4.0 out of 5 stars From Florida To Detroit, Does Love Win?
Starting in a Florida prison, the opening few chapters of OUT OF SIGHT are set as a frenetic pace as bank robber extraordinaire, Jack Foley plans and executes a daring escape. Helping him in his bid for freedom is his former partner in crime, Buddy who is waiting with a car in the prison car park. Also waiting in the car park happens to be US Marshall Karen Sisco who is...
Published on May 25 2004 by Untouchable
3.0 out of 5 stars I Suppose He's Done Better
I'm new to Elmore Leonard and finally decided to check out his work. I also haven't seen the movie for this book. Since the guy gets so many rave reviews, and his books have been made into movies, and since he's written around thirty books, he must be doing something right. Some of his other books are probably awesome, but I wasn't too impressed by this one. The plot is...
Published on Feb. 23 2002 by doomsdayer520
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4.0 out of 5 stars From Florida To Detroit, Does Love Win?,
This review is from: Out Of Sight (Hardcover)
Starting in a Florida prison, the opening few chapters of OUT OF SIGHT are set as a frenetic pace as bank robber extraordinaire, Jack Foley plans and executes a daring escape. Helping him in his bid for freedom is his former partner in crime, Buddy who is waiting with a car in the prison car park. Also waiting in the car park happens to be US Marshall Karen Sisco who is sitting in her car, preparing to enter the facility when Foley makes his unexpected appearance. Quickly overpowering her, they stuff her in the trunk of her car with Foley climbing in behind her and Buddy slipping behind the wheel to affect the getaway.
Unbelievably cool in the crisis involved in the jail break, Foley attempts to engage Karen in conversation, even wondering aloud whether it might be possible, if circumstances were different, for the two of them to become attracted to one another. Karen of course is incredulous and wants nothing to do with the escaped prisoner, apart from capturing him and delivering him back to prison. Thinking on the events later, after escaping from Buddy and Foley, she does find herself impressed with Foley's cool head under pressure.
There is a brief lull in the action as we recover from the excitement of the opening scenes and the thought of the next score is placed in Foley's head. This takes the form of a robbery target in Detroit, supposedly a low-risk venture made easier by some local help. After narrowly escaping capture from the US Marshalls that includes another run-in with Karen Sisco, he decides that it's time for a change of scenery and he and Buddy heads north.
By this time, it becomes obvious that there's some sort of weird fascination between Jack Foley and Karen Sisco taking place. They're somehow drawn to one another, even though they are on directly opposite sides of the law.
In Detroit, Foley and Buddy are out of their comfort zones. They don't know the city, they don't know the people and it's just started to snow. They hook up with a truly dangerous fellow ex-con named Maurice. He is their aforementioned local help, but they realise that the low-risk operation is shaping up as anything but. With nothing better on offer and against their better judgement, they go ahead with the plan but are extremely wary.
Meanwhile Karen Sisco has tracked Foley to Detroit after some very slick detective work, and after talking her way onto the Foley case. The inevitability of their meeting is obvious. What remains up in the air is what will happen after they meet and when it comes to plots created by Elmore Leonard, this means that the story could lead anywhere from here.
On the surface this is told in a light, breezy tone thanks mainly to the cool behaviour of Foley in times of crisis backed up by Buddy's comical acceptance of Foley's decisions, no matter how unusual they seemed. When the setting changed to the colder wintry city of Detroit, the tone darkened considerably to reflect the dangerous Maurice, with whom they have to deal. You get a definite sense that the significant scenes are going to take place in Detroit thanks to these strong mood changes.
Elmore Leonard mixes an easy conversational tone with tight, tough dialogue. He manages to give each of his characters their own distinctive voice thanks to his clever use of phraseology. Even though Foley and Buddy are ex-cons, in this book they can be considered the good guys and their language reflects this through a minimum of swearing and slang. In glaring comparison, we find that the Detroit "bad guys" such as Maurice, although also ex-cons, litter their dialogue with constant and extreme profanities. It's a simple but effective way to differentiate the difference between bad and downright evil.
Ultimately, OUT OF SIGHT is a love story. Sure it's an unusual love story in the extreme, but a love story just the same. With plenty of action taking place on the periphery of the Foley and Sisco mating dance, it's an absorbing book that provided me with an unexpected ending.
3.0 out of 5 stars I Suppose He's Done Better,
This review is from: Out of Sight (Mass Market Paperback)
I'm new to Elmore Leonard and finally decided to check out his work. I also haven't seen the movie for this book. Since the guy gets so many rave reviews, and his books have been made into movies, and since he's written around thirty books, he must be doing something right. Some of his other books are probably awesome, but I wasn't too impressed by this one. The plot is rather creative, but the twists and turns seem forced as if Leonard was trying desperately to make the action look less predictable. The dialogue is stunted and poorly constructed, with conversations between characters taking abrupt and nonsensical turns, once again in a forced attempt to avoid predictability. The female and non-white characters here are hardly plausible in their actions or speech. The supposed centerpiece of the story, the relationship between Karen the US Marshall and Foley the bad guy, is poorly developed. Their relationship moves along illogically in fits and starts, and their interactions are far from believable. I guess I'll try a different Leonard book and then I'll see what the fuss is about.
