Saturday, September 20, 2008


So after making an ass out of myself I thought I'd go for something easy and uncontreversial. Like undermining one of the most beloved genre authors of all time.

I've got a confession to make, I'm not an Elmore Leonard fan.

Look I'm Mr. Hardboiled, and as Elmore Leonard is more or less responsible for modern American crime fiction, revolutionized the use of dialogue in pulp fiction, writes cracker jack plots, vibrant characters, and by some accounts smells like cinnamon. By all rights I should be shining the man's shoes.

But something is just always off for me in his books and it always manages to ruin them for me.

Killshot's a perfect example, on the surface it's a great plot. An innocent couple gets caught up in an extortion scheme orchestrated by two hardened killers. Hijinks ensue.

The problem was that I never believed for a second that the more experienced of the two wouldn't fill his young inept partner full of sky with seconds of meeting eachother, let alone embark on a job with him, or stick with him when the job went south. And while Killshot hums along quite well in it's first half, it unceremoniously goes dead, about halfway through, and doesn't revive until the tense, but rushed last fifteen pages.

There are things to recommend it, Bird's a pretty fascinating character, and it's cool to see a crime novel with a feminist bent, but on the whole, like with most Leonard it just didn't add up for me.

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