Elmore Leonard was the master of the popular crime genre, embracing mid-century noir and Americana. Get Shorty may well be his best book, and this new edition from The Folio Society sees Leonard’s characters ruminate, seduce and terrorise enhanced by the mesmerising full-page portraits of multi-award-winning illustrator Gary Kelley.
A masterclass in dialogue-driven narrative, Get Shorty is a pulse-quickening romp around the back streets of Miami, the gambling dens of Vegas and the flashy pads of LA with a motley crew of mobsters, dames and Hollywood wannabes. From the very first page, the reader is plunged headfirst into the action, in the room with mob enforcer Chili Palmer and his cronies.
Dennis Lehane writes in his introduction: ‘Elmore Leonard’s plots feel less like plots and more like life’. Lehane – whose own collection of stellar writing credits include Mystic River and HBO’s The Wire – is a self-confessed Leonard obsessive and in an introduction specially commissioned for this edition casts an appreciative eye over the writer’s work.
Harry Zimm is a has-been pulp-horror film director trying to get a new project off the ground with finances from insalubrious sources. When Chili makes a midnight visit to call in a bad debt, he realises that his career is a near-perfect screenplay so instead of putting the frighteners on Harry, he pitches him a film. What follows is an unlikely alliance between the pair, with supporting roles from every walk of life…
The Folio Society edition of Elmore Leonard’s Get Shorty, introduced by Dennis Lehane and illustrated by Gary Kelley, is available exclusively from The Folio Society.