The Tonto Woman and Other Western Stories

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9780385323871: The Tonto Woman and Other Western Stories

From a forbidden glance on a Miami night to a killer's slow burn on a Detroit street, no one mixes passion, scheming, and violence better than Elmore Leonard.  But before he did it in Miami Beach or Motor City, Elmore Leonard did it on the American frontier.

This raw, hard-bitten collection gathers together the best of Leonard's Western fiction.  In stories that burn with passion, treachery, and heroism, the American frontier comes vividly, magnificently to life.  In "Only Good Ones," we meet a fine man turned killer in one impossible moment .  .  .  "Saint with a Six-Gun" pits a doomed prisoner against his young guard--in a drama of deception and compassion that leads to a shocking act of courage .  .  .  and in "The Colonel's Lady," a brutal ambush puts a woman into the hands of a vicious renegade--while a tracker attempts a rescue that cannot come in time.

Etching a harsh, haunting landscape with razor-sharp prose, Elmore Leonard shows in nineteen brilliant stories why he has become the American poet laureate of the desperate and the bold.

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Welcome to a world where the Hatch & Hodges stagecoach runs on time or someone will catch hell, and where a man knows the difference between handling a Winchester rifle and a Sharps and a Henry--or pays for it with his life.

Before he became one of the best crime writers in America, Elmore Leonard was one of the best Western writers in America. He churned out short stories for the pulp magazines with regularity; The Tonto Woman collects 19 of the best, including "Three-Ten to Yuma" and "The Captives," which in 1957 became the first two of his stories to be adapted for film (the latter as The Tall T). Reading them and the other stories, you can see why Hollywood has been continually drawn to Leonard: Every encounter between two or more people, no matter how casual, has substance--becomes a matter of great moral significance and can only be resolved through action. Even those stories that rely on O. Henry-style twists of fate to reach their endings are packed with intense character studies disguised as straightforward genre prose. When all is said and done, Elmore Leonard will be mentioned by literary critics in the same breath as Ernest Hemingway--quite likely even mentioned first--and The Tonto Woman will make one of the strongest arguments in his favor. --Ron Hogan

From the Publisher:

The desperate, the daring, and the damned: classic frontier fiction by the unrivaled master of the American western

"Elmore Leonard may be the last hope for the written word."
--New York Observer

"No one is Leonard's equal."
--Chicago Tribune

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