Elmore Leonard has an unparalleled reputation in the world of crime fiction Winner of the Crime Writers' Association Diamond Dagger 2006 Many of his novels have been made into movie blockbusters Great Phoenix series style 'A writer with a deadly accurate ear...a hot, fast read with pungent characters and a particular code of honor as one of its central tenets. Above all, it feels real' Los Angeles Times 'The crime laureate' Independent 'Irresistible...audacious and outrageous' New York Times Book Review
Elmore Leonard has written more than three dozen books during his highly successful career, and many of his novels have been made into bestselling films. He has been named Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America and lives in Bloomfield Village, Michigan, with his wife Christine.
Leonard is, quite frankly, The Man. His characters, who aren't even all that likable, are Real Guys who live in the Real World. This is the kind of Real Guy who's totally alien to me and 99 percent of all the dudes I know. For example, all the Elmore Leonard tough guys I can think of have killed someone (well, maybe not Dennis from Tishomingo Blues). I don't personally know anyone who's done that deed. I wouldn't want to. That's scary, dudes. But that's merely one aspect of the Elmore Leonard mystique. All of the author's Real Guys step up to The Line-the razor's edge of common sense and reason-to make The Move-something very important that could make or break their entire lives. Brief recap: Real Guys hit The Line to make The Move. The move could be a scheme (Frank in Mr. Paradise), a score (Jack in Bandits), even some career-making change (Carl in Up in Honey's Room). Personally, I can't think of one time I ever went to The Line. I never had to make The Move. I wouldn't know The Move if it bit me on the nose. I am racking my brain to think of a dude I know who has made The Move and I can't. However, I also don't think this is the main difference between the life of a suburban office drone and the lives of Leonard's Real-Guy-I'm-from-Detroit life (from whence many Leonard Real Guys hail). Also, it's not the sheer muscle with which Real Guys grab life by the horns and twist it down to the dirt. It's owning the wisdom, gleaned from your life experiences, to know exactly when the time has come to take the bull by the horns. Most of Leonard's Tough Guys have tried to take the bull by the horns and failed (or at least didn't get the bull down clean). But that experience helped lead them to where they are now. Whew. Enough of my yappin'. Originally published in 1983, Stick is basically a slice of the life of Ernest "Stick" Stickley, an ex-con armed robber (yes, he has killed guys) who finds himself in Florida. He winds up witnessing a murder during a drug deal rigged by two nefarious dudes and starts to think bigger. He changes his appearance, befriends a legit financial consultant, goes to The Line, confronts his pursuers, and finally makes The Move, getting a small fortune in grift in the process. Stick needs all his past knowledge and failures to back up his judgment, and that's how he knows it's time. Awesome tough-guy stuff.-Douglas Lord, "Books for Dudes," Booksmack! 9/2/10 (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.