Be Cool by Elmore Leonard

Be Cool by Elmore Leonard: The opening scene, where Chili Palmer is having lunch with a man who ends up getting shot by a hitman, is pretty good. But don’t expect the story to be about that crime. There are vague murmurings about possible connections with the Russian mafia but by and large the scene is nothing more than a hook to get you into the story, then forgotten about soon after. This book is a lot like Get Shorty except that it’s about a singer instead of a laundromat owner. The whole “let’s describe what’s really happening as if we’re making a movie” thing comes back full force, and it gets a little old. There’s even the formerly evil thug that has a change of heart and saves the day, just like in the last one. My suggestion would be to read either Get Shorty or Be Cool, but not both. The story just isn’t good enough to be read twice in a row.

[Note: I’ve seen the preview for the Be Cool movie that’s coming out. As far as I can tell, they’ve changed basically everything – removed a major character, added a few new characters, and beefed up or totally changed several minor characters. And it looks funnier than the book.]

Also posted on Bookcrossing.

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