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on July 13, 2001
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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on April 17, 2000
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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on June 1, 1999
i have read most of the reviews of this book. most seem to be putting it down, but in my humble opinion this is a really good book. people say its disjointed or not beleivable but then wait its fiction its not supposed to be next to reality in a real pure sense it can but thats not neccassary. this book is a very good read despite any shortcomings it may have i find very few. while other could not finish the book i read it very quickly which i find amazing since i read it during the school year at a time that the teachers chose to pile on the work but maybe to the detriment to my grade i couldnt put this book down. i have read quite a few elmore leonard books and i find this to be on par with all of them including get shorty which is of course supposed to be superior to the sequel to it. i find that to not be true and that this book actually beats it and the others i cant wait until this is a movie i cant wait. i can imagine maybe samuel l jackson as raji but who in hollywood could play a 200 pound gay samoan?
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on February 6, 1999
In Hollywood, you are as good as your last work. Life time achievement awards are bogus presents to the masses. Former Miami loan shark Chili Palmer knows that first hand. His first Hollywood movie, Get Leo was a smash hit. The sequel, Get Lost, was lost somewhere at the bottom of the reject file. Chili seeks a new work to return him to the top.
Chili selects singer Linda Moon as the subject of his next picture. To insure success, he becomes her manager. He soon begins to stage a series of events as if he was actually filming his movie. Of course, being Chili he has alienated just about everyone even as he takes the music world by storm. So if he can survive the latest group of hitmen after him, he might start actually filming his latest picture.
Sequels to hit novels usually lose the gusto that made the first tale a hit. However, Elmore Leonard proves how talented an author he is by turning his sequel (to GET SHORTY) into a funnier, more coherent tale. BE COOL is Chili at his hottest as he performs as if he is a modern day Machiavelli living in Los Angeles. The entertaining story line is loaded with jocularity, wit, and fabulous dialogue. The characters are Mr. Leonard's trademark eccentric crowd. BE COOL will clearly be a best seller even if Travolta fails to star in the sequel.

Harriet Klausner
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on February 25, 2000
I loved this book. Personally, I felt Be Cool topped the original Get Shorty. The dialogue and characters were very well written. Ya' gotta like Chili Palmer as one of Elmore Leonard's best all-time characters. This is a terrific vacation read.
I notice many negative reviews here. Fortunately, I did not read these reviews before I read this book! These reviews really puzzle me- I have read all of Elmore Leonard's books and I would put Be Cool right in the top tier. Leonard used a sort of "Pulp Fiction" approach to telling this story, which is a little different from some of his other books. I enjoyed this style and found that it added variety compared to a more traditional linear approach.
Only a few minor complaints: 1. I thought the relationship with Elaine was a bit contrived 2. What was the minor scene with Michael Weir all about?
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on February 23, 1999
First of all, for those music critics who have given the book a bad review because it doesn't go deep enough into the real psyche of the industry - PAY ATTENTION- this is not a book about the music industry - it's a book about Chili Palmer. This is a great read - the dialogue shows Leonard at his very best - and the very real depictions of the music industry (Palmer says "I have a hunch there aren't any rules, you just see how much you can get away with") are right on - He takes some of the real-life experiences of The Stone Coyotes (an amazing band - check out and makes them fodder for the heroine Linda Moon's own music career. Can't wait for the movie
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on February 5, 1999
The delivery of the story is tight and well crafted, but like a 12 year old's summer vacation, you dread the end because it comes too soon and you know you'll have to wait a year for another. In what seems to be a metaphor for Leonard's creation process we're treated to more Chili Palmer. Due to a bookstore's error in shelving the book too early, I was able to beat the rush and feel truly priviledged. The book is truly outstanding, enjoy!
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on March 4, 1999
This is my first Elmore Leonard and I thouroughly enjoyed it. The story rolls fluently in its almost script like format. This will become a film. The characters are very real and believable and Chili, well his confidence doesn't border on arrogance, it's invaded and ransacked it. Highly recommended.
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on February 28, 1999
Another winner from Elmore. He is the champion of great, witty, smart dialogue. Along with FRIED CALAMARI (which also contains very sharp witty dialogue), this is the best contemporary fiction I've read this year.
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on February 3, 2002
Be cool fallows our favorite Hollywood loan-shark as he continues with his hollywood career. Be Cool is a really faced paced and captivating. It's definetely something to read if you like get shorty.
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