- Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: HarperTorch; Reprint edition (June 4 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780060082161
- ISBN-13: 978-0060082161
- ASIN: 006008216X
- Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.4 x 17.1 cm
- Shipping Weight: 181 g
- Average Customer Review: 34 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,173,608 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Get Shorty Mass Market Paperback – Jun 4 2002
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“The greatest crime writer of our time, perhaps ever!” (The New York Times Book Review)
“An absolute master.” (The Detroit News)
From the Back Cover
Mob-connected loanshark Chili Palmer is sick of the Miami grind—plus his "friends" have a bad habit of dying there. So when he chases a deadbeat client out to Hollywood, Chili figures he might like to stay. This town with its dreammakers, glitter, hucksters, and liars—plus gorgeous, partially clad would -be starlets everywhere you look—seems ideal for an enterprising criminal with a taste for the cinematic. Besides, Chili's got an idea for a killer movie—thought it could very possibly kill him to get it made.See all Product description
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Dutch wrote a classic with this one.
Whatever else, this book is a fast paced and entertaining piece of fiction. The characters are interesting, the dialogue is memorable and funny, and the plot is ingenious and leads to a very satisfactory conclusion. This is Leonard at his best - and that is awfully good. And surprise, this time he even got a good movie out of it!
I feel like Chili Palmer myself, having watched the movie first and having liked it better. But here's my review: The characters in this story are great. Chili - the too-cool-for-anyone-but-nice-guy ex-mobster, Leo - the pathetic loser dry-cleaner, Karen - the hot, smart, cynical actress, Bo Catlett - the mean, delusional, drug-dealing Hollywood-player-wanna-be. You have no idea what is going to happen next in Leonard's books and the characters really become alive as a result.
The book can help bug fans of the movie get more out of the "visual fabric" of the story. The interactions between Chili and Bo are more developed in the book than the movie, which I appreciated, as well as more insights and discussions about what the movie "Mr. Lovejoy" is actually about. The meeting between Nikki and Chili is hilarious in the book. And the book focuses on Karen's personality more. My advice is to read it and see it.
In 'Get Shorty' we have the usual south Florida loan shark nasties out to get someone who does not want to pay. This fellow lands a bundle on an insurance scam and runs to Hollywood. One of the nasties (well, I guess he is reformed nasty) chases him down and gets involved with Hollywood luvvies (actors, writers, producers). He then, ... here's the gimmick..., finds his adventures to be of more interest to film makers than another script originally being peddled to producers. Anyway, it gets all a bit complicated and just a wee bit contrived. Big disappoint to Leonard fans: the crime element to 'Get Shorty' is not the highlight of the book.
Bottom line: an unusual Elmore Leonard book which will probably not please his fans. However its humour and digs at the Hollywood establishment make it a worthy read ... just.
This is a good book, but there needed to be more to it. I was expecting more of a Hollywood spoof, but this seemed primarily concerned with the conflict between Chili and Bo Catlett and their various illegal activities. I think it would have been funny to actually see Chili and Bo working on a movie, just to see how they'd react to certain situations and what kind of movie they could put out.
I'll have to see the movie to see if it's any better, but the book was decent. I really liked the character of Chili Palmer, though I was lukewarm on most of the others. Given the shortness of the book and its overall lighthearted tone, I'd recommend this book for some light reading on a long trip.
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