for Jack Ryan, who is suddenly caught in the crossfire of a lethal triple-cross and as much a target as his nameless prey.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (20)

5-0 out of 5 stars Don't miss this one
This is one of Leonard's earlier crime novels, and perhaps easily overlooked because it doesn't have a typically snappy EL title.What I love about his novels is how he eases into a story.No trumped-up, high-concept razzle-dazzle from page one.He starts with the characters, reveals telling details about them and how they talk, then lets them evolve and interact naturally.You always feel like the fly on the wall eavesdropping on real people in his books.And then there's the trademark martini-dry humor.It all works like a charm, and UNKNOWN MAN #89 is a prime example of Leonard working his magic.Don't let this one get away.

5-0 out of 5 stars Nancy in Seattle, WA :Top notch classic!
Truthfully, you never know for certain how a story by Elmore Leonard is going to end until you get to the last page.There are more twists than a switch-back mountain hiking trail. The dialog is easy, never contrived and flows like you are evesdropping on something you might not want to know anything about.You can see the thought process as characters try to work out their next step.Ryan is a thinking person's antihero in the classic sense, slow moving and looking at all the odds.I have always liked Mr. Leonard's women.While Denise, 'Lee', might not be the girl next door any longer, you get a good picture of what she has been through and how she is trying to redefine herself.This is not an action thriller bloodbath, it is worth reading over and over.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Discovery
Elmore Leonard is never a discovery; he's the master, but this book was hiding in a bin I hadn't been through in awhile and the moment I found it I devoured it.This is classic Leonard--lean, Hemingwayesque, beautifully plotted and clear as crystal.A Detroit process server stumbles onto a strange case and finds himself trapped by an array of dangerous individuals: a scam artist with a Louisiana hit man/sidekick, two local black criminals, the dead partner of one of them and his alcoholic ex-wife.The process server, Jack Ryan, walks the tightrope, dodging shotgun blasts, getting cozy with the ex-wife and finding some help from a local cop named Dick Speed.This is pure Leonard genre heaven, but without the Damon Runyon clumsy figures.These people are all serious.It's the difference between Killshot and Get Shorty--Leonard in his ultra-serious mode, doing what only he can do so well.It's a lightning-fast read, dated only by the dollar amounts in play.Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Leonard is a genius.
What is it about Elmore Leonard that makes him so awesome?

He's a master of the language, yet his prose is understated.He communicates a great deal with few words, and what he communicates is always unique and interesting.He doesn't overwrite or show off but by the same token doesn't fall into the affected "terse" style other crime writers sometimes put on.

His characters breath.They're all three dimensional and unpredictable.There is rarely a character who hasn't been through something dark and gritty.They're all wounded and trying to get somewhere better.None of them are stock "good guys" or "bad guys"- and sometimes you don't know which will turn out to be which.Leonard doesn't fall back on genre cliches.And the dialogue is incredible- Leonard is the master of real sounding, tense, menace-laden conversation between people with hidden agendas.

Plotting: again, awesome.Truly masterful.Pacing is spot on.

Regarding this book in particular it exemplifies all of the above in spades.

Thanks to Hollywood, we all know Mr. Majestyk, 52 Pickup, Get Shorty, Be Cool, KillShot, etc., but Unknown Man # 89, published in 1977 after Swag, is an unknown gem that'll keep you flipping pages at night. Leonard weaves an original story of Jack Ryan, a Detroit process server, who is hired to find Bobby Lear by a con man named Mr. Perez. The con deals with unclaimed stocks and Ryan will hit pay dirt if he can just locate him for Mr. Perez. Easy enough right..? It's what Ryan does for a living. Wrong! Ryan gets himself in deeper to the con and has to figure out how to turn the tables on Mr. Perez. It leads to a clever triple-cross only Elmore Leonard could engineer.

Most notable scene: where Virgil Royal plants a shotgun in the room of his victim-- the fire escape of Bobby Lear's hotel room; it is reminiscent of Puzo's Godfather.

I would read Unknown Man # 89 again... and again...
Highly recommend!!! ... Read more

17. Hombre
by Elmore Leonard
Mass Market Paperback: 208 Pages (2002-03-01)
list price: US$5.99 -- used & new: US$2.52
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0380822245
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

John Russell has been raised as an Apache. Now he's on his way to live as a white man. But when the stagecoach passengers learn who he is, they want nothing to do with him -- until outlaws ride down on them and they must rely on Russell's guns and his ability to lead them out of the desert. He can't ride with them, but they must walk with him or die.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (16)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Western Classic
Prolific pulp and screen writer Elmore Leonard made his bones as a writer of clever crime and Western tales in the heyday of men's magazines, graduating from short stories in such venues to the silver screen as a script writer. Along the way he turned out numerous well-received longer works, too.

