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What a treat! The nine stories in this collection--some never before published, others available only in anthologies or magazines-- demonstrate why Elmore Leonard has achieved both bestsellerdom and critical acclaim. Ranging in length from a four-page trifle to two novellas of 50-plus pages, these are gems of sly humor, suspense, and, above all, character. Most are in the contemporary crime-fiction vein that made Leonard famous, but a few are more contemplative set pieces, and there's one fine Old West story (Leonard was a Western writer before he became a crime king).
Longtime fans will recognize some familiar faces, including the U.S. marshals Raylan Givens, from 1993's Pronto and 1995's Riding the Rap, and Karen Sisco, from 1996's Out of Sight (played by J. Lo in the movie). But whether familiar or new, the people in these stories lunge off the page and seize you by the lapels. Nobody writes character and dialogue like Leonard. In fact, several tales feature some rural white-trash bad guys who are so utterly plausible that you'll look over your shoulder next time you drive a country road.
The short story format suits Leonard's stripped-down style beautifully. While one or two of the slimmer pieces feel a bit disposable, all nine are engaging, and the best are breathtakingly good--the crispest, best- plotted stuff Leonard has published in years. --Nicholas H. Allison --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Elmore Leonard's latest, When the Women Come Out to Dance, is a collection of short sketches that feature strong female characters in trouble. "Sparks" describes a flirtation between an insurance investigator and a widow who has apparently burned down her own mansion in the Hollywood hills. The riveting title piece involves a rich Pakistani surgeon's wife, a former stripper who's terrified that her playboy husband will have her killed once he gets bored with her. Hoping to knock him off first, she hires as a maid a Colombian woman rumored to have murdered her own abusive husband. "Fire in the Hole" finds two former co-workers pitted against one another in a deadly showdown: Boyd Crowder is a Bible-quoting neo-Nazi with a penchant for terrorist acts, and Raylan Givens is the U.S. marshal sent to shut him down. Leonard fans may wish for something meatier, but the razor-edged dialogue and brisk storytelling won't disappoint.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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. Read morePublished on Nov. 17 2003 by JR Pinto
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. Read morePublished on Feb. 3 2003 by John Bowes
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... Read morePublished on Jan. 21 2003 by D. Sean Brickell
If you are a fan of Elmore Leonard's novels, you will enjoy this collection. In his novels, the essence of the characters is revealed by what they say and how they say it. Read morePublished on Jan. 1 2003
Others have already sung the praises of most of the stories in this collection. I want to correct an oversight. Read morePublished on Jan. 1 2003 by Jonathan Rickard