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Get Shorty (original 1990; edition 2005)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060777095, Paperback)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 Hogan
(retrieved from Amazon Sat, 05 Jan 2013 12:19:53 -0500)
"Loan shark Chili Palmer didn't say anything when Ray Bones stole his leather jacket from Vesuvio's in Miami. He just went to Ray's house, broke his nose, took the jacket, and left. Twelve years later, on account of his boss getting whacked, Chili finds himself working for Bones and ordered to collect on a bad debt from Leo Devoe, a guy who died in a plane crash. But it turns out Leo isn't dead; he's in Las Vegas with the $300,000 the airline paid to his wife. So Chili follows him to Vegas and then on to Hollywood, where he hooks up with movie producers, actors, and studio execs. Getting Leo becomes a movie pitch unfolding in a city where every move you make is a potential scene, 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."--BOOK JACKET.
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