4.0 out of 5 stars An offbeat, intriguing crime novel.,
What an intriguing, original and awesomely offbeat crime comedy Out of Sight is! I really enjoyed reading this book and it was quite hard to put it down. Sure, the movie is better but this still remains a sassy story with guns, sex, robbery, escape and action. All of these genres are timed impeccably well and we get into the story straight away. The main characters unfortunately aren't described very well in terms of appearance, but we can sort of picture them out ourselves using Leonard's great description of the characters actions, what they're like and what they feel. The humour in this book is black and devious, just the way I like it. The best parts of this book are when the two main characters, Karen and Jack, are together. The writing in these chapters is really relaxed, cool and really easy to get into. You actually want to find out what happens to them. I think the ending came a bit too fast, but I still really enjoyed reading it. The memorable characters, original story, meaty chapters and offbeat brilliance make this book really worth the while.
4.0 out of 5 stars A Cops and Robbers Romance Born in a Prison Break,
Stories about criminals trying to escape from prison have always fascinated me. They have much of the same appeal as a locked room mystery. And they also have the possibility of a good tale covering the chase after the prison is left behind. In Out of Sight, Elmore Leonard has created the most unique prison escape story that I have ever read.
Here's the situation. Jack Foley, a career bank robber, has thought of a way to use a planned escape by some other convicts to help him get out. Everything goes smoothly until . . . the way out ends up being covered by a deputy U.S. marshal carrying a shotgun who's visiting the prison to serve a subpoena. What now?
Then, Mr. Leonard throws in a role reversal. The deputy is an attractive 28 year-old woman wearing designer clothes.
I think that many of the best novels are those that propose a totally unique situation, and then let the characters deal with the situation. That seems to be how this book was written, and it's fascinating.
She doesn't shoot. He ends up taking her along, and riding in the trunk with her. They start talking . . . and discover they are interested in each other. What if they had met in some other way?
She escapes. Foley's on the run, and she's after him. What will happen to them?
As usual, the dialogue reflects Mr. Leonard's almost-perfect ear for spoken language.
Mr. Leonard's famous wit concerning the foibles of criminals is in evidence in almost every paragraph. If you are ready for lots of laughs from a crime novel, this book may well appeal to you. In fact, the book will remind you a lot of the romantic comedies that the two main characters find that they both adore. Don't be surprised if you are asked to suspend your disbelief from time to time.
On the other hand, there are some truly nasty criminals in the story who do despicable things. If such events disturb or annoy you, this book's darkness should cause you to prefer another source of romantic comedy. You will see this book as a two or three star effort. I graded the book down one star for needless violence.
After you have read the book or thought about the situation that kicks off the plot, think about where you may be missing opportunities to get to know others whom you would like. For example, I have just read a book by Stephen Ambrose in which he describes the pleasure that enemy commanders who have fought against each other find in their post-war friendships.
Speak up or act . . . or forever miss your opportunity to connect!
4.0 out of 5 stars Leonard's Usual High Quality,
I simply can't agree with those reviewers who said that the book pales in comparison to the movie. Sure, George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez were fine, but the book is much more believable. As I recall, the ending of the movie was rather different, much more Hollywood and unlikely, but it fit the traditional happy ending formula regardless of however implausible it was given the characters. Leonard doesn't fall for that, and the book is so much the better for it. Instead of a total change of life for the two leads, the book follows them through an impulse. They act on it but ultimately remain true to their overall ideals, upbringing, and personalities.
Leonard is very good at writing quirky, interesting characters and situations, and Out of Sight is the equal of his best works. It is extremely gratifying to find an author in this genre who doesn't get fixated on a single series, repeating the same characters and situations endlessly, and it is similarly gratifying to read an author not caught up in the "500 page book syndrome"--finally someone who doesn't need an angry editor unafraid to wield a large eraser unsparingly and unstintingly, as I do in this sentence.
I've just finished reading Snake Eyes by Richard Hoyt, an equally talented but lesser known writer than Elmore Leonard--if you like Leonard, I'd strongly recommend giving Hoyt a chance.
