Monday, May 13, 2013

Your Favorite Elmore Leonard novel



A few weeks ago, I said I had never read a Bill Pronzini novel and got some fabulous recommendations and read a great book.

Now I have read only one Elmore Leonard book (hangs head in shame), so tell me what your favorite book of his is and I will read that one.



Published: May 27, 2007
LEONARD’S FINAL FOUR: What’s Elmore Leonard’s best novel? In the right bar, that question could start a rumble. But Mark Reiter tackles it with elegance and wit in his recent book “The Enlightened Bracketologist: The Final Four of Everything,” which he wrote with Richard Sandomir and Nigel Holmes. According to Reiter, the novels that make it to Leonard’s final four are “Hombre” (1961), “Swag”(1976), “LaBrava” (1983) and “Killshot” (1989). It’s hard to quibble with that list. “LaBrava” got there by defeating, in the second round,“Get Shorty.” (Reiter calls this “an ironic matchup, since Leonard wrote ‘Get Shorty’ to get back at Dustin Hoffman for torturing him during the writing of the ‘LaBrava’ screenplay.”) The final matchup, in Reiter’s bracket, is between “Swag” and “Killshot.” I’ll let Reiter describe which book wins: “ ‘Swag’ is great because you root for the crooks. ‘Killshot’ goes it one better with Leonard’s best-ever opening chapter, a cast of kinky characters who are both menacing and sympathetic, and the rarity of a happily married couple as the novel’s action heroes. Even the blunt title is perfect.” Leonard’s new novel, “Up in Honey’s Room,” is at No. 15.


18 comments:

Bill Crider said...

Crime novel: City Primeval
Western Novel: Hombre

J. Kingston Pierce said...

No question, mine is LaBRAVA.

le0pard13 said...

I haven't read them all, but I did very much enjoy Out of Sight and Get Shorty. I have Killshot near the top of my stack right now.

Dana King said...

This is hard.

Of the lighter books, GET SHORTY rules.

Of the more hard edged crime stories, CITY PRIMEVAL or GLITZ.

HOMBRE may be the best Western ever written.

RJR said...

52 Pickup!

Anonymous said...

But you're from Detroit!

Out of Sight
Get Shorty

It's been a long time since I read City Primeval so don't remember it that well.

I like all the Raylan Givens stories too and the western shorts.

Jeff M.

George said...

BANDITS (1987) and THE COMPLETE WESTERN STORIES OF ELMORE LEONARD (2004).

Anonymous said...

I haven't read many either--perhaps a future FFB devoted to Leonard would motivate me to read more! Of the ones I have read, I like Valdez Is Coming and Rum Punch.

Deb

Cap'n Bob said...

All my answers have shown up already. You might also try Escape From Five Shadows.

Anonymous said...

City Primeval

Micheal C.

John said...

I've only read those caper style books he wrote. GET SHORTY, MAXIMUM BOB and a few others. What was the one that Jackie Brown was based on? RUM PUNCH, I think. That was the one I enjoyed the most. I read the long before Tarantino turned it into a movie. But I think Westlake is better at the comic caper novels.

Todd Mason said...

I have a sneaking fondness for FREAKY DEAKY. It didn't hurt that I was working with a charming young woman who could've been one of the characters.

KILLSHOT made for a fine film, too...

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

So far the only book I have read is PAGAN BABIES and I'm hoping to read some of his westerns.

Charles Gramlich said...

Hombre

John Weagly said...

I'm on an Elmore Leonard kick this month. I just finished HOMBRE and I play to read RAYLAN and a few short stories before May is over. I'm also going to watch (or re-watch) a few of the movies based on his stuff. FREAKY DEAKY is on deck for tonight.

I haven't read a bad Elmore Leonard novel. I'd say the one that keeps popping into my head as a favorite is SWAG.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Hoping to get HOMBRE pronto.

Sergio (Tipping My Fedora) said...

I would have to plump for UNKOWN MAN NO. 89 from the 70s heyday and maybe THE SWITCH - i remember liking CAT CHASER a lot but it was a long time ago.

Paul D. Brazill said...

Swag, Switch, Pronto and Freaky Deaky- off the top of my bonce.