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When The Women Come Out To Dance: Stories Hardcover – Nov 7 2002


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; 1st Edition edition (Nov. 7 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060083972
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060083977
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15 x 2.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 544 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #877,998 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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They sat close to each other on the sofa,Canavan aware of Mrs. Harris' scent and her dark hair, parted to one side, she would hold away from her face to look at the map spread open on the coffee table. Read the first page
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback
I should qualify this review with the warning that this is my first experience reading Elmore Leonard. I cannot tell fans of his other 39 books and assorted screenplays how this compares with his general body of work. I can tell you how it stands on its own.
This is an interesting, varied collection of nine short stories. While all share a world where alcohol is a constant undercurrent and the characters have all seen better days, they are quite distinct from one another. There is a has-been baseball player working against himself for a chance at a decent job, two cancer patients connecting in a Florida retirement community, a former stripper trying to "lose" an abusive husband, an African American veteran of the Civil and Spanish American Wars facing racism, a cattle rustler trying to help a woman he finds abandoned on a remote outpost, a lawman returning to his hometown to rout someone he had known in his youth who is now leading a neo Nazi militia, and a Hollywood stuntman returning to his Oklahoma roots to reclaim the family ranch from thugs and exorcise the family curse at the same time. There is a Karen Sisco episode, too, featuring the US marshall character currently the subject of a television series.
Some of the stories read like sketches or treatments for screenplays. The Sisco story stands on its own, though it could easily have been a subplot from a novel or the television show. I thought the western stories were the most fully realized. All of the fictions turn on whether the good guy gets what he/she wants. The storytelling is of the cinematic variety, hinging on action riddled with reversals. Leonard uses words economically and every single one is well chosen, strong, vivid. In an era when typos and editing slips mar too many books, this edition (hardcover at least) is free of them and is also assembled with an attractive lay-out design.
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By JR Pinto on Nov. 17 2003
Format: Hardcover
Reading this book is a little like being in the Marvel Universe. Here we find characters from other Leonard novels. Karen Sisco from Out of Sight and the TV show is here. We find a preamble to Tishomingo Blues. Carl Webster, whom Leonard fans may recognize, is here as well.
I go back to Leonard whenever I wish to be reminded how to craft a good story. For anyone unfamiliar with Leonard's work, this is a good introduction. We get a good display of his range here. There is a western story, a story set in a retirement home, and oh yes, stories about criminals. Nobody writes stupid characters better than Elmore Leonard. These stories are funny, brutal, and quite enjoyable.
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By John Bowes on Feb. 3 2003
Format: Hardcover
Imagine nine pieces of the best candy you've ever eaten. You try to take your time, but find you eat them much too quickly. They are gone too soon. You wish there were more. And marvel at the skill of the candymaker.
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By D. Sean Brickell on Jan. 21 2003
Format: Hardcover
Will somebody please let me know when a better writer than Elmore comes along? The short story is a difficult vehicle to create and resolve a mystery, yet the form proves no impediment for Mr. Leonard. In fact, next to some of his novels, I'd say less is more. The snappy dialogue, the characters'charisma, the heightened situations are all notable stylistic trademarks of Mr. Leonard. He does not let the reader down. I only wish there were another dozen stories to calm my greed for more.
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Format: Hardcover
Elmore Leonard has been called "the greatest crime writer of our time, perhaps ever" and "a contemporary Dashiell Hammett." The author of more than three dozen books, including Tishomingo Blues, Pronto, Riding the Rap, Out of Sight, Rum Punch, and Get Shorty, Leonard is a Grand Master Award winner of the Mystery Writers of America. He lives in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.,. a suburb of Detroit.
When the Women Come Out to Dance, Leonard's second collection of short stories (the first was The Tonto Woman & Other Western Stories), features nine cut-to-the-chase adventures populated by one-dimensional characters.
The British philosopher Bertrand Russell, in a reductionist mood, suggested that only one thing is necessary for a person to be happy: "How can you fail to enjoy life so long as the glands are in good working order? That is the only secret."

The characters in When the Women Come Out to Dance should be quite happy, for they are obsessed with glands (instant sex on demand) and guns (whether six-shooters or shotguns). Reeking with sex and violence, the stories deal with hot-blooded characters eager to "make love" and "make war."
Two of the best stories are also the longest: "Fire in the Hole" (56 pages) describes a cell of racist skinheads in Harlan County, Kentucky, and "Tenkiller" (60 pages) describes a family of white-trash squatters In Okmulgee, Oklahoma. The remaining seven tales average 16 pages each.
Here's a sample paragraph from "Fire in the Hole": "Gator teeth, spiked hair dyed blond and a tattoo on his chest, part of it showing the way his shirt hung open. He stood there looking Raylan over before saying, 'Who in the hell are you, the undertaker?
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