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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read!
Be Cool is a masterpiece. In a way it's a sequel to Elmore Leonard's GET SHORTY, which I never read, but that's mainly because SHORTY's seedy movie producer, Chili Palmer, is back (For those of you who saw the movie, Chili is the Travolta character).
Be Cool has a plot which I don't think I can explain right now. Not because it's complicated, but because it's 10:15...
Published on July 13 2001 by Sean L.

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Two Opposing Mirrors
Meet Ernesto Palmair aka Chili Palmer. In Get Shorty, Leonard chronicled how this former shylock(and still movie buff) arose from a web of lowlifes and Z-movie producers to score a bonafide hit with his first film as a holywood producer, Get Leo. The events of Be Cool start after Palmer had produced the sequel to that film, Get Lost, which was a flop.
Elmore...
Published on Aug. 5 2000 by Mr. Cairene


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4.0 out of 5 stars The return of Chili Palmer..., July 15 2004
By 
Brent Wigen (Seattle, WA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Be Cool (Mass Market Paperback)
Be Cool is Elmore Leonard's sequel to Get Shorty, and is, as are all of Leonard's books, entertaining and easy to read.
Chili Palmer has made one blockbuster and one bomb. He's looking for a new movie idea when a former mob friend-turned music executive gets shot as the two are eating lunch in Hollywood. The ensuing action takes Chili into the music industry and all the drama, ego, and jealousy that exists within, all in search of a new script. Palmer takes on the management of an up-and-coming singer, upsetting her former manager, who spends most of the book trying to figure out how to kill Chili. Along the way, Chili has to deal with gangsta rappers, russian mobsters, a mafia hit man, a gay samoan bodyguard, and a budding diva or two.
This book was not as good as Get Shorty, but is still a lot of fun to read. Leonard sticks to his formula here, shady good guys and nasty bad guys, all of whom are odd and entertaining characters. Leonard has a gift for writing interesting people and great dialogue, and this book is full of both.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Be Cool IS cool, Dec 6 2001
This review is from: Be Cool (Mass Market Paperback)
Kevin T. - RVHS
The Miami loan shark Chilli Palmer goes to Hollywood and gets into the movie business making two movies. The first is a big box office hit and the second a big flop. He needs another smash hit and this book is about how he develops scripting his next movie. He wants to turn his life into a movie and after a lunch with the music business bigwig, Tommy, someone executes the big shot. Chilli is a murder suspect. From here in the scripting unfolds as Chilli sets up real life encounters with real people. He manipulates a beautiful singer, shady music professionals, and villains. He wonders (and finds out) if these real-life events will turn into his next screen hit.
BE COOL is cool. The ripping dialog really tells the story and you definitely get to know the characters from their speech. You can just imagine John Travolta being in this movie if and when it really hits the big screens. I like this book because you just have to keep reading - you can't put it down. I'm into movie making and scripting and I enjoyed the idea that Chilli was stymied and turned to his life as a basis for his next script. Authors write best about what they know and understand. What better material is there for a writer than what experiences the writer has had? Well, in this case, what better experiences than what the writer will be having? This is an example of event based story telling with exciting characters and wild happenings. You'll be entertained.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Be Cool IS Cool, Dec 4 2001
This review is from: Be Cool (Mass Market Paperback)
The Miami loan shark Chilli Palmer goes to Hollywood and gets into the movie business
making two movies. The first is a big box office hit and the second a big flop. He needs
another smash hit and this book is about how he develops scripting his next movie. He
wants to turn his life into a movie and after a lunch with the music business bigwig,
Tommy, someone executes the big shot. Chilli is a murder suspect. From here in the
scripting unfolds as Chilli sets up real life encounters with real people. He manipulates a
beautiful singer, shady music professionals, and villains. He wonders (and finds out) if
these real-life events will turn into his next screen hit.
BE COOL is cool. The ripping dialog really tells the story and you definitely get to know
the characters from their speech. You can just imagine John Travolta being in this movie
if and when it really hits the big screens. I like this book because you just have to keep
reading - you can't put it down. I'm into movie making and scripting and I enjoyed the idea
that Chilli was stymied and turned to his life as a basis for his next script. Authors write
best about what they know and understand. What better material is there for a writer than
what experiences the writer has had? Well, in this case, what better experiences than what
the writer will be having? This is an example of event based story telling with exciting
characters and wild happenings. You'll be entertained.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read!, July 13 2001
By 
Sean L. (Twin Peaks, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Be Cool (Mass Market Paperback)
Be Cool is a masterpiece. In a way it's a sequel to Elmore Leonard's GET SHORTY, which I never read, but that's mainly because SHORTY's seedy movie producer, Chili Palmer, is back (For those of you who saw the movie, Chili is the Travolta character).
