The Elmore Leonard Home Page



The Official
Elmore Leonard Website

Archives

Novels

The Bounty Hunters
The Law at Randado
Escape from Five Shadows
Last Stand at Saber River
Hombre
The Big Bounce
The Moonshine War
Valdez is Coming
Forty Lashes Less One
Mr. Majestyk
Fifty-Two Pickup
Swag
Unknown Man No. 89
The Hunted
The Switch
Gunsights
City Primeval
Gold Coast
Split Images
Cat Chaser
Stick
Labrava
Glitz
Bandits
Touch
Freaky Deaky
Killshot
Get Shorty
Maximum Bob
Rum Punch
Pronto
Riding the Rap
Out of Sight
Cuba Libre
Be Cool
Pagan Babies
Tishomingo Blues
Mr. Paradise
A Coyote’s in the House
The Hot Kid
Comfort to the Enemy
Up in Honey’s Room
Road Dogs
Djibouti
Raylan

Stories

The Complete Western Stories of Elmore Leonard
The Tonto Woman and Other Western Stories
When the Women Come Out to Dance
Trail of the Apache
Apache Medicine
You Never See Apaches…
Red Hell Hits Canyon Diablo
The Colonel’s Lady
Law of the Hunted One
Cavalry Boots
Under the Friar’s Ledge
The Rustlers
Three Ten to Yuma
The Big Hunt
Long Night
The Boy Who Smiled
The Hard Way
The Last Shot
Blood Money
Trouble at Rindo’s Station
Saint with a Six-Gun
The Captives
No Man’s Guns
The Rancher’s Lady
Jugged
Moment of Vengeance
Man with the Iron Arm
The Longest Day of his Life
The Nagual
The Kid
The Treasure of Mungo’s Landing
The Bull Ring at Blisston
Only Good Ones
The Tonto Woman
Hurrah for Captain Early
Karen Makes Out
The Odyssey
Sparks
Hanging Out at the Buena Vista
Fire in the Hole
Chickasaw Charlie Hoke
When the Women Come Out to Dance
Tenkiller
Showdown at Checotah
Louly and Pretty Boy
Chick Killer (2011)
Ice Man

Film and TV

Moment of Vengeance
3:10 to Yuma
The Tall T
Hombre
The Big Bounce (I)
The Moonshine War
Valdez is Coming
Joe Kidd
Mr. Majestyk
High Noon, Part II
Stick
52 Pickup
Desperado
The Rosary Murders
Glitz (TV)
Cat Chaser
Border Shootout
Split Images
Get Shorty
Last Stand at Saber River
Pronto
Touch
Elmore Leonard’s Gold Coast (TV)
Jackie Brown
Maximum Bob
Out of Sight
Karen Sisco
The Big Bounce (II)
Be Cool (2005)
The Ambassador
3:10 to Yuma (2007)
Killshot (2009)
Freaky Deaky
The Tonto Woman
Sparks
Justified
Life of Crime

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Stephen King Road Dogs Review in Boston Globe

The Boston Globe
Cold, blue steel smile
By Stephen King  |  May 17, 2009

imageElmore Leonard’s first novel, “The Bounty Hunters,” was published in 1953. Fifty-six years later, America’s premier literary entertainer is still in business - and business is good. You know from the first sentence that you’re in the hands of the original Daddy Cool: “They put Foley and the Cuban together in the backseat of the van and took them from the Palm Beach County Jail . . . to Glades Correctional, the old redbrick prison at the south end of Lake Okeechobee.”
Starts good; gets a whole lot better.

