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Labrava [Mass Market Paperback]

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

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Book Description

Jan. 16 2003

Joe LaBrava first fell in love in a darkened movie theater when he was twelve -- with a gorgeous femme fatale up on the screen. Now the one-time Secret Service agent-turned-photographer is finally meeting his dream woman in the flesh, albeit in a rundown Miami crisis center. When she's cleaned up and sober, though, former movie queen Jean Shaw still makes LaBrava's heart race. And now she's being terrorized by a redneck thug and his slimy marielito partner, which gives Joe a golden opportunity to play the hero. But the lady's predicament is starting to resemble one of her earlier cinematic noirs. And if he's not careful, LaBrava could end up the patsy -- or dead -- in the final reel.


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Review

"Riveting and exhilarating...terse and tough...Leonard is a master." -- -- New York Newsday

"Terrific...Leonard's best novel so far." -- -- Philadelphia Inquirer --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

Joe La Brava is an ex-Secret Service agent who gets mixed up in a South Miami Beach scam involving a redneck former cop, a Cuban hit man who moonlights as a go-go dancer, and a one-time movie queen whose world is part make-believe, part deadly dangerous. This is vintage Leonard: fast-moving, pitch-perfect, and utterly, authentically irresistible. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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First Sentence
"HE'S BEEN TAKING PICTURES three years, look at the work," Maurice said. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars It's a book about nothing June 19 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A novelist should include a clever and unique take on a familiar idea if s/he is going to stick to a formula when writing. Leonard fails to do that here. The story is predictable, disappointing and frankly boring.
Leonard has written the dialogue in some incomprehensible colloquial babble that occasionally loses its meaning. The characters are all uninteresting with the exception of the villain's sidekick and he doesn't feature enough in the story.
To be fair the book does deliver a nice surprise in the middle but then the book meanders along and finishes with a ridiculous tie up that leaves one shaking one's head wondering if Leonard was as bored of the book as I was.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bravo to La Brava - Dutch's best. Dec 17 2000
Format:Paperback
I haven't liked all of Elmore Leonard's novels, but I've enjoyed a lot of them. La Brava is Dutch's (his nickname) best.
I first read La Brava when I was in a catch-up and read all of Dutch's books about five or six years ago. I went on this Leonard reading frenzy after a friend of mine told me something I was writing reminded him of second rate Elmore. I wound agreeing with my friend and tossing that project aside. Leonard isn't known for writing overly complex or gimmicky novels. His narratives are short and to the point. He avoids fancy prose and concentrates on his shady characters and shows us who they are by what they do and how they talk.
The characters are why anyone who likes Leonard, reads Leonard. Leonard generally chooses characters that few would make 'heroes' of in their novels. Sleazy characters, low-lifes, good for nothings, three time losers, cheaters, petty criminals, blackmailers, alcoholics, hustlers, drifters and killers are front and center of most of Leonard's novels. He doesn't show them going through a make-over or redemption (usually). He gets inside these people's heads and concocts scenarios for them to act within. Sometimes the scenarios are pretty outrageous, sometimes they are pretty straightforward.
You usually dislike most if not all of the central characters in a Leonard novel. You grow to understand them, perhaps pity them, but you usually don't wind up liking them very much. What's amazing, is how Leonard usually makes you care about them.
In most of his novels, he really presents believable and authentic characters. These characters walk the walk and talk like they really talk. They say and do dumb things. They usually aren't too bright and when they think they are-they usually do something really stupid.
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4.0 out of 5 stars elmore leonard at his best April 8 2000
By avdr
Format:Paperback
la brava is vintage leonard.its one of his best books by far.joseph la brava is an ex- secret service agent who becomes a photographer.he meets a once famous actress who is being harassed by two chumps that are looking for an easy score,but thats where la brava steps in.highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Elmore Leonard's best book...seriously. Feb. 5 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Most of leonard's books have complex characters and zero plot, or hey have a complex plot and characters without an ounce of depth (and I LIKE the guy, mind you). "LaBrava" has both. It's Leonard's best book ever. read it. Now.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps his best. June 20 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
There's something about Elmore Leonard's dialogue that has always struck me as true to life. I don't know why I know this, I've never met any of the people who populate his books. It's just that they talk to each other in the way that I imagine these people do.
Of all Mr. Leonard's books (and I've read almost all of them), La Brava has always been my favorite. Mr. Leonard crawls inside his characters heads and lets us share what goes on in there. It's great fun and a wonderful read.
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