Daily Archives: February 19, 2012

by Elmore Leonard



When it comes to crime fiction, there seem to be two types of consumers:  fans who want Martin Scorsese to keep making mob movies until the day he swims with the fishes, and who gobble up books like Elmore Leonard’s “tough-guy” novels; and people who enjoy a good gangster story – but only to a certain point.  There’s no question that Leonard is a skilled writer, especially with pacing, but a little bit of his clichéd bad-guys routine goes a long way with me.  I don’t automatically smile because the hero has a Brooklyn accent, and I’m not on tenterhooks because the characters carry guns. 

And Leonard’s female characters?  The main woman in Get Shorty is thinly drawn and exists primarily to lust after our “cool” hero, a loan shark who goes Hollywood and who barely has to lift a finger to attract her and (the few) other women in the story.  But if you love this tough-guy stuff, well, then this is a book for you.


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