In a novel filled with his signatures -- nerve-shattering suspense, crackling dialogue, scathing wit -- Elmore Leonard proves once again why he sets the standard against which all other crime novels are measured. In Get Shorty, he takes a mobster to Hollywood, where the women are gorgeous, the men are corrupt, and making it big isn't all that different from making your bones: you gotta know who to pitch, who to hit, and how to knock 'em dead.
Get Shorty is now a major motion picture directed by Barry Sonnenfeld and starring John Travolta, Gene Hackman, Rene Russo and Danny DeVito.
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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 HoganFrom the Publisher:
"A good rootin'-tootin' Elmore Leonard adventure with the usual suspects, the locker full of money, the wheelers, the dealers, the crazies, and the girl." -- Chicago Tribune.
Miami mob little-guy, loan shark Chili Palmer, is seriously thinking of a career change when a client skips town. Pursuit leads him to L.A.... and the rest, as they say, is history. As a crook, Chili has all the qualifications to make it in the movie business. Soon he's hooked up with horror-film producer Harry Zimm and former starlet Karen Flores, a size-D screamer. But hustling Harry has stiffed a backer, some Miami muscle is headed west to break more than Chili's bubble and suddenly Chili's over his head in "high concepts" -- a Hollywood scam calculated to confound "investors" who make it clear that there are more ways to get killed than at the box office.
"A master of narrative... a poet of the vernacular... Leonard paint[s] an intimate, precise, funny, frightening, and irresistible mural of the American underworld." -- The New Yorker
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