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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 (Author)

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Starting to get comfortable w Leonard's writing. Great Raylan story and an introduction to other Leaonard characters. The story of the two 80 year olds was also insightful. ( )
  JBreedlove | Sep 6, 2014 |
A fantastic collection of short stories, it starts out with a couple of short sketches that are more interesting than they should be for what they are. Leonard's writing really shines as he manages to use a short scene to paint entire people & years of history.

Other stories include the one on which the TV series Justified is based & one with Karen Sisco, another interesting marshal. Plus plenty more, including 2 that I had previously read in his western stories. They were just as good the second time. ( )
  jimmaclachlan | Aug 18, 2014 |
Initially I read this book for the title story, because I am mad for Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins) in the Justified series; I skipped ahead to read Fire as soon as I got the book. I previously had read the Tonto Woman in a Western anthology, and I read it again. Then one thing led to another, and I finished the book in short time. Elmore Leonard is first a storyteller. His characters, always flawed, continue forward - sometimes fatalistically - to their understated and dark humored conclusions. Sometimes I find myself reading as fast as possible to keep up with the twists and turns of the story, held by the utter ambivalence of life's empathy toward the characters. This collection is spare in language and full in the telling. Well done. ( )
  brickhorse | Jun 3, 2013 |
The pleasures in this collection of short fiction, which are considerable, are rooted in familiarity rather than innovation. The stories cover Leonard’s trademark territory and they feature his highly polished, minimalist prose. Raylan Givens and Karen Sisco put in appearances, welcome as ever, and the characters who’re new to these stories are recognizable Leonard types. To read Fire in the Hole is to watch an old pro at work.

The “old pro” quality shows, too, in Leonard’s ability to find novelty in familiar situations that – in the hands of a lazier or less capable writer – would feel stale or clichéd. Karen Sisco’s outing, “Karen Makes Out, is a slightly surreal riff on a plot explored in scores of movies and hundreds of television episodes: “A cop’s personal and professional lives become entangled.” The title story, featuring Raylan Givens, takes a plot as old as Warner Brothers gangster pictures – old friends on opposite sides of the law – and makes it feel fresh by rooting the characters’ entangled backgrounds in the specifics of growing up poor in a small Kentucky town. Best of all are two one-off tales: “Hurrah for Capt. Early,” about the simmering tensions caused by the arrival of a stranger in a Western town, and “When the Women Come Out to Dance,” about a tough-minded woman who discovers that she isn’t quite as smart or as worldly as she thought she was. Familiar plots and archetypal characters, but Leonard makes them new again.

None of these stories will change your life, or cause you to rethink your view of the world. They will, however, give the pleasure that comes of watching Michael Jordan arc a perfect jump shot, or Yo-Yo Ma glide through a Bach sonata. Mastery, so polished that it looks effortless, is always beautiful. ( )
  ABVR | May 26, 2013 |
I picked up this short story collection by Elmore Leonard because it contains Karen Makes Out, featuring Karen Sisco, from Out of Sight. The script for the first episode of the television series introduces viewers to Karen with this story too. As a bonus, Mr. Leonard’s other stories are equally intriguing, none of them winding up where you expect.

Published in trade paperback by HarperCollins Publishers. ( )
  mmtz | May 26, 2012 |
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:59:50 -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.

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