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The Hot Kidby Elmore Leonard
"Leonard is such an original storyteller that one can find his world distasteful and still be drawn into it. Strange as it may seem, the challenge of finding a character not too unpleasant to care about, and of predicting what will bring everyone together, is a large part of what makes his opening chapters so irresistible. We seem to be watching real events develop of which the novelist himself knew nothing in advance. And just as in a B movie full of unknowns, there's no telling who will make it to the end." B. R. Myers, the Atlantic Monthly (read the entire Atlantic Monthly review)
Synopses & Reviews
Carl Webster, the hot kid of the marshals service, is polite, respects his elders, and can shoot a man driving away in an Essex at four hundred yards. Carl works out of the Tulsa, Oklahoma, federal courthouse during the 1930s, the period of America's most notorious bank robbers: Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson — those guys.
Carl wants to be America's most famous lawman. He shot his first felon when he was fifteen years old. With a Winchester.
Louly Brown loves Carl but wants the world to think she is Pretty Boy Floyd's girlfriend.
Tony Antonelli of True Detective magazine wants to write like Richard Harding Davis and wishes cute little Elodie wasn't a whore. She and Heidi and the girls work at Teddy's in Kansas City, where anything goes and the girls wear — what else — teddies.
Jack Belmont wants to rob banks, become public enemy number one, and show his dad, an oil millionaire, he can make it on his own.
With tommy guns, hot cars, speakeasies, cops and robbers, and a former lawman who believes in vigilante justice, all played out against the flapper period of gun molls and Prohibition, The Hot Kid is Elmore Leonard — a true master — at his best.
"[G]enial and laid-back. The whole sepia-toned caravan...is so relaxed that even the most violent felonies may leave you smiling. Leonard's gentle epic is as restorative as a month in the country." Kirkus Reviews
"As always, Leonard's prose seems effortless, his dialogue is perfect, and his humor is as dry as a moonshine martini....[A] terrific pleasure." Booklist
"[W]hen Elmore Leonard's new novel The Hot Kid hits the stores...you will see once again that after all the books and all the years, Leonard remains one of the great American writers." New York Daily News
"You certainly wouldn't expect [Leonard] to have produced his best novel at the age of 79, but he seems to have done it....The Hot Kid is full of textured characters....Leonard's prose is as lean and clean as ever....And the old guy's still got plenty of bite." Stephen King, The Boston Globe
"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..." New York Times
Carlos Webster was fifteen in the fall of 1921 the first time he came face-to-face with a nationally known criminal. A few weeks later, he killed his first man—a cattle thief who was rustling his dad's stock. Now Carlos, called Carl, is the hot kid of the U.S. Marshals Service, one of the elite manhunters currently chasing the likes of Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson, and Pretty Boy Floyd across America's Depression-ravaged heartland. Carl wants to be the country's most famous lawman. Jack Belmont, the bent son of an oil millionaire, wants to be public enemy number one. Tony Antonelli of True Detective magazine wants to write about this world of cops and robbers, molls and speakeasies from perilously close up. Then there are the hot dames—Louly and Elodie—hooking their schemes and dreams onto dangerous men. And before the gunsmoke clears, everybody just might end up getting exactly what he or she wished for.
About the Author
Elmore Leonard has written more than three dozen books during his highly successful writing career, including the national bestsellers Mr. Paradise, Pagan Babies, and Get Shorty. Many of his novels have been made into movies, including Get Shorty, Out of Sight, Valdez Is Coming, and Rum Punch (as Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown). He has been named Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America and lives in Bloomfield Village, Michigan, with his wife.
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