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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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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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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A crime masterpiece. March 9 2014
By Stogies
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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? It's sharp, funny as heck and just plain cool. Wicked dialogue, nasty bad guys and a great send up of tinsel town.
Dutch wrote a classic with this one.
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3.0 out of 5 stars First and probably the last Leonard I'll read Nov. 28 1999
I had been meaning to read Elmore Leonard for years now, ever since seeing movies like Resevoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. I knew Quentin Tarantino was a big fan and was heavily influenced by Leonard. So, after much surfing and emailing, I determined Get Shorty was likely the best novel to start with. It was pretty good, but a really light read. What makes Leonard's writing shine is the dialogue; you've heard the overused "dialogue crackles" rave? Well Leonard really delivers...this is why his novels make such successful movies; they read like them. This is a novel perfect for those who typically prefer movies over novels. I prefer the depth of Michael Connelly or Greg Iles or Dennis Lehane myself. But this is an entertaining story and certainly holds your attention, and before you know it, it's over. Just like a good movie.
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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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1.0 out of 5 stars Dead Boring April 11 2004
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not a bad note in the bunch March 1 2004
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This musical novel doesn't have one sour note in it. This is Leonard's best with "Tishomingo Blues" following up behind and "Mr. Paradise" right behind that.
The best thing about "Get Shorty" is that Leonard manages to get you to like even the bad guys--something most other writers can't manage. G.S. is a great crime novel and by far Mr. Leonard's best.
Also try "Fight Club" "Bark of the Dogwood," and "Tishomingo Blues."
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5.0 out of 5 stars Comic Crime Fiction at Its Best Jan. 24 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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 beneath his stoic persona. Because the plot is so well known through the famous film version, I will focus on the prose style. Leonard makes the prose look easy but it's not. It's really a sort of jazz riff and in an interview, if I remember correctly, Leonard says jazz fuels his writing tempo. You can see the musical quality in his playful, clean, clear prose. I've also heard that many aspiring writers try to imitate Leonard's prose style yet no one can do it. For a clinic on character study through witty syntax, Get Shorty remains one of my favorite crime novels of all time.
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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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5.0 out of 5 stars One of Elmore Leonard's Finest Novels July 2 2003
By John Kwok TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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 spellbinding, yet hilarious, update of Chandler with some sly, thoughtful commentary on the Hollywood film business. Those unfamiliar with Leonard's prose will be in for a treat. Leonard has crafted some of the best streetwise prose I've come across since reading some of William Gibson's early novels. Leonard has superbly brought to life such interesting characters as mobster Chili Palmer and "B" movie film producer Harry Zim. Regrettably, I haven't seen the film adaptation of "Get Shorty", but judging from other Amazon.com reviews, it is undoubtedly well worth watching.
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