Be Cool has a plot which I don't think I can explain right now. Not because it's complicated, but because it's 10:15 at night right now. What I can tell you is that Chili is having lunch with a record producer and gets up to go to the bathroom. When he comes back, he witnesses the producer getting shot down. He begins to start working on the treatment to a movie involving this incident as well as the life of Linda Moon, a singer who's band Odessa is a perfect example of today's struggling musicians.
As Chili works on his movie, a group of people want him dead for various reasons. Raji, the Kangol-wearing pimp who has Linda under contract, wants him dead because he convinced Linda to quit the band International Chicks, a band which did cover songs which Raji profitted off. Then the Russian mob wants him dead because he knows incriminating facts about the killer of the record producer.
It's a lot of fun and you won't be able to put it down. This is a very small price to pay for such a fantastic read.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as previous Leonard novels..., Aug. 19 2000
By 
R. Peterson "I'm worldwide..." (Leverett, MA (for the moment)) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Be Cool (Mass Market Paperback)
Elmore Leonard, my favorite beach novelist, has put out another Chili Palmer novel (of "Get Shorty" fame). Not as either believable or as rip-roaringly funny as Get Shorty was.... Be Cool follows Chili into the music industry in California. The sequel to his famous movie (called, "Get Leo" in this book, although why, I don't know... we all know it's Get Shorty) was a bust, so he is onto searching for another story-line for another movie. As Elmore Leonard novels go, I thought this one was fairly weak... Leonard seemed out of his familiar surroundings and I miss, frankly, the bare-faced shysters, the loan sharks, the semi-mafiosos and the slick con-men of most of his other books. This novel didn't have the same wonderful surprising twists and turns... Chili's relationship with Elaine seemed forced, Linda Moon started out with some promise but Leonard is so busy trying to develop other characters (like the bizarre, huge Samoan homosexual body-guard) that we never feel we've completely 'gotten into' any of the characters. I will give Leonard a lot of credit however, for continuing to be the best at plot manipulation... how he has Chili manage the police, the Russian mafia, the record industry mafia, and just about everyone else so that he emerges with the usual clean nose, is a tribute to Leonard's abilities to think and write so complexly.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Two Opposing Mirrors, Aug. 5 2000
By 
This review is from: Be Cool (Mass Market Paperback)
Meet Ernesto Palmair aka Chili Palmer. In Get Shorty, Leonard chronicled how this former shylock(and still movie buff) arose from a web of lowlifes and Z-movie producers to score a bonafide hit with his first film as a holywood producer, Get Leo. The events of Be Cool start after Palmer had produced the sequel to that film, Get Lost, which was a flop.
Elmore Leonard constantly walks the thin line that seperates parody and realism. It is a dangerous highwire act performed by a seasoned and skilled professional. Chili Palmer is the eptiome of that balance, he is infinitly cool yet retains a certain vulnerable humanity. A producer of two films now, Palmer is no longer the fish out of water he was in Get Shorty where his no nonsense, straight for the Jugular approach to film production earned him his success. What is Leonard to do then send him to another induxtry, the music industry perhaps. Here is Chili Palmer's theory on the workings of the record industry : "I have a hunch, there aren't any rules to speak of. You go for whatever you can get away with, threaten a couple of times to walk out and see if they'll throw in some perks.Am I close?" We get the feeling that he is pretty close.
Leonard doesn't write plot, he writes characters and observes their interaction. In the same way as Chili Palmer glides through the record business he observes all the characters he meets in hope of making a movie out his adventures. Like Robert Altman's film The Player there is the preverse suggestion that the lead character is infact the author/director, and that the film and the book are exposes. This is joke, but its a good one.
I'm sure that at least on some level Leonard intended Be Cool to be a parody of Get Shorty, an obsevation on the nature of sequels. But did he really have give us what amounts to a lesser retread of the original. There is even an exact re-enactment of the balcony scene in Get Shorty where Chili has to humour the bad guys body guard for help. Be Cool is a difficult novel to review because there is nothing particulary wrong with it, yet nothing remarkable either. It is like a mirror held up to the original, and it left me wondering why I wasn't reading Get Shorty again instead. In that one, Palmer had not proved himself, and it was a hoot to see a loan shark making it in the film industry. He hasn't lost his anything in Be Cool, but this time we're not surprised he could do it.
