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How Can You Pick a Favorite?
Posted: 07 September 2005 09:43 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I think Unknown Man #89 is my favorite because I lived in Rochester, Michigan and when one of the bad guys blew the windows out of Mitzlefelds Department Store on Main Street, I felt connected.  This was also the book that sealed Elmore’s early cult reputation in New York and Hollywood.  The first Elmore Lenard book I read was Fifty Two Pickup in 1975.  Then Swag and Unknown Man #89 and The Switch.  What about you?

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Posted: 08 September 2005 12:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Freaky Deaky is the novel I’ve most revisited ? and the first one I read ? but for me, Swag is the best. Simple, effortless, great dialogue, fast paced.? it’s got everything.

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Posted: 10 September 2005 12:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Tough to pick between “City Primevil” and “52 Pickup”.  I really like the Detroit scenarios.

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Posted: 06 January 2007 06:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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reading the switch again..its always like meeting real people you have met before…ordell and louis…i forget the first EL book i read…but i went out and read everything i could find by him…and waited for each new one to come out..

freaky deaky has to be my fave…the first 20 pages are a treasure…would love to see it as a film…but fear that Hwood would run over it..

glitz .. unknown man 89 .. city prime evil .. killshot .. have to be right behind .. read them all several times ...

its the pacing of the launguage..you can feel the people ..

for me its more than reading a book

wolf

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Posted: 10 January 2007 01:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Those 70’s classics are terrific, for sure. For pure writing style, though, Mr. Paradise is an underrated book. And, yeah, Freaky Deaky is also terrific. I can’t pick favourites, though, it depends on my moods.

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Posted: 10 January 2007 01:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I never read an Elmore Leonard book, I’ve only listened to them in audiobook format so I’m not sure if my post counts on this thread but my favorites are (1) Mr. Paradise (brilliantly read by Robert Forster), (2) Pagan Babies (great job by Steve Buscemi), (3) Cat Chaser (by one of the masters of narration, Frank Muller) and (4) Valdez is Coming (read by Keith Carradine) . My favorite short story is The Tonto Woman (as read by Taye Diggs).
P.S. Tonto Woman has to be one of the best American short stories ever written. I’ve listened to it so many times Maybe we can get a short story thread going sometime.

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Posted: 11 January 2007 10:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Hey Nolan,
I’ve never heard an Elmore Leonard audiobook, but with those readers it sounds like a good idea. A little while ago Stephen King, in a column in the magazine Entertainment Weekly, said that a friend of his never “got” Elmore Leonard books until he heard one as an audiobook.

And yes, The Tonto Woman is a great short story. So is Hurrah for Captain Early and Hanging Out at the Beuna Vista. Have they been made into audiobooks yet?

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Posted: 11 January 2007 10:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Actually there are four versions of Captain Early on audio, Taye Diggs does a great version on the 2002 Harper Audio of When the Women Come Out to Dance. Actor David Strathian (who just did that Edward R. Murrow role) read it really well in 2004 also for Harper Audio as part of the Complete Western Stories.  Joe Morton (another great actor) read the story in 1999 for Simon & Schuster on a cassette that has The Tonto Woman on the flipside and there is a bizarre combo tape recording of it by Jim White recorded in 1997 for Brilliance Audio that has Evan Hunter’s The Killing at Triple Tree on the reverse side.
There are two versions of Buena Vista, the better one by Taye Diggs on the 2002 Harper Audio version of Women Come out to Dance. There’s a second version by Henry Strozier for the 2002 Recorded Books version that’s okay.
Not to go too far off thread, you can hear some excerpts from EL audio at my podcast/blog site Dutch Treat (www.dutchtreat.libsyn.com). I’ll be posting an episode about Mr. Majestyk next week. Also, I’ve got a spreadsheet of every EL audio ever recorded (I think) if anybody ever wants to see that, too. Everything’s appears to have been recorded except for Unknown Man #89, LaBrava, The Law at Randalo, Gunsights, Hombre, and Escape from Five Shadows. On the obsessive side of things, I’ve collected all the audio from eBay, etc. and digitized it as well (everybody’s got a hobby).
Nolen

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Posted: 11 January 2007 11:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Nolan, your site is very cool. I’ve been a fan of both David Strathairn and Joe Morton since they were doing John Sayles movies years ago. Actually, I’d like to see what John Sayles would do with an Elmore Leonard novel.

Looks like I’m going to have to give up this dial-up service and go for high speed.

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Posted: 11 January 2007 03:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I want to let visitors at elmoreleonard.com know about Nolan’s site, it’s fantastic.

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Posted: 12 January 2007 05:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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cool, thanks, feel free to take, link, or mirror. The podcasts are also at iTunes though they’re all tagged “explicit” (squares on all sides!) so that kind of limits things.

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Posted: 14 January 2007 05:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Very difficult to pick a favorite.  There were stretches where I’d read 6, 8 EL books in a row and some of the details in them, characters, settings, plots, start to blur. 

John Travolta is responsible for introducing me to Elmore’s books.  His interview on Johnny Carson plugging Get Shorty sealed it for me.  I read Get Shorty first, and then can’t remember the order.  Cuba Libre was in there early, definitely one of my favorites, as was Tishomingo Blues, Stick, The Hot Kid, and most recently, Maximum Bob.

A few I haven’t read yet:  Gold Coast, The Switch, Tonto Woman, When the Women Come out to Dance.

Would like to hear an EL audio book sometime.  The only cassette player I own though is in an old replica of an antique radio.  Came with a series of old time radio ‘suspence’ thrillers.  Would be a great player for an Elmore audio book.  Nice site Nolen.

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Posted: 14 January 2007 08:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Scrum - 14 January 2007 10:58 AM

Would like to hear an EL audio book sometime.  The only cassette player I own though is in an old replica of an antique radio.  Came with a series of old time radio ‘suspence’ thrillers.  Would be a great player for an Elmore audio book.  Nice site Nolen.

There’s plenty of EL cassettes available from Recorded Books put they’re kind of pricey, even to rent. It’s also possible to download and listen on the computer (though this may be inconvenient for some). Audible (www.audible.com) has a decent collection of downloadable Elmore Leonard audiobooks. They also have a pretty good 20 minute interview with EL that’s free (at least to members) done around when Be Cool was released. These audiobooks are also available from iTunes (though I prefer dealing with audible rather than apple).

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Posted: 14 January 2007 09:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Scrum - 14 January 2007 10:58 AM

A few I haven’t read yet:  Gold Coast, The Switch, Tonto Woman, When the Women Come out to Dance.

Jump on The Switch as soon as you can.  I re-reading them in order and that is my favorite so far.  (admittedly the last one I finished tho)

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Posted: 16 January 2007 10:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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I hesitated to pick up The Switch because it sounded too much like that mid-80s Danny DeVito movie Ruthless People.  They aren’t related, are they?

But lately I’m hearing it’s pretty darn good.

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Posted: 16 January 2007 03:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Ruthless People claims to be loosely based on O Henry’s “Ransom of Red Chief”.  Beyond the similar notions of disappointed kindappers (I am familiar with the O Henry story, not the Bette Midler vehicle) I doubt that there is a connection.

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