Thursday, June 2, 2016

Review: Pronto

Pronto Pronto by Elmore Leonard
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm very late to the party on this one. I somehow missed it in my years of intermittently reading Leonard in all the chapters of his career.

This from what may be my favorite Leonard era. The prose is crisp, self-aware, and easily ironic. It's got some of that Get Shorty feel to it, as if everyone involved (with notable exceptions for comic effect) is smart enough to win the eventual showdown.

The set-up is great, of course, but that's almost a given for Leonard. The characters are colorful (again, given) and it's nice to see them trying to outsmart each other.

I do think this has aged a little, though. The eventual treatment of Robert, the one African-American character, feels unsympathetic, and the whole thing wraps up a bit lightly after its great buildup.

This is, incidentally, the first appearance of Justified's Raylan Givens. I haven't seen the show yet, but he comes across appealingly here.

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