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The hot kid : a novel by Elmore Leonard

The hot kid : a novel (original 2005; edition 2005)

by Elmore Leonard

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7952416,715 (3.64)20
Title:The hot kid : a novel
Authors:Elmore Leonard
Info:New York : William Morrow, c2005.
Collections:Your library

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The Hot Kid by Elmore Leonard (2005)



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II love Elmore Leonard but this was my first of his westerns. The plot is kind of a hot mess but the book was so much fun I didn't care. Learned a few things, too (Bonnie and Clyde were second-rate gangsters). ( )
  sblock | May 17, 2018 |
“The Hot Kid” by Elmore Leonard is one of those great novels that you will want to put on your bookshelf with other classics. It is a 400-page sort of depression-era Western that tells the story of the legendary Carl Webster, U.S. Marshal, beginning with his encountering a famed bandit in his youth and going on to hunt down that bandit years later. It is also the story of Jack Belmont, the son of a wildcatting millionaire and a man who since his childhood was just plain bad. Not even his own parents wanted anything to do with him. Other characters’ biographies are painted in this amazing novel, including Louly, who dreamed as a teenager of Pretty Boy Floyd, after her cousin married him. Louly later took up with another criminal, after stealing her stepfather’s car. And, then there was the news reporter/true crime writer Anthony who followed their stories and even placed himself within those stories. Nobody can create characters like Elmore Leonard and these are some of the best.

All the action takes place on the great plains in Oklahoma and Kansas City as these characters’ lives criss-cross time and time again. Leonard does a great job of portraying the dust bowl poverty of Oklahoma, the mining towns, the wildcat oil booms, the bars, clubs, and scheming people. Kansas City in this novel is the center of corruption, controlled by party bosses, filled with crime and corruption.

Carl Webster in this novel becomes the nation’s most famous U.S. Marshal and he tells the men he chases down that they better put down their arms because, if he draws his gun, it’ll only be to shoot and kill.

This is a thoroughly enjoyable book that has a tremendous scope and feels as if it could have been true life rather than fiction. ( )
  DaveWilde | Sep 22, 2017 |
Read June 2017. Good read but plot drags and ends a bit narrowly. 65 ( )
  DannyKeep | Jul 2, 2017 |
2.5 stars

This is hard for me to review. This is not my genre at all. I've read a few other novels by Elmore Leonard, & liked them, so I'll keep one or two around to pick up when I want.

Leonard immerses the reader in the era, the lifestyle, the story, the scene. For that I want to give him all the stars. There is no denying his gifts & talents as a writer.

But getting through this was work for me. And it's ironic that this is the longest book by Leonard I've ever picked up, & the one I like least.

I'm willing to take the blame on this and dismiss any criticism to my dislike of the genre; that's how much I truly admire Leonard's work. I may have to be pickier about which of his books I pick up next. ( )
  LauraCerone | May 26, 2016 |
Set during prohibition. There are bootleggers, gun molls, and a lot of violence. ( )
  nx74defiant | Jan 23, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
In ''The Hot Kid," Leonard merges the Western and the urban crime novel. The result is a rousing tale of desperadoes robbing banks, hiding out in whorehouses, and shooting peace officers during the rat-a-tat-take-that-you-dirty-rat early '30s, when Charles ''Pretty Boy" Floyd supposedly once took his family to town so they could watch him rob a bank, a Harvey Girl waitress would ''get recognized on the street like a movie star," and glimpsing Amelia Earhart in a Kansas City hotel was a possibility.
Far from being an exercise in nostalgia, this book reinvigorates what Mr. Leonard might have experienced at his most impressionable: the mythmaking process that turned commonplace crooks into figures of folklore. And he is able to bring a remarkable form of double vision to the events described here without sacrificing the deadpan verve that is his trademark.
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For my two girls, Jane and Katy
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"Honey," Crystal said, "you're not as cute as you think you are. Drink your ice tea and beat it."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060724234, Mass Market Paperback)

Before Elmore Leonard abandoned westerns to blaze across the pantheon of bestsellerdom with his hip, stylish thrillers, punctuated with dead-pan humor and dialogue worthy of a David Mamet play, he might have written The Hot Kid; it has some of the same crisp pacing and well-defined, if not especially complex, characters that marked his earlier novels. A show-down between Tulsa oil wildcatter and millionaire Oris Belmont and his 18-year-old son, who's attempting to shake him down, says all there is to say about both men:
"I don’t know what's wrong with you. You're a nice-looking boy, wear a clean shirt every day, keep your hair combed ... where'd you get your ugly disposition? Your mama blames me for not being around, so then I give you things .. you get in trouble, I get you out. Well, now you've moved on to extortion in your life of crime ... I pay you what you want or you're telling everybody I have a girlfriend?"

Jack Belmont's blackmail scheme doesn't work, but after destroying his father's property, forging checks in his name, kidnapping his mistress, and joining a gang of notorious bank robbers after his release from prison, he encounters another man trying to get out from under his father's large shadow and create his own, bigger one. Deputy U.S. Marshal Carl Webster, who at age 15 shot a man trying to steal his cows and six years later dispenses equal justice to Emmet Long, the leader of Belmont's gang, now has Jack Belmont in his sights. Webster's exploits have earned him even more celebrity than Jack, who dreams of rivaling Pretty Boy Floyd as public enemy number one.

We’re in the early 30's here, just as a dust cloud is rolling across the Oklahoma plains--the days of Bonnie and Clyde, when gangsters captured the public attention, and Leonard makes good use of place and time. His minor characters are much more interesting than his protagonists, especially the women, and the writing shows occasional flashes of his trademarked ironic humor. But it's not as cool--or as hot--as even his most dedicated readers are used to, and there's barely a trace of the bizarre plot twists and unlikely coincidences that define his most recent caper novels in this one. --Jane Adams

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:43 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Having made his name by killing notorious bank robber Emmet Long, Deputy U.S. Marshal Carl Webster embarks on a dangerous search for Jack Belmont, the son of an oil millionaire who dreams of becoming Public Enemy Number One.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

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