Saturday, October 2, 2010

get shorty

Did y'all see the movie? Everyone did, I think. Chili Palmer is an ex-New York, ex-Miami shylock, who's following the money trail to the coast, and finds more than he hoped for. The loan shark business is wearing thin for Chili, as is the endless stupidity of his fellow gangsters. In LA, Chili sees how a man with his experience, street smarts and savoir-faire may be an asset in Hollywood.

This is the first book I've read by Elmore Leonard, so I'm not sure if all of his books are written this way or not, but he writes the way people speak to one another in the street. His writing sounds like speech; it sounds like someone you know is telling you a story.

Chili and Tommy were both from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, old buddies now in business together. Tommy Carlo was connected to a Brooklyn crew through his uncle, a guy named Momo, Tommy keeping his books and picking up betting slips til Momo sent him to Miami, with a hundred thousand to put on the street as loan money.
The language just rolls, and keeps on rolling, right through this story. It pops, hustles, and jives the way Chili does. Leonard's language doesn't give a damn, and its not waiting for anyone; you have to keep up, or get out of the way. That, coupled with less than 300 pages, makes for a fast, fun read. I'll keep my eyes open for more Elmore Leonard.

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