The Boston Globe
Cold, blue steel smile
By Stephen King |  May 17, 2009

Elmore Leonard’s first novel, “The Bounty Hunters,” was published in 1953. Fifty-six years later, America’s premier literary entertainer is still in business - and business is good. You know from the first sentence that you’re in the hands of the original Daddy Cool: “They put Foley and the Cuban together in the backseat of the van and took them from the Palm Beach County Jail . . . to Glades Correctional, the old redbrick prison at the south end of Lake Okeechobee.”
Starts good; gets a whole lot better.
The main characters in “Road Dogs” are drawn from at least three previous novels, but there’s no need to refresh yourself on the Byzantine plots of “Riding the Rap,” “La Brava,” and “Out of Sight” (which became a successful movie starring George Clooney) to enjoy this one. It’s enough to know that Jack Foley’s a legendary bank robber with a heart of, if not gold, then some not completely base metal; Cundo Rey is the foxy, hot-blooded Latin who wants to play Jack; and Dawn Navarro is Cundo’s sorta wife, steppin’ dynamite and several light years from the saint Cundo would like her to be. “You can call me Reverend Dawn, if you like,” this untrustworthy honey tells Jack. “I’m an ordained minister of the Spiritualist Assembly of Waco, Texas, though I started out doing nails.” It’s the perfect Leonard character capsule: succinct and out of the lady’s own mouth (although if you start out thinking of Dawn as no more than fuzzy-sexy-dumb, Leonard is going to change your mind - she’s a black widow).
Or how about this summation of Rey, as delivered by his old buddy, Jack: “Cundo isn’t dumb. He can’t add figures, but he knows what the balance is.” Aspiring novelists who want to understand that hoary old writing seminar dictum, “Show, don’t tell,” would do well to save their tuition and read Leonard instead. It’s cheaper and a lot more fun.
Speaking of fun, getting there is most of it in a Leonard novel, which means not spoiling the plot (and hey, the strands are never easy to untangle, anyway). I’ll tell you a little, because it’s too good not to share, but it’s probably enough to say that the usual gang of bangers, hustlers, and nut cakes are here, from the FBI agent (Lou Adams) who’s obsessed with putting Foley back in jail, to Rey’s sexually ambiguous business manager, James “Little Jimmy” Rios, who sees himself the second coming of Tony Montana, the “Scarface” antihero famous for saying, “Lemme innerduce choo to my l’il frien.” This is a full and glorious Leonard parade - call it The Seven Deadly Sins Marching Band. Some of these guys will achieve a modicum of decency, but more by accident than design. In Elmore World, long-range planning is always in short supply.
Jack and Cundo Rey (I love that name) meet while doing hard time; a projected 30 years, in Jack’s case. They become road dogs - prison slang for guys without gang affiliations who buddy up to stay safe in the yard - and Cundo pulls expensive strings to get Jack released early. He has plans for Jack once they’re both back in the world. Because, dig it, the Cundos of the world don’t do anything out of the goodness of their hearts. Or for free.
Soon Jack’s in California and snuggling with Cundo’s sorta wife. Dawn’s a psychic (in one of the book’s most engaging cons, she turns Jack into a professional ghost hunter-cum-exorcist to the rich and famous), but somehow fails to see that Cundo, also freed from the petty constraints of Glades Correctional, is going to show up a day early, and - in the words of that great philosopher George Jones - burn her playhouse down.
Sooner or later somebody’s gonna die, because this isn’t “Marley and Me.” In the more than 40 Leonard novels that have followed “The Bounty Hunters,” there has always been steel behind the smile. The marchers in this fools’ parade may be funny - sometimes uproariously so - but they’re still outlaws, dancing on the edge of doom thanks to their own greed and poor impulse control. Leonard knows exactly what he’s up to, and has since the beginning of his storied career. If you think of him as the cutie-pie of crime fiction (many critics seem to), you’ll get sandbagged.
The fun in the best of his novels - and this is the best in years - stems from the fact that Leonard starts turning the screws on page one and never stops. The dialogue crackles; the supporting characters are crisply drawn; and the story achieves almost instant escape velocity.
If you like your crime fiction laced with deadpan wit (Leonard doesn’t exactly do humor), then this one’ll kill you. Even the worst marchers in Leonard’s fools’ parade have a certain scabrous charm, and that makes them worth watching. And, appalling or not, rooting for. This is one walk down Crooked Avenue you’ll be more than happy to take.
Stephen King’s new novel, “Under the Dome,” will be published by Scribners in November. 

© Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company

image


Recent Posts

Elmore is Buried Today on His Birthday

Elmore Leonard Forever

Elmore Leonard Podcasts

The Enduring Appeal Of Elmore Leonard and Deputy US Marshal Raylan Givens

The Gregg Sutter Blog

Japanese FU-GO Balloon Bombs in Michigan

The Pontiac Story of Progress & Promise

Tom Morwatts on Growing Up in Detroit

Detroit Punks: Mitch Ryder

Amazon 2015 Pilots Now Online – Including Point of Honor

Even Bank Robbers Decide What Tie To Wear: The Essence Of Elmore Leonard

On Twitter

Five fucking years! We miss you, Dutch! It ain't the same without you. (One exclamation point for a spare.) pic.twitter.com/EoumiJh3cM
@Miel_J @getshorty @BigBoyler @SeanBridgers The TV show has nothing to do with the novel Elmore wrote. What he wou… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
2/2 Still wish they'd chisel off "Dickens of Detroit" and add something for the ages instead of a cliche that Elmo… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…
Sad day. It's been 4 yrs. Unbelievable still. Added to gravesite, Elmore's WWII Navy marker. Strange to have 2 markers, but welcome. 1/2
1st 3 episodes of Get Shorty TV series streaming at EPIX, “inspired by the novel. Can you feel the EL inspiration? bit.ly/2ugzOnP
SousVide Supreme Touch+ Kickstarter is live. 1st 249 Backers Get SousVide Supreme Touch+ For $249 — 58% Off MSRP. goread.me/1CB8
Elmore learned from Hemingway but decided the man didn’t have a sense of humor. Richard Bissell did. Elmore loved… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…
Working title 4 Up in Honey’s Room was “Hitler’s Birthday.” The publisher nixed it. “Hitler doesn’t sell,” she sai… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…
Richard Edgar Monk’s Detroit backyard @1035 State Fair St in The Switch. I added a squirrel. Elmore would not hav… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…
From the @NME. Elmore’s favorite self description. Forget Dickens of Detroit! Would sure like to find the original… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…
Oscars: Indonesia Selects ‘Marlina The Murderer’ in Foreign-Language Category wp.me/p2WgDE-1jprDk
Jack Black's #HouseWithAClock will lead a quiet weekend at the box office bit.ly/2OHA0HG pic.twitter.com/bAUFQez7Fk
Pakistan Chooses ‘Cake’ for the Oscars wp.me/p2WgDE-1jprCN
Fox Gives Put Pilot Commitment to Comedy From ‘2 Broke Girls’ Writers wp.me/p2WgDE-1jprC3
Posthumous @LilPeep album coming from @ColumbiaRecords, @XXXTentacion collaboration drops tomorrow wp.me/p2WgDE-1jprC2
Senate Passes Music Modernization Act wp.me/p2WgDE-1jprBk
Morning Radio’s Elvis Duran Announces New Co-Host wp.me/p2WgDE-1jprAf
Jack Black calls Trump a "piece of s---" at his Walk of Fame ceremony wp.me/p2WgDE-1jprzB
‘Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Eevee’ Won’t Feature Held Items, Abilities wp.me/p2WgDE-1jprs7

7