Hombre, which became the Western movie classic of the same name with Paul Newman, is one of Leonard's most well known tales in this group and one that has entered the mythos of modern Westernophiles, among whom I count myself. Although I tend to favor the Western in film more than in fiction, the novels and stories of this genre have long provided the seed and soil of the filmed tales. From Jack Schaefer's Shane to Lonesome Dove: A Novel and Broken Trail, it's to the books that Hollywood has so often looked for inspiration. Hombre is no exception.

Leonard's Western heroes are typically hard loners, isolated from the larger Anglo society around them either because of their Indian or Mexican heritage or other factors that have combined to set them apart. They just don't quite fit in. John Russell, the Hombre of this tale, is one of these. Three parts Anglo and one part Mexican he was kidnapped at the age of five or six and raised by the Apaches until the age of twelve when he is returned to white society, adopted by a lonely man named Russell and given his Anglo name, a name that, like the clothes he is forced to wear or the society he is forced to endure, never quite seems to suit him.

At seventeen he flees to the Apache reservation and works for a number of years as an Apache policeman where he wins the name "Tres Hombres" after a remarkable fight with bandits. All this is told quickly in the backstory because Leonard, a master of narrative movement, doesn't dither long over the past, giving us just enough to get our first fix on the character of the man and what he is likely to turn out to be as the story unfolds.

The best of Leonard's Westerns are character studies of a particular type, men like John Russell, a man who has returned to Anglo society only reluctantly after learning of the death of his benefactor and of the inheritance of land the man has left to him. It is this return that sets the stage for the action which will soon unfold, quickly, brutally and with deadly results.

Russell is a man the others in the small group on the "mud wagon", hired to take them all to a distant town, cannot fathom. A filthy Indian to several of them when they discover his background (he refuses to disavow having Indian blood), a dangerous enigma to the hardened Frank Braden who is fresh out of Yuma Prison on a mission of his own.

It's a tight tale taking place over a few weeks with most of the action occurring in the last few days as those traveling with Russell soon learn that he alone holds the key to their survival. His unique Apache mind and the life he has led sets him apart from his companions in the only way required by the hard land and circumstances in which they find themselves. When the small group is finally beleaguered by outlaws on the grounds of an abandoned mine it falls at last to Russell to decide whether he is more white than Indian. In the end the choice he makes is a white man's but the way he does it is all Apache.

This is a very fine Western though, perhaps, the film spoiled it for me. As when I read Dashiel Hammett's Maltese Falcon after seeing the film (The Maltese Falcon [Blu-ray]) and could not get the actors out of my head, I had the same experience here. Try as I might, I couldn't shake the picture of Paul Newman (Hombre) as I followed John Russell leading the stricken passengers in a desperate effort to save themselves after the abortive hold-up -- or of Fredric March as the crooked, pusillanimous Indian agent, despite the fact that he looked nothing like the description of Dr. Favor in the book. Or Richard Boone's sneering and overbearing Braden.

The novel and the movie are very close and, if Westerns are your thing -- or good, really tight writing is -- then Hombre should be, too.

Stuart W. Mirsky
author of The King of Vinland's Saga

5-0 out of 5 stars A classic western
For me, Hombre is one of the best novels that I have ever read.Life sometimes offers things that you wish would never end, and this book is one of those things.Leonard created a memorable hero in John Russell who is the stuff that legends are made of.This is a must read for anyone who can appreciate the Western genre on any level or anyone looking for a good read period.

4-0 out of 5 stars A fine story of bigotry in the old west
Elmore Leonard, one of the finest storytellers of the old west, spins an interesting story of a white man raised by Apaches who decides to walk in the white man's ways. During a stagecoach run through the mountains and deserts, John Russell becomes the object of scorn and derision of white passengers who later must rely on Russell to lead them out of the wilderness to safety. The novel is a thrilling read of the old frontier days and the tension builds as Russell and his group have a showdown with outlaws at an abandoned mine. The book was filmed in 1967 and starred Paul Newman in the title role.

4-0 out of 5 stars INCONGRUENT ENDING
HOMBRE is an excellent read until the very end. The end is a WTF!!! moment. I conclude that Leonard wanted an ending with an O'Henry twist, and picked the worst possible twist to use for the job. Its definitely incongruent with the John Russell character. What was Leonard thinking? He wasnt.