It is ironic that when Chili Palmer thinks the events around him are too lame to go into his script, he suggests "scooter could spice it up". Scooter ofcourse is the screenwriter. Having enjoyed the terrific 1995 film of Get Shorty, I still think that some "scooter" could take Leonards wonderful dialogue and use it to serve a better and more complex plot. Be Cool could still make a good film. Chili Palmer certainly agrees.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Entertainingly COOL "CHIL", April 17 2000
This review is from: Be Cool (Mass Market Paperback)
This was a great book! If you are expecting the same Chili, you might be disappointed. Many people think that just because he is Chili, the same charactor is going to be in this book. This is a totally different Chili. He has been in Hollywood now for many years. He knows what he is supposed to do to get things done. He can't just fool around and expect things to fall into place. People know him now and the women in his life have made him soft -- that doesn't mean he isn't still cool as hell. The thing I liked best about this book was that he made things happen. That's totally different from the GET SHORTY. In SHORTY things kept happening to him. Like in this one he sets up everything so that he will have material for his movie that he wants to make. I think Dahryl the detective has one of the best lines to show this. His wife asks why he is putting in so much over-time, He replies "Chili Palmer's making a movie." This book has everything: comedy, hate, double-cross, drama, love, violence, mob, music, and the movies. AND let's not forget that Chili still shows us how to BE COOL.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Slick yet Not Satisfying, April 13 2000
This review is from: Be Cool (Mass Market Paperback)
Elmore Leonard is the master of dialogue. I'll just say that right now. "Be Cool" has outstanding dialogue--as good as Leonard has written. It is crisp and tight, and he is one of the few writers who can pull off telling a story and developing characters strictly through their speech. And yet, "Be Cool" did not satisfy like it should. I felt the story lacked simply because it was transparent and did not seem original. Chili Palmer is one one Leonard's most popular and memorable characters and as much as many of us wanted to read more about him after reading "Get Shorty," Mr. Leonard should have let us suffer. I cannot stand to give it lower than a three-star rating simply because it was still a book that I had to keep reading. The plot moves along and I had to know what would happen to his always flawed, but endearing characters. And yet, like cheap Chinese take-out, I felt my gut empty hours after consuming this serving. I recommend going back and re-reading "Get Shorty" if you really need your Chili Palmer fix--you'll be happier.
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1.0 out of 5 stars decline of Mr. Leonard, Feb. 10 2000
This review is from: Be Cool (Hardcover)
I work in Hollywood as a runner, have for years. None of the characters in this book even vaguely resemble anybody I work with. Least of all Chili Palmer. Nor is Mr. Leonards dialog as spot-on as it used to be. Ryan's Rules was one of the greatest books I ever read. I've read it four or five times. Be Cool is at the opposite end of the spectrum. It gets worse. The dialog is so-so the characters are unbeleivable, and the action isn't real. In Ryans Rules the guys were robbing liquor stores and it was totally real, in Be Cool the one and only scene that doesn't cause a groan is the opening scene at Swingers restaurant where Tommy Athens is talking about the movie he wants Chili to make and Chili asks what's the movie about and Tommy Athens goes: "Me", now that's Holywood. On the other hand, when the 6 foot 6 Samoan barges into the studio exec womans office and bashes her TV with a baseball bat, anybody who's ever been anywhere near a studio lot will hoot with astonishment. This scene makes a deafening clunk. And then, after behaving like that, apparently we're supposed to beleive the big Samoan just strolls off the lot, because without a pass he wouldn't've been parking on the lot in the first place, where in real life the man would be getting treated like a king, as in Rodney. All I can say is give it up Mr. Leonard. You couldn't possibly need the money, could you? And if you don't you're embarrassing yourself.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Be Cool is lukewarm, Dec 1 1999
By 
Lee Greenway (Macon State College) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Be Cool (Hardcover)
As a fan of Elmore Leonard, and particularly of his popular novel, Get Shorty, I eagerly anticipated the release of this continuation of the tale of Chili Palmer. Dismayed was I to discover, therefore, that Be Cool was so true to the original that it could have, in fact, been the same book. Don't get me wrong, I like Chili Palmer as much as the next guy, but Mr. Leonard seemed to have missed the fact that for a sequel to be successful, it must take beloved characters and place them in NEW situations. This time, we find the same Chili doing the same things he did in Get Shorty, albeit with a little less violence, only this time he's doing it in the music world instead of the movie world. Throughout the novel, I found myself getting a more than vague sense of deja vu - I've seen it all before. The book is not, of course, without a few shining moments. A distressingly macabre exchange between a myopic Jewish hitman and a jive-talking, ghetto blasting music producer concerning the best type of baseball bat when a skull is the target provides a great moment of typical Leonard black humor. Leonard's signature stylistic devices - flashback narration and wonderful use of dialect - are omnipresent throughout. Be Cool does have its advantages, but it's possible to save money - just put on an Aerosmith album and re-read Get Shorty. Sorry, folks, but we've been here and done this.
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Be Cool by Elmore Leonard (Hardcover - Feb. 9 1999)
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