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Get Shorty [Mass Market Paperback]

3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)

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First Sentence
When Chili first came to Miami Beach twelve years ago they were having one of their off-and-on cold winters: thirty-four degrees the day he met Tommy Carlo for lunch at Vesuvio's on South Collins and had his leather jacket ripped off. Read the first page
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5.0 out of 5 stars Get this book Sept. 2 2005
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This improbable story of a Miami two-bit hood who becomes a movie producer is full of sharp characters, snappy action, and witty dialog. As usual, Elmore Leonard works in the fringes of society where small-time hoods and citizens trying to scrape by rationalize the legal and moral implications of the choices they make to get what they want. This book is particularly amusing for its send-ups of Hollywood and the false machismo of Latin drug hustlers. Here's the premise: loan shark Chili Palmer comes to L.A. to collect some debts. After visiting film director Harry Zimm, he doesn't break his legs but becomes his partner instead. They team up to produce a risky movie and Chili starts to make one of his own on the side. Soon, Harry's sleazy investors come into the picture and want Chili rubbed out. Chili's rival Ray Bones visits town, also with the intent on giving the slick hit man trouble. Meanwhile, Chili becomes friends with a big shot movie star and falls in love with Harry's leading lady. A fortune of cash is at stake while GET SHORTY evolves from one plot twist to the next. If you love movies or complex thrillers with gritty dialogue and human characters, pick up a copy of this fresh and enjoyable caper. I also recently enjoyed the novels HAM ON RYE by Bukowski, and the latest book by McCrae, his KATZENJAMMER. Though not a bit like GET SHORTY, they were, nonetheless, great stuff.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Elmore Leonard spoofing Elmore Leonard?!? Oct. 4 2003
By lazza
Format:Mass Market Paperback
'Get Shorty' is certainly a most unusual novel from Elmore Leonard. Sure there is the quirky criminal characterizations Leonard is famous for, complete with some very funny moments. But it seems that the author tried something a bit tricky by doing a Hollywood 'spin' on an Elmore Leonard novel and, well, the results are decidedly mixed.
In 'Get Shorty' we have the usual south Florida loan shark nasties out to get someone who does not want to pay. This fellow lands a bundle on an insurance scam and runs to Hollywood. One of the nasties (well, I guess he is reformed nasty) chases him down and gets involved with Hollywood luvvies (actors, writers, producers). He then, ... here's the gimmick..., finds his adventures to be of more interest to film makers than another script originally being peddled to producers. Anyway, it gets all a bit complicated and just a wee bit contrived. Big disappoint to Leonard fans: the crime element to 'Get Shorty' is not the highlight of the book.
Bottom line: an unusual Elmore Leonard book which will probably not please his fans. However its humour and digs at the Hollywood establishment make it a worthy read ... just.
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3.0 out of 5 stars INCOMPLETE Dec 2 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book was a fast read, too fast as far as I'm concerned. The way it ends it didn't seem that anything had really been solved. Chili seems a little put off by actors and Hollywood at the end, but I wasn't completely sure what he was going to do after the last climactic studio meeting.
This is a good book, but there needed to be more to it. I was expecting more of a Hollywood spoof, but this seemed primarily concerned with the conflict between Chili and Bo Catlett and their various illegal activities. I think it would have been funny to actually see Chili and Bo working on a movie, just to see how they'd react to certain situations and what kind of movie they could put out.
I'll have to see the movie to see if it's any better, but the book was decent. I really liked the character of Chili Palmer, though I was lukewarm on most of the others. Given the shortness of the book and its overall lighthearted tone, I'd recommend this book for some light reading on a long trip.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Corrupted...saw the movie first... Nov. 11 2002
By Paul
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The movie "Get Shorty" has always been one of my fave's since it came out. I finally decided to read the book. It's great, well worth reading to get more at the motives, but I was disappointed because some of my favorite scenes were "missing" (rather the movie added them.) Maybe I would have been mad at the movie if I'd read the book first.
