This book was great! I mean I would totally read it again and I’m actually looking forward to watching the film tonight or tomorrow. And the reason this is interesting is this book is for our Books into Movies book group and I’m usually wary of the books and haven’t really fell for one yet, but this one was just so humorous and deceptively convoluted that one can’t help but enjoy it.
This story is great because it weaves real life and hollywood movies together (in a book!) and many of the characters aren’t quite sure what is real and what isn’t. As an outsider, we do know what’s real so we’re kind of laughing at the characters, but simultaneously wondering if maybe we’re wrong and the characters are right. It’s also great because even though it has a lot of stereotypes, Leonard throws many of them out the window or wrenches them around in another direction creating a different sort of story.
I also appreciated the fact that there was romance in the book, but it was very subtle and incredibly calculated. (And he didn’t even TRY to do a sex scene, which I was thankful for.) None of the characters were too predictable, but most of the scenes were – which strangely worked.
But perhaps the best part of the book is the final line. I’m going to break a rule and not white it out because it’s that funny and doesn’t reveal anything. The final line is
“Fucking endings, man, they weren’t as easy as they looked.”
And the reason it’s so great is because I can just imagine an author wanting to write that for any book and it not really working, but because of the story lines all converging and it also being the ending of the book it worked PERFECTLY.
If there was one downside to the book it’s the copyediting. I’m not sure if I just have a version that had a lot of mistakes or if they were there for the character’s persona/speech, but it was a little distracting at points. Other than that, it was a great read.
Recommendation: DEFINITELY READ IT! It was an incredibly quick read. There was humor and drama and suspense. Leonard really knows how to draw you in, but does it without grabbing you by the throat and making you pay attention. He’s much more subtle where all of a sudden you’re invested and you want to know what’s going to happen and you’re thinking, ‘wait a second why am I so invested all of a sudden.’
Opening Line: “When Chili first came to Miami Beach twelve years ago they were having one of their off-and-on cold winters: thirty-four degrees the day he met Tommy Carlo for lunch at Vesuvio’s on South Collins and had his leather jacket ripped off.”
Closing Line: “Fucking endings, man, they weren’t as easy as they looked.” (Whited out to avoid spoilers.)