The rest of the book is excellent.

2-0 out of 5 stars dissapointed
Been a long time since I've read Leonard's stuff. Having fondly remembered Get Shorty, Maximum Bob and Rum Punch, I thought I'd download a few of his books to my new Kindle. Hombre had potential, but it went largely unexploited and the ending was extremely weak. I would have rated it one-star, but I'm now halfway through Leonard's Glitz and I think I might need to reserve one-star status for that one. Yaaaaawn! ... Read more

18. Killshot
by Elmore Leonard
Mass Market Paperback: 416 Pages (2008-04-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$3.15
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0061563862
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review


Ironworker Wayne Colson has come to the real estate office where his wife, Carmen, works—at the worst possible time for both of them. Armand Degas, an Ojibway Indian hit man, and loose cannon Richie Nix are here to shake down Carmen's boss. And Wayne steps in the way.

He sends the two off bleeding, and now the shooter for hire and Richie the ex-con have sworn to get the Colsons. There's little the state police and local law enforcement can do to help them, and the best the Feds can offer is the Witness Security Program. It comes down to Wayne and Carmen—and finally Carmen on her surprising own—to deal with the rough-trade misfits.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (35)

5-0 out of 5 stars One of Leonard's best
Let me say right up front, I am an Elmore Leonard freak.He is just an amazing writer whose books have inspired me for years, and KILLSHOT is one of my favorites.It has his usual delicious villains and sneaky plotting, but what I particularly like about this book is that the heroes are a married couple.Usually his hero is a man on his own who meets a woman in the course of the narrative and falls into lust which eventually becomes love or something like it.His portrayal of a marriage under duress takes him into new emotional territory and it's worth the trip.And, of course, no one does dialogue like Leonard--spare but so revealing.This is probably why so many of his books have become films.(Side note: Killshot the movie was awful, one of the worst Leonard adaptations I've seen.Heartbreaking how they could have screwed up such choice material.)If you've never read an Elmore Leonard novel, KILLSHOT is a great place to start.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not very exciting
When I bought this book I was under the impression it was going to be action packed.It was slow and boring to read.I contemplated stop reading this halfway through but pushed on waiting for a good ending that never came.Don't waste your money.

5-0 out of 5 stars The BEST Cat and Mouse Story I've Ever Listened To....
When a couple unwittingly witnesses a crime, their lives get turned upside down.A hitman that was seen by the wife is now out to "tie up" loose ends and they must defend themselves.Ryder Strong, the narrator, with his low and menacing voice really brings the characters, especially Arman the hitman, to life.He keeps the listener in suspense, hungry for the next part of the plot to unfold.

4-0 out of 5 stars Leonard Blasts Away With This Winner
This is my favorite Elmore Leonard book.It is a real page-turner and he picks up nuances of characterization while also melding the comic and tragic in human action - - both the despicable and the admirable.

Wayne and Carmen are true salt of the the earth people.They have great sensitivity and are strongly centered and grounded.Ricky and Armond are sociopathic nightmare-comics.Donna (with her 'Elvis is Alive' and her loving to have sex with convicts) is a lonely, pathetic woman.

The author juxtaposes solid human values with emptiness.All of this revolves around a good adventure thriller and crime novel.

5-0 out of 5 stars My introduction to Elmore Leonard
Killshot is the first Elmore Leonard novel I read and it made me a fan of his within the first two pages. Great story with well-developed and engaging characters. He is a true master of fiction and I'm anxious to see the movie when it comes out. ... Read more

19. The Hot Kid
by Elmore Leonard
Mass Market Paperback: 387 Pages (2006-09-01)
list price: US$9.99 -- used & new: US$2.80
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0060724234
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review


Carlos Webster was fifteen in the fall of 1921 the first time he came face-to-face with a nationally known criminal. A few weeks later, he killed his first man&#8212a cattle thief who was rustling his dad's stock. Now Carlos, called Carl, is the hot kid of the U.S. Marshals Service, one of the elite manhunters currently chasing the likes of Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson, and Pretty Boy Floyd across America's Depression-ravaged heartland. Carl wants to be the country's most famous lawman. Jack Belmont, the bent son of an oil millionaire, wants to be public enemy number one. Tony Antonelli of True Detective magazine wants to write about this world of cops and robbers, molls and speakeasies from perilously close up. Then there are the hot dames&#8212Louly and Elodie&#8212hooking their schemes and dreams onto dangerous men. And before the gunsmoke clears, everybody just might end up getting exactly what he or she wished for.