1.0 out of 5 stars A Book for White People,
By A Customer
There are two notable differences between the book and film which make all the difference in how one might regard the story. In the film, Karen is Latina and Buddy is black. In the book, both characters are white. The result is that all the sympathetic characters in the book are white, while all the unsavory characters, on either side of the law, are black. Let me say that I don't take pleasure in noting these things and don't especially seek them out. But, with this book the dichotomy is glaring. Buddy and Jack, the heroes, are harmless white bank robbers who are genuinely kind, gentle guys who have a miraculous way of weaving their ways through the most dangerous, seediest terrains with hardly any notes of fear or inexpertise. It's a fantasy, the white male fulfilling the role of the good guy gone a little bit wrong, enough that they can can be properly romanticized. Of course, the real bad guys, the ones who are dumb, who murder, who rape - the filthy animals - are black and hispanic. The presence of White boy Bob does not quite undercut this fact. Even on the side of the law, Karen's boss is a black guy who is a jerk and wants to bed her badly. And as for the charcter of Glenn, white, who is airy and easily frightened, he is a sympathetic character is who provides the most laughs - a well realized character. Until I realized the manner by which the racial divide was being aligned, I was loving the book. Wonderful dialogue, some very funny moments. The white charcters are well written and are all immensely likable. If you can get past the fact that the non-white characters are the vessels of sordidness and incompetence in this book, you stand a good chance of enjoying this read. As such, this book is really intended for a white readership. I found it objectionable. And this is not at all a matter of political correctness. Leonard's books have the tone and attitude of being gritty, realistic novels and it is my opinion that his obedience to a white fantasy - white people being good even when they're bad (black people being bad even they're good) - only adds another layer of irreality atop the grit of the story. This book is not gritty; it is not tough or edgy. It can't be because it is at its heart a fantasy based on racial roles.
4.0 out of 5 stars Merely Excellent, Or Typical Leonard,
By A Customer
This review is from: Out of Sight (Mass Market Paperback)
Hollywood loves the cute-meet,---but in the trunk of a car? Yet that's where Karen Sisco and Jack Foley, two of Elmore Leonard's most interesting characters, begin a most interesting relationship.
Karen is a federal marshall in the wrong place at the wrong time. Jack is cooly riding the coattails of hardened criminals in a prison break. The story is made-to-order Leonard: fast paced, the plot revealed largely through tightly written dialogue, off-beat characters.
Maybe the story comes off a little too pat in the way the characters keep conveniently running into each other at strategic points, but hey---who cares in a good story? Somehow Leonard makes it believable. Furthermore, he makes it difficult for the reader to choose sides. Do we cheer for Karen, the law enforcement officer? Or for Jack, the convicted bank robber, escaped prisoner, and possible murderer (but really a nice guy)? Love is love, but business is business. Karen's business is to put Jack back in prison. Jack's business is to keep her from doing just that.
We are treated to some intriguing relationships in Out of Sight. There is the steadfast loyalty and trust between Jack and Buddy, the engaging attraction/aversion of Karen and Jack, and the warmly refreshing love/respect between Karen and her father. "My little girl," her dad says fondly, "one tough babe."
A good read, and will make a good movie. Cast it yourself: Meg Ryan? Tom Sellick or Sam Elliott? Gene hackman as the father?
Chuck Lang, Sun City, A
4.0 out of 5 stars The movie is very close,
This review is from: Out Of Sight (Hardcover)
I picked this up after seeing the great movie with George Clooney, Jennifer Lopez, and Ving Rhames. I wanted to see how close to the original the movie came. Yes, it is very close.
The book is very heavy on dialogue. I found this well done. The book moved rapidly, but I felt I understood the characters involved. It is hard to read the book without seeing the actors in the movie, because the words in the script are identical, in places, to the words in the novel.
Some of the characters described by Leonard are not as you would find in the movie. In the book, Buddy (Foley's partner) is described as a white redneck. For Mr. Ripley, the stock swindler, he has little to no part in the novel, just a brief mention.
If you think you shouldn't read the book because you know how it ends, you are mistaken. Without giving details, the ending of the book is not the same as the ending of the movie. It is a quick, but good, ending.
3.0 out of 5 stars Pales to the movie,
I gotta say that the book pales to the movie. If you've seen the movie, stop there. Read other Elmore Leonard novels like Rum Punch or Riding the Rap or KillShot. This one takes the same formula which is take 3 chapters, introduce the main sets of characters in the first two, and the conflict in the third, and let them wait it out with cultural references, odd dialogue, and comedic situations, and end it all in the end. The problem is the film makes the formula fresh by adding a great cast, nice camera work, nonlinear editing, a funky David Holmes score, and top-notch directing to tell the story. Here is it told from beginning to end and just seems rather bland and boring after seeing the film. And changing the races for alot of the characters (3 I'm thinking of right now) for the movie made it seem alot better. There is some latent racism in some Elmore Leonard books.
4.0 out of 5 stars A good suspense book for a long plane ride!,
I am NOT a reader of bestsellers, thrillers or suspense books normally. I picked this one up on the recommendation of a friend, for a long plane ride.
Well, this book sure beats the inflight movie! In fact, I haven't seen the film made from it, but the book does read just like a film.
The plot is fairly simple; a jail break, and a fatal attraction between a cop and a suave criminal. This book is particularly fun to read in light of the recent jailbreak in Tennessee, where the criminals ended up on the lam for weeks.
These criminals are cut of a different cloth and the anti-hero is totally fictional; too intelligent and gentle to be real. But the characters are excellently drawn, the pace swift, and the book is diverting enough to keep you happy on any cramped flight. One of Elmore Leonard's better books, in my opinion and very enjoyable.
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Out Of Sight by Elmore Leonard (Mass Market Paperback - July 11 2002)
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