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When the Women Come Out to Dance: Stories by…
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When the Women Come Out to Dance: Stories (2003)

by Elmore Leonard

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Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
Some great character driven stories here. I bought this primarily for Fire In The Hole, the story that the Justified TV series is based upon. Enjoyed all the stories bar the last one. ( )
  TysonAdams | Jun 20, 2017 |
"And it seemed to move him. Hazen said, "Sometimes it works," shaking his head, "and sometimes it don't." He looked at Denise again to say, "This one wasn't my trip," and walked out with his big Colt .45." (pg. 227)

A strong collection of short stories from a writer whose style is ideally suited for the medium. Whereas a lot of short-story collections seem to be dumping grounds for ideas that writers couldn't expand or incorporate into novels, Elmore Leonard's sparse style (he famously advised that writers should "leave out the parts that readers tend to skip"), ear for dialogue and knack for creating memorable characters in just a few lines all conspire to make Fire in the Hole a good staging ground for his talent.

The book starts off quite average: 'Sparks' is well-written but largely aimless and 'Hanging Out at the Buena Vista' lives up to its title in that it is rather throwaway. 'Chickasaw Charlie Hoke' lays the baseball jargon on thick (why do American sports fans always assume others will know the lingo?) and consequently is a bit of a chore to get through. 'When the Women Come Out to Dance' adds a bit of flavour and signals an overall increase in quality in the book: 'Karen Makes Out' and 'Tenkiller' are above-average crime stories, whilst 'Hurrah for Capt. Early' and 'The Tonto Woman' have got me interested in looking into some of Leonard's Western stories.

However, it is the centrepiece, 'Fire in the Hole', coming slap bang in the middle of the book, which is worth the price of admission alone. This is the story that was the main inspiration for the exceptional TV series Justified, with US Deputy Marshal Raylan Givens returning to his hometown of Harlan in Eastern Kentucky. It is a gold mine of ideas and peppered with great dialogue, and the influence of the story can be seen from episode one of the TV show right the way to the final line of the last episode. The story's main quality is Leonard's knack of getting his characters to speak "hard words in a quiet tone of voice" (pg. 81), a love of spicy dialogue and good delivery which was the hallmark of Justified and of the stories making up this excellent collection. ( )
1 vote MikeFutcher | Apr 12, 2017 |
A collection of short stories, including "Fire in the Hole," which is effectively the pilot episode of "Justified." Adaptations are interesting things. The other stories are also quite good; of the rest of them, I liked "Tenkiller" the best. ( )
  Jon_Hansen | Apr 2, 2017 |
loved it! ( )
  mark-f-r-ritchie | Feb 19, 2016 |
Fire In the Hole is superb! A wild ride for a such a short story! ( )
  Stahl-Ricco | Jan 23, 2016 |
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Both When the Women Come Out to Dance (2003) and Fire in the Hole: Stories (2012) include the stories:

-- "Sparks"
-- "Hanging Out at the Buena Vista"
-- "Chickasaw Charlie Hoke"
-- "When the Women Come Out to Dance"
-- "Fire in the Hole"
-- "Karen Makes Out"
-- "Hurrah for Capt. Early"
-- "Tonto Woman"
-- "Tenkiller"
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060586168, Paperback)

What a treat! The nine stories in this collection--some never before published, others available only in anthologies or magazines-- demonstrate why Elmore Leonard has achieved both bestsellerdom and critical acclaim. Ranging in length from a four-page trifle to two novellas of 50-plus pages, these are gems of sly humor, suspense, and, above all, character. Most are in the contemporary crime-fiction vein that made Leonard famous, but a few are more contemplative set pieces, and there's one fine Old West story (Leonard was a Western writer before he became a crime king).

Longtime fans will recognize some familiar faces, including the U.S. marshals Raylan Givens, from 1993's Pronto and 1995's Riding the Rap, and Karen Sisco, from 1996's Out of Sight (played by J. Lo in the movie). But whether familiar or new, the people in these stories lunge off the page and seize you by the lapels. Nobody writes character and dialogue like Leonard. In fact, several tales feature some rural white-trash bad guys who are so utterly plausible that you'll look over your shoulder next time you drive a country road.

The short story format suits Leonard's stripped-down style beautifully. While one or two of the slimmer pieces feel a bit disposable, all nine are engaging, and the best are breathtakingly good--the crispest, best- plotted stuff Leonard has published in years. --Nicholas H. Allison

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:01 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Driven by terrific characters and superb writing, these short pieces (including two novella-length works) are Elmore Leonard at his economical best.

» see all 6 descriptions

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