Amazon.com Review
Before Elmore Leonard abandoned westerns to blaze across the pantheon of bestsellerdom with his hip, stylish thrillers, punctuated with dead-pan humor and dialogue worthy of a David Mamet play, he might have written The Hot Kid; it has some of the same crisp pacing and well-defined, if not especially complex, characters that marked his earlier novels. A show-down between Tulsa oil wildcatter and millionaire Oris Belmont and his 18-year-old son, who's attempting to shake him down, says all there is to say about both men:
"I don’t know what's wrong with you. You're a nice-looking boy, wear a clean shirt every day, keep your hair combed ... where'd you get your ugly disposition? Your mama blames me for not being around, so then I give you things .. you get in trouble, I get you out. Well, now you've moved on to extortion in your life of crime ... I pay you what you want or you're telling everybody I have a girlfriend?"

Jack Belmont's blackmail scheme doesn't work, but after destroying his father's property, forging checks in his name, kidnapping his mistress, and joining a gang of notorious bank robbers after his release from prison, he encounters another man trying to get out from under his father's large shadow and create his own, bigger one.Deputy U.S. Marshal Carl Webster, who at age 15 shot a man trying to steal his cows and six years later dispenses equal justice to Emmet Long, the leader of Belmont's gang, now has Jack Belmont in his sights. Webster's exploits have earned him even more celebrity than Jack, who dreams of rivaling Pretty Boy Floyd as public enemy number one.

We’re in the early 30's here, just as a dust cloud is rolling across the Oklahoma plains--the days of Bonnie and Clyde, when gangsters captured the public attention, and Leonard makes good use of place and time. His minor characters are much more interesting than his protagonists, especially the women, and the writing shows occasional flashes of his trademarked ironic humor. But it's not as cool--or as hot--as even his most dedicated readers are used to, and there's barely a trace of the bizarre plot twists and unlikely coincidences that define his most recent caper novels in this one. --Jane Adams ... Read more

Customer Reviews (72)

5-0 out of 5 stars Back in time
Elmore Leonard took a break from his contemporary crime novels to go back in time to the 1930s when bank robbers (Bonnie and Clyde, John Dillinger, Pretty Boy Floyd et. al.) were the scourge of the nation.It was a time of transition.Al Capone had been put away, but his Italian-American cohorts were gaining steam despite J. Edgar Hoover's insistence that organized crime was not a major threat.The 1930s, at least in the Midwest, was a return to the Wild West days of lawmen tracking down bad guys the old-fashioned way, and Leonard captures the period beautifully without sacrificing his wonderfully spare prose and on-target dialogue.You will see the roots of his US Marshal Raylan Givens (PRONTO, RIDING THE RAP) in US Marshal Carl Webster, the hero of this book.THE HOT KID is another winner from a hottest writer in crime fiction.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good Guys, Bad Guys, Gun Molls and Off Beat Characters
When Carl Webster was fifteen years old he told Wally Tarwater, a cattle thief, that if he tried to get away with his stock, he'd shoot him. Wally tried and Wally died. Carl went on to become a federal marshal who was quick with a gun. Shooting bad guys, it turns out, was in his blood. Carl grows up wanting to be the best lawman that ever lived.

Jack Belmont, unlike Carl, took to the bad side in his youth. The son of wealth, Jack finds out about his father having an affair and threatens to tell his mother, unless his dad hires him on at ten grand a month. Jack grows up wanting to be the best outlaw that ever lived.

This hugely entertaining story takes place in the thirties and we are treated to some real life figures of the times, like Pretty Boy Floyd, Baby Face Nelson and the famous John Dillinger along with others. And, of course, Elmore Leonard throws in a lot of his off beat characters to keep you laughing and guessing as you read along. This is certainly one of the best books I've read in a long time. I just loved it and I think you will too.

4-0 out of 5 stars Guilty Pleasure
Now I'm biased. I LOVE Elmore Leonard's novels. I usually read 2-3 a year, more as a guilty pleasure. They are the epitome of cool. The only downside, is that they're basically all the same. Someone is always a snazzy dresser, there's always crazy story lines involving multiple subplots and coincidences that always end up being relevant and tying into a neat little package.

Which is why The Hot Kid was such a surprise. Elmore Leonard began his career writing westerns...which is now pretty much a dead genre. Luckily for him, he was even better at writing crime fiction.

