Get Shorty, a classic Leonard book is our Buddy Read - this one of movies and mob guys
Another Buddy Read is this classic Elmore Leonard story. A Miami mobster ends up in LA as he's hunting for a guy who owes him money. He finds a sleazy movie maker and the fun begins!
Get Shorty (Chili Palmer #1), Elmore Leonard
Genre: General Fiction
Published 1990, 384 pages
Chili: “Jesus, what you had to go through with actors. The ideal situation would be if you could make movies without them.”
Whether you’ve seen the movie with John Travolta first or read the book first, the movie closely follows the book. I saw the movie a couple of times and really liked it and remembered it very well, so when I was reading the book, I was actually anticipating scenes and also a bit surprised at how true the movie was to the book.
Oddly, despite that, I didn’t enjoy the book quite as much as the movie. The way the “gangsters” talked annoyed me on the written page in a way that it didn’t with people speaking the lines in the movie. Many sentences had a word dropped making it an incomplete sentence; I guess some "toughies" talk like that. Also, a big part of the story is the rewriting of a screenplay that everyone who reads it has an idea of how to improve it. The plot of the screenplay keeps changing and getting retold by each individual, adding new characters, changing their roles within the story, etc., which ultimately was tiring to me.
Have you read the book and/or seen the movie? Do you agree with me?
It's entertaining. Convoluted. Cool. Clever. Fast paced. A little outrageous. A little ridiculous. A few too many characters (I kept getting some of those secondary characters mixed up....especially when they started showing up in the movie script too.)
Many of you have likely seen the movie. There were a few times when my brain flashed and could picture John Travolta (perfectly cast as Chili!) sitting across from whichever other character, giving them "the look". The book is definitely worth reading, even if you've seen the movie.
This became a Buddy Read because we found it on an Amazon Must Read list and figured "why not"? I haven't read any Leonard before, so I'm glad I can cross this one off the list - a fun read.
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photo via Daniel Semenov, pexels.com