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Stick [Mass Market Paperback]

Elmore Leonard
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

July 11 2002

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.


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Product Description

From the Back Cover

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. 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.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Elmore Leonard has written more than three dozen books during his highly successful writing career, including the national bestsellers Mr. Paradise, Pagan Babies, and Get Shorty. Many of his novels have been made into movies, including Get Shorty, Out of Sight, Valdez Is Coming, and Rum Punch (as Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown). He has been named Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America and lives in Bloomfield Village, Michigan, with his wife.


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STICK SAID HE WASN'T GOING if they had to pick up anything. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars It Doesn't Get Any Better Than This Jan. 9 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is Elmore Leonard at his finest. It's all here. The spare, clean prose, the dead-on dialogue, and the tight, strong, driven plot shot through with the fatalistic humor of the street. If you have never read an Elmore Leonard book this should be your first. And if you're an old fan, this book will showcase everything that's drawn you to read his other books, and whet your appetite for even more.
A lot of what Elmore Leonard does now is sort of throwaway, to some extent. It's entertaining, but it won't last. But "Stick"
is different. I think that in another 50 years "Stick" will be considered a classic, in much the way some of Damon Runyon's work is today.
Was this review helpful to you?
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Usually in a Elmore Leonard book, we get to know what the caper is going to be rather early in the book. In "Stick", it doesn't come until very late in the book, and is so unimportant to the overall story it's almost a throw-in. But that doesn't matter, as just following the adventures of the title character is worth reading on it's own.
"Stick" tells the part of the life of it's main character, Earnest Stickley, right after being released from prison. Yes, he does witness a murder, and yes, people are after him for it, and yes, he does eventually get involved in a big score at the end, and yes, even this has a surprise twist. But it's what happens in between all this that I like.
You would think that seven years of hard time would make anyone sick of a life of crime. You would think he would avoid anything that would send him back to a life that he admits is a constant struggle for survival. But, as in his other books, a con is a con is a con. It's amusing that Stick doesn't even seem to conceive of the idea of a completely straight life, even though that's what he's declaring.
Sure, he gets a job as a chauffer, but it's just something to hold him as he scopes out other jobs. He claims to be coming to Florida to see his daughter, but it's quite a while into the story before he actually gets around to going to see her. Checking out the local crime scene is just a higher priority, yet you don't dislike the guy.
While this life is not for me, it does provide great escapism into a world where I can be part of it, but not have to pay the price.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  34 reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Late in getting to the big score, but still great reading July 31 2002
By elvistcob@lvcm.com - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Usually in a Elmore Leonard book, we get to know what the caper is going to be rather early in the book. In "Stick", it doesn't come until very late in the book, and is so unimportant to the overall story it's almost a throw-in. But that doesn't matter, as just following the adventures of the title character is worth reading on it's own.
"Stick" tells the part of the life of it's main character, Earnest Stickley, right after being released from prison. Yes, he does witness a murder, and yes, people are after him for it, and yes, he does eventually get involved in a big score at the end, and yes, even this has a surprise twist. But it's what happens in between all this that I like.
You would think that seven years of hard time would make anyone sick of a life of crime. You would think he would avoid anything that would send him back to a life that he admits is a constant struggle for survival. But, as in his other books, a con is a con is a con. It's amusing that Stick doesn't even seem to conceive of the idea of a completely straight life, even though that's what he's declaring.
Sure, he gets a job as a chauffer, but it's just something to hold him as he scopes out other jobs. He claims to be coming to Florida to see his daughter, but it's quite a while into the story before he actually gets around to going to see her. Checking out the local crime scene is just a higher priority, yet you don't dislike the guy.
While this life is not for me, it does provide great escapism into a world where I can be part of it, but not have to pay the price.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Leonard at his best Jan. 5 2001
By John Kaderich - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a hard, fast-paced, joyride of a book. Leonard doesn't write many bad books, but occasionally he seems to run out of ideas. Not this time, though. If you're looking for the perfect busride/planeride/trainride reading, something to keep you absorbed for hours, pick this baby up.
JK
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It Doesn't Get Any Better Than This Jan. 9 2004
By Karlos Marxus - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is Elmore Leonard at his finest. It's all here. The spare, clean prose, the dead-on dialogue, and the tight, strong, driven plot shot through with the fatalistic humor of the street. If you have never read an Elmore Leonard book this should be your first. And if you're an old fan, this book will showcase everything that's drawn you to read his other books, and whet your appetite for even more.
Much of what Leonard writes now days is throwaway. It's entertaining, but it won't last. Stick is different. My fearless prediction: In another 50 years Stick will be considered a classic, in much the way Damon Runyon's work is today. If I'm wrong, look me up and I'll buy you lunch.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Adolescent Leonard blooming into maturity. Sept. 28 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
After having read Elmore Leonard steadily since I discovered his name in a currently out-of-print collection of pulp stories, I've been a diehard fan. Stick is a chance for the Leonard fan aquainted with his later works-turned-movies (Get Shorty, Out of Sight, Maximum Bob) to watch the genisus of pure genius. The book has several twists that show up, in form, in some of Leonard's later novels, and Ernest Stickley, Jr. seems more like a blue collar worker than an ex-con trying to make a go at it. None of this subtracts from the novel's genuine story; the bad guys are anything but simple and two-dimensional, and the overall undercurrent throughout the book is one of anticipation. Much as I hate to say it, Tarantino has nothing on this kind of stuff.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid Stuff from a Master Sept. 24 2005
By Christopher Loring Knowles - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Some might say that if you've read one Elmore Leonard crime yarn, you've read them all. Maybe there is an element of truth to this- slightly addled but well-meaning guy with a checkered past meets smart, sexy dame and pull a convulted scam on rich ne'er-do-wells. That's the essential plot to a dozen Leonard tomes, right? Well, the pleasure of Leonard's work is in the telling, and in watching the chinese puzzles his characters concoct unfold. Stick is no different than Rum Punch or Tishimongo Blues or Pagan Babies or Get Shorty in this regard. But his prose is so crisp, his plots so breathless and his characters so charming that you are so entertained along the way, the template becomes invisible. In fact, since Leonard fans know where he is going to take us, the template allows us to bask in his endlessly clever inventions and his inimitable tone. No one straddles whimsy and menace like Leonard, and only Hiassen and McBain do Florida sleaze as well.
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