But the Hot Kid he kind of gets the best of both worlds. It's not quite a Western, but as close as you can get. It's the 1930s and gangsters are grabbing the headlines. His main character (Carl) is a snazzy dresser with an even better tag line: If I pull my gun, I shoot to kill.

There aren't any of the crazy storylines (which I actually enjoyed - sometimes I can't always keep up with the weaving of the storylines in his modern day tales). This was more of a straight forward telling.

Still Elmore Leonard, but with a refreshing twist. Don't know if I'd want him to return too many times, but still highly entertaining. One of those books perfect for a cottage.

I give this four quick draws out of five.

Ryan McFadden
Author of 'Women of the Apocalypse'
Women of the Apocalypse

5-0 out of 5 stars Thomas Fitzsimmons author of City of Fire loves this book.
This is great read, right up there with Get Shorty. I love the new character and the simplicity of the plot.City of Fire

5-0 out of 5 stars Vintage Leonard
The joke is that those who can't do, teach, but Elmore Leonard disproves that.His rules for writing are readily available on the Internet and they aren't just advice:he also follows his own rules.Rules such as only using "said" in dialogue to avoid distracting the reader with unnecessary words like "exclaimed", "commented" or "remarked".Then there is probably his most well-known rule, to not write the things people skip over; in other words, keep the description to the minimum and focus on the dialogue and action.While it is quite possible to write a good book while defying these rules, Leonard shows that sticking to them works quite nicely as well.

Such is the case with The Hot Kid.The title character is Carl Webster, son of Virgil Webster (from the earlier Leonard book, Cuba Libre.After killing a cattle thief as a teenager in 1920s Oklahoma, Carl is motivated to become a U.S. Marshal to capture fugitives.From the start, he is very good at his job, getting involved in dramatic shootouts and capturing notorious outlaws.

Paralleling Carl's life is Jack Belmont.Like Carl, Jack is a son of a wealthy man, but where Carl is essentially noble, Jack is a sociopath whose behavior is getting more and more erratic.His crimes will put the two of them on intertwining paths that can lead only to one place, a final showdown.

As is typical of a Leonard book, plot is almost secondary.What he is more interested in are characters and dialogue.Unlike some authors who seem to feel that every bit of conversation must be linked directly to the story, Leonard goes for something more realistic, using speech to reveal elements of the character.Also, as in most Leonard books, there are few master criminals; Belmont and the other crooks often bumble around; they're dangerous, but they're no geniuses.In other words, they're human.

I've always considered Elmore Leonard books to be a real treat, and The Hot Kid continues his own string of quality books.To read one of the true masters of the crime novel, you can't go wrong with Leonard in general or The Hot Kid specifically. ... Read more

20. Get Shorty
by Elmore Leonard
Paperback: 304 Pages (2005-02-01)
list price: US$14.99 -- used & new: US$4.61
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0060777095
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review


Loan shark Chili Palmer didn't say anything when Ray Bones stole his leather jacket from Vesuvio's in Miami. He just went to Ray's house, broke his nose, took the jacket, and left. Twelve years later, on account of his boss getting whacked, Chili finds himself working for Bones and ordered to collect on a bad debt from Leo Devoe, a guy who died in a plane crash. But it turns out Leo isn't dead; he's in Las Vegas with the $300,000 the airline paid to his wife. So Chili follows him to Vegas and then on to Hollywood, where he hooks up with movie producers, actors, and studio execs. Getting Leo becomes a movie pitch unfolding in a city where every move you make is a potential scene, and making it big isn't all that different from making your bones: You gotta know who to pitch, who to hit, and how to knock 'em dead.

Amazon.com Review
Nobody writes openings like Elmore Leonard. Case in point: "WhenChili first came to Miami Beach twelve years ago they were having one oftheir off-and-on cold winters: thirty-four degrees the day he met TommyCarlo for lunch at Vesuvio's on South Collins and had his leather jacketripped off." You need to know about this because you need to know whythere's bad blood between Chili Palmer and Ray Bones, the guy who stolehis coat and is now his boss--and has ordered him to collect $4,200 from adead guy. Except the guy didn't die; he went to Las Vegas with $300,000. SoChili goes to Las Vegas, one thing leads to another, and pretty soon he'sin Los Angeles, hanging out with a movie producer named Harry Zimm andlearning what it takes to be a player in Hollywood.

