Get Shorty Mass Market Paperback – May 16 2002
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Nobody writes openings like Elmore Leonard. Case in point: "When Chili first came to Miami Beach twelve years ago they were having one of their off-and-on cold winters: thirty-four degrees the day he met Tommy Carlo for lunch at Vesuvio's on South Collins and had his leather jacket ripped off." You need to know about this because you need to know why there's bad blood between Chili Palmer and Ray Bones, the guy who stole his coat and is now his boss--and has ordered him to collect $4,200 from a dead guy. Except the guy didn't die; he went to Las Vegas with $300,000. So Chili goes to Las Vegas, one thing leads to another, and pretty soon he's in Los Angeles, hanging out with a movie producer named Harry Zimm and learning what it takes to be a player in Hollywood.
Get Shorty is classic Elmore Leonard: While other people write "crime fiction," Leonard's come up with a masterful social comedy that happens to be about criminals (and other fast operators). He's a master of snappy dialogue and dizzying plot twists. The best parts of Get Shorty move along so briskly you almost forget there's somebody with a firm control over the story. And you'll be rooting for Chili to get the money, the girl, and the studio deal. --Ron Hogan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
An absolute master. -- The Detroit News
The greatest crime writer of our time, perhaps ever! -- The New York Times Book Review
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
1. Story -- Not interesting. Two-bit mafia guy with quirky catch phrase ["Look at me"] goes to LA and hooks up with a collection of semi-famous idiots and is being hunted by a collection of violent idiots. Never once did I look forward to picking the book up again and seeing what happened next. 2. Characters -- Lifeless. Leonard is too busy trying to make them "cool", as he is so well known for, that they come across as bland. It's 350 pages of "i'm cool," "no i'm cool," "well, OK, she's cool." "Let's go to Spago and be cool together". 3. Dialogue -- Stilted. Tries too hard to make it sound real, and so you hear leonard's voice rather than the characters' voices. 4. Conflict -- Virtually non-existent. Scenes with Catlett and Chili were almost devoid of tension and conflict.
thankfully I got this book cheap and didn't drop 13 bucks on it.
Most recent customer reviews
Shorty’s an actor. Go figure. It’s all about the power and allure of Hollywood. You’ve got Chili, the Mafia guy looking for a way out. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Len
Let's get one thing straight - no one is cooler than Chili Palmer in fiction. Not everyone get's Elmore Leonard but when I read this book I think, how can you not? Read morePublished on March 9 2014 by Stogies
I agree with all the one star reviews that this book lacks everything. I've read quite a few E. Leonard books and enjoyed most of them. This was his worst so far.Published on April 11 2004
This musical novel doesn't have one sour note in it. This is Leonard's best with "Tishomingo Blues" following up behind and "Mr. Read morePublished on March 1 2004
Chili Palmer is a laconic tough guy who, caught up in the madcaps of the mob, becomes endearing because, unlike other mobsters, Chili has a certain humility and wisdom shining... Read morePublished on Jan. 24 2004 by M. JEFFREY MCMAHON
Elmore Leonard may be America's foremost writer for fast-paced spellbinding dialogue and plots. With "Get Shorty" Leonard has produced a modern crime novel classic; a... Read morePublished on July 2 2003 by John Kwok
I actually read get shorty after seeing the movie. The movie I though was good but it isn't as good as the book. Read morePublished on Feb. 3 2002 by Neel Aroon
I COULD WRITE THE SAME REVIEW OF ANY OF LEONARD'S BOOKS. THEY ARE WONDERFUL IN DIALOGUE AND RICH IN COLORFUL CHARACTERS. Read morePublished on Oct. 9 2001 by Christine Englar-Dearing