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Fire In The Hole: Stories [Paperback]

Elmore Leonard
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Dec 28 2011

“[Leonard’s] most satisfying book since Out of Sight….Top-notch work from one of our most gifted and consistently entertaining writers.”
New York Times Book Review

“Vintage Leonard….Nine stories with booze and shotguns and lowlifes…and lots of scenes that ought to be in movies.”
Detroit Free Press

Originally published as When the Women Came Out to Dance, Elmore Leonard’s extraordinary story collection, Fire in the Hole reconfirms his standing as the “King Daddy of crime writers” (Seattle Times)—a true Grand Master in the legendary company of John D. MacDonald, Dashiell Hammett, and James M. Cain. These nine riveting tales of crime and (sometimes) punishment—including the title story starring U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, which was the basis for the smash hit TV series Justified—feature all the elements that have made the great Elmore Leonard great: superb writing, unforgettable characters, breathtaking twists, and the sharpest, coolest dialogue in the mystery-thriller genre.

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Fire In The Hole: Stories + Riding The Rap: A Novel + Pronto: A Novel
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Product Description


“If Leonard were a new kid instead of a past master, this fiction collection would make his name.” (People)

“Rummaging through Leonard’s attic via these nine stories revives some fond memories and turns up a couple of forgotten treasures.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“Elmore Leonard’s 39th book ...finds one of America’s most accomplished novelists presenting his most accomplished female characters in years.” (USA Today)

From the Back Cover

In this superb short fiction collection, Elmore Leonard, “the greatest crime writer of our time, perhaps ever” (New York Times Book Review), once again illustrates how the line between the law and the lawbreakers is not as firm as we might think. In the title story, the basis for the hit FX series Justified, U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens meets up with an old friend, but they’re now on different sides of the law. Federal marshal Karen Sisco, from Out of Sight, returns in “Karen Makes Out,” once again inadvertently mixing pleasure with business. In “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.

These nine stories are the great Elmore Leonard at his vivid, hilarious, and unfailingly human best.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic stories Feb. 7 2012
By Lawman
What can I say about Elmore Leonard that hasn't been said. A series of entertaining short stories by America's greatest story-teller. Has the beginnings of U.S. Marshall Raylan Givens for Justified fans and collectors. Highly recommend!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Elmore Leonard At His Best March 5 2014
By David
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've always been a fan of Elmore Leonard's writing, his gritty underworld characters are minimally described, but show themselves to be amoral by their actions toward other humans. A fast read, good plot.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Ok read May 11 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
couple good stories, but some were no more than table scraps
touches on being dark, but nothing that would make you go wow in today's world
feels like scripts for tv drama
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  158 reviews
94 of 103 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Money for old rope Jan. 4 2012
By Noel - Published on
This book has actually been printed before under a different title a few years ago "When the Women Come Out to Dance". Stories are exactly the same, in the same order, with nothing new added, just a different title "Fire in the Hole".

I read "When the Women..." a while back but I remember liking it, so if you haven't read that then picking that up or this new edition of it is worth it. It includes the short story that led to the Tim Olyphant FX series "Justified" if you're a fan of that.

But for fans of Elmore Leonard, don't be fooled by the title, the master has not written a new book here, it's just the publisher trying to make a quick buck.
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True excellence, throughout Jan. 25 2012
By Michael Chaney - Published on
I've read and re-read each story in this collection 3 or 4 times. Each is a gem. I can't remember a short story collection as well done.

Today, and for the last 20 years or so, crime fiction is all about plot. Guys who write poorly--who fill page after page with cringe-inducing phrases and dialogue unlike the way anyone actually speaks--become the biggest sellers, while a guy like Elmore Leonard, America's best writer, wows the critics and sells far fewer books. Still always on the Best Seller list, but with modest sales relative to his genius, a sad fact that says a lot more about American readers than it does about Leonard.

If you want Hemingway-caliber writing, but with humor and pitch perfect dialogue, Elmore's your man. And this short story collection is a good place to start.

I can't find a cut and paste-able version of the collection from which to post an excerpt, but for those unfamiliar with Leonard, here's a small taste from his book Pagan Babies.