Get Shorty is classic Elmore Leonard: While other people write"crime fiction," Leonard's come up with a masterful social comedy thathappens to be about criminals (and other fast operators). He's a master ofsnappy dialogue and dizzying plot twists. The best parts of GetShorty move along so briskly you almost forget there's somebody with afirm control over the story. And you'll be rooting for Chili to get themoney, the girl, and the studio deal. --Ron Hogan ... Read more

Customer Reviews (58)

5-0 out of 5 stars Don't ignore the book
Okay, you've seen the movie, which is pretty damn good, and Travolta as "Chili Palmer" is pretty cool, but DON'T IGNORE THE BOOK.Leonard is the master of character and dialogue and an especially keen observer when it comes to greed.Sure, Hollywood is an easy target, but he skewers the movie biz in his oh-so-unique way.If you can erase the film actors from your mind (never an easy task), try to read this book with a fresh eye.It's one delicious ride you won't regret taking.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great characters in the Damon Runyon tradition
Another reviewer pointed out the Damon Runyon influence and it definitely is there and is indeed an enhancement to this classic crime novel. The small time loan shark, Chili Palmer is the principle character here and he well carries the story, yet is ably assisted by other indelible players such as horror film producer Harry Zimm, superstar actor Michael Weir, former scream queen Karen Flores, wise guy RayBones, and "investor Bo Catlett who's willing to kill if necessary in order to protect his investments.The author's knack for snappy dialogue and profound insight of what makes both major and minor hustlers tick bring these people to life and enables each to impact the plot which strongly affected by each individual's actions.And each of these characters each act and interact in front of a finely tuned Hollywood background which is as skillfully painted as Elmore Leonard's portraits of such cities as Detroit, Miami, Atlantic City, New Orleans, etc.If you're totally unfamiliar with Leonard, this is a great starting point, and if you have already discovered him, this is a must read to experience him in top form.

5-0 out of 5 stars One more to my Elmore Leonard collection.
I am a huge fan of Elmore Leonard and have wanted to read this book for ages, since I've watched the movie a couple of times.Love it, absolutely love it and highly recommend.

1-0 out of 5 stars Waste of time
"Get Shorty" is one of the worst books I've read.No suspense, no excitement, boring dialogue, uninteresting characters.I felt profound disappointment at having wasted my time reading it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Taking Lives And Meetings In La-La Land
1990's "Get Shorty" is half Hollywood parody, half crime thriller in the usual Elmore Leonard vein. Ironically, while the famous movie adaptation got the crime story right somewhat at the expense of the show-biz angle, Leonard's book shines brightest when he's taking on movie making.

Chili Palmer is a self-described shylock who chases a debt runner from Miami to Los Angeles, just a few steps ahead of a dangerous mobster still sore at Chili for punching him out over a stolen coat years ago. There Chili falls in with schlock-making producer Harry Zimm and Harry's ex, scream queen Karen Flores. The three find themselves with a hot property they want to produce into a film, if only they can get star actor Michael Weir, short in size but long in stature, to play the lead.

The first time I read "Get Shorty", it seemed unusually confusing for a Leonard book, very non-linear in the way it unfolds. Reading it again, after having seen the movie, sorted a lot out. The maze-like storyline zags along nicely, the zingers are funnier, and the trademark Leonard voice really comes through.

"I'll make you a deal," Palmer tells one goon who's leaning on Harry for a piece of his dream project. "If you can get out of here before I take my coat off, I won't clean the floor with you, get your yacht-club outfit all messed up."

It's the Hollywood angle that really shines here, Leonard no doubt returning some favors. Weir, when we meet him, turns out to be a typically self-centered product of a culture whose main export is narcissism. At one point, an agent notes Weir is a notoriously risky casting choice because of his propensity for backing up on his commitments.

"I love him, but he's worse than Hoffman and Redford put together," she says.

Sure, the only shooting movie people do is with cameras and paint guns. Still, characters like Michael's agent are plenty ruthless, plotting the destruction of entire careers over lunch simply so their star can have a fresh script to toss away next week.

Another nice aspect to the book is the way it plays to the make-believe nature of the business in its very plot. Reality becomes a flexible thing in "Get Shorty", and in both directions, people talking about how to fix the ending of the movie idea they have even as they consciously relate that idea to the life they are living.

"Get Shorty's" main weakness is an underdone crime story, revolving around a bag inside an airport locker that's a MacGuffin for some backstabbing and bloodshed. The movie made this work by playing more for laughs. The book's version is funny, too, just not as much, with Chili a harder guy than the movie version.

What isn't a problem is Leonard's slightly gonzo take on Hollywood culture, a dream factory that mutates into something surreal and vindictive while remaining gaudy and bright. It's not a bad place to make a living, in the end. Just watch your head. ... Read more

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