I feel like Chili Palmer myself, having watched the movie first and having liked it better. But here's my review: The characters in this story are great. Chili - the too-cool-for-anyone-but-nice-guy ex-mobster, Leo - the pathetic loser dry-cleaner, Karen - the hot, smart, cynical actress, Bo Catlett - the mean, delusional, drug-dealing Hollywood-player-wanna-be. You have no idea what is going to happen next in Leonard's books and the characters really become alive as a result.
The book can help bug fans of the movie get more out of the "visual fabric" of the story. The interactions between Chili and Bo are more developed in the book than the movie, which I appreciated, as well as more insights and discussions about what the movie "Mr. Lovejoy" is actually about. The meeting between Nikki and Chili is hilarious in the book. And the book focuses on Karen's personality more. My advice is to read it and see it.
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1.0 out of 5 stars The Emperor Has No Clothes March 28 2001
Format:Paperback
To everyone and their brother who thinks they're cool because they like Elmore Leonard, wake up and put down whatever you've been smoking! I was shocked by how poor this book was. Elmore Leonard once said he leaves out the stuff people skip. Hey, Elmore, how about leaving out the last 100 pages? Or how about all 350 of them?
1. Story -- Not interesting. Two-bit mafia guy with quirky catch phrase ["Look at me"] goes to LA and hooks up with a collection of semi-famous idiots and is being hunted by a collection of violent idiots. Never once did I look forward to picking the book up again and seeing what happened next. 2. Characters -- Lifeless. Leonard is too busy trying to make them "cool", as he is so well known for, that they come across as bland. It's 350 pages of "i'm cool," "no i'm cool," "well, OK, she's cool." "Let's go to Spago and be cool together". 3. Dialogue -- Stilted. Tries too hard to make it sound real, and so you hear leonard's voice rather than the characters' voices. 4. Conflict -- Virtually non-existent. Scenes with Catlett and Chili were almost devoid of tension and conflict.
thankfully I got this book cheap and didn't drop 13 bucks on it.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A crime masterpiece.
Let's get one thing straight - no one is cooler than Chili Palmer in fiction. Not everyone get's Elmore Leonard but when I read this book I think, how can you not? Read more
Published 6 months ago by Stogies
1.0 out of 5 stars Dead Boring
I agree with all the one star reviews that this book lacks everything. I've read quite a few E. Leonard books and enjoyed most of them. This was his worst so far.
Published on April 11 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Not a bad note in the bunch
This musical novel doesn't have one sour note in it. This is Leonard's best with "Tishomingo Blues" following up behind and "Mr. Read more
Published on March 1 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Comic Crime Fiction at Its Best
Chili Palmer is a laconic tough guy who, caught up in the madcaps of the mob, becomes endearing because, unlike other mobsters, Chili has a certain humility and wisdom shining... Read more
Published on Jan. 24 2004 by M. JEFFREY MCMAHON
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Elmore Leonard's Finest Novels
Elmore Leonard may be America's foremost writer for fast-paced spellbinding dialogue and plots. With "Get Shorty" Leonard has produced a modern crime novel classic; a... Read more
Published on July 2 2003 by John Kwok
5.0 out of 5 stars better then the movie
I actually read get shorty after seeing the movie. The movie I though was good but it isn't as good as the book. Read more
Published on Feb. 3 2002 by Neel Aroon
5.0 out of 5 stars More Elmore
I COULD WRITE THE SAME REVIEW OF ANY OF LEONARD'S BOOKS. THEY ARE WONDERFUL IN DIALOGUE AND RICH IN COLORFUL CHARACTERS. Read more
Published on Oct. 9 2001 by Christine Englar-Dearing
2.0 out of 5 stars Why the fuss about Leonard?
I read this after hearing a lot about Leonard, and how funny and clever his books supposedly are. Well, I tried this one and another (not sure what the other is called anymore,... Read more
Published on July 31 2001 by jsiebrits@yahoo.com
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