<< THE CHURCH HAD BECOME a tomb where forty-seven bodies turned to leather and stains had been lying on the concrete floor the past five years, though not lying where they had been shot with Kalashnikovs or hacked to death with machetes. The benches had been removed and the bodies reassembled: men, women and small children laid in rows of skulls and spines, femurs, fragments of cloth stuck to mummified remains, many of the adults missing feet, all missing bones that had been carried off by scavenging dogs. >>
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of Raylan, and much more June 7 2012
By Karl Janssen - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
This collection of short stories by Elmore Leonard was first published in 2002 under the title When the Women Come Out to Dance. Due to the success of the TV series Justified, it has been re-released under the title Fire in the Hole, as it includes the story of that name on which the TV show is based. "Fire in the Hole" is the only one of the nine stories in this collection to feature Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, but it is the one of the longest stories in the book and clearly the best. Raylan was previously featured in Leonard's novels Pronto and Riding the Rap. The former is much better than the latter, but "Fire in the Hole" tops them both. Raylan, who has served the U.S. Marshal Service in Miami for several years, is sent back to Harlan County, Kentucky, where he was born and raised, to take part in a task force aiming to take down Raylan's former friend Boyd Crowder, a white supremacist who robs banks and blows up churches. This is an excellent ensemble piece populated with all manner of intriguing redneck, good ol' boy, and latter-day cowboy lawman characters who exchange generous helpings of Leonard's delightfully scripted hillbilly repartee. It is a riveting ride, alternately comical and suspenseful. The story will be familiar to those who watch Justified, as the first few episodes of season one were quite faithful to Leonard's original narrative. Reading Leonard's incarnation of the story is a joy and a revelation.

Miami-based Marshal Karen Cisco has also had her own TV show and movie (Out of Sight). She's featured here in the story "Karen Makes Out," in which she finally finds a man she thinks she can fall in love with, only to discover soon after that he's a suspect in a series of bank robberies. I'm sure there are other recurring characters from Leonard's works who appear in this collection, but I don't know enough about his career to tell you which ones. He shows an incredibly wide range in these stories, covering the crime and western genres and beyond. Besides "Fire in the Hole," the collection features another novella-length work, "Tenkiller." When his fiancee dies, a former bull rider turned Hollywood stunt man makes a trip to his hometown of Okmulgee, Oklahoma, to check on his family's pecan farm. Upon arrival he finds his house occupied by a family of criminal lowlife tenants who are up to no good and don't want to leave. The book features two very strong stories in the western category. "Hurrah for Captain Early," stars a black Spanish-American War veteran who receives a less than warm welcome from some small town racist cowhands. In "The Tonto Woman," horse thief Ruben Vega stumbles upon a beautiful white woman living alone in the desert. When he discovers that she has Indian tattoos upon her face, he becomes greatly intrigued by her and decides to look into her mysterious past.

There are a couple of weaker entries. "Hanging Out at the Buena Vista," chronicling the first date of two octogenarians in a retirement home, is a little too cutesy for its own good. "Sparks," about an arson investigation, is not particularly exciting. These shorter pieces do little to drag down the collection as a whole, however, and the rest of the stories are captivatingly entertaining. Leonard really has a knack for creating fascinating, likeable characters, and his talent for penning snappy dialogue is unparalleled among contemporary crime writers. Despite the fact that my favorite Stetson-wearing U.S. Marshal is only featured in one story, I enjoyed this book more than either of the two prior volumes in the Raylan Givens series.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fire in the Hole: Stories Feb. 18 2012
By F. Sronce - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Turns out it was just a reprint of an old book that I already had. They changed the name and publication date so you would buy it again - and to tie in with the TV series that features the main character in one of the short stories (Fire in the Hole). If you have been an Elmore Leonard fan for a long time, you probably already have it. If not, it is probably worth the price.
14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars WARNING--not a new collection! March 4 2012
By David - Published on
This same volume of stories--some of which are excellent--was previously issued (and not very long ago) as When the Women Come Out to Dance. The new title is to cash in on the success of the tv show Justified by highlighting the one story (of 9) involving the lead character of that show, Raylan Givens. I think that is somewhat unethical, despite the small print reference to the prior title on the edge of the cover (compared to the much more prominent reference to "Featuring Raylan Givens from the FX Series Justified", as if he were in more than 1 story).
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