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Stick

3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,264 Ratings  ·  85 Reviews
“A little beauty of a story….A hot, fast read with pungent characters.”
Los Angeles Times

“A slam-bang, no-bull action thriller…and nobody but nobody writes better dialogue.”
New York Daily News

It’s an established fact: Elmore Leonard is “the uncontested master of the crime thriller” (Washington Post ) who “does crime fiction better than anyone” (Cleveland Plain Dealer),
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ebook, 400 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by William Morrow (first published 1982)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dan Schwent
Fresh out of jail after the events of Swag, Ernest Stickley tries to go legit and winds up back in the thick of things once again. While lying low as a chaffeur, can Stick stay alive long enough to collect the $5,000 he's owed?

Stick is a by the numbers, run of the mill Elmore Leonard book. I can't imagine it's anyone's favorite Leonard. However, it is enjoyable in the same way all of Leonard's books are enjoyable. It contains all the Leonard hallmarks: lowlifes, broads with loose morals, slick d
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Greg
If you were reading my reviews about six months ago, you may remember when I went through a phase of choosing books to read that I wanted to get rid of. Well, I'm doing it again. I have a pile of books on my floor that I generally don't want to read, but they are also books that I have some desire to read. Does this make sense? If books could be rated on a scale of -1 to 1, where -1 is a book I'd rather stick razor blades up my urethra than have to read, and 0 is total ambivalence and 1 is 'oh m ...more
Joe Valdez
Oct 18, 2015 Joe Valdez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-crime
Elmore Leonard is one of my three favorite authors. That said, his work is either dynamite TNT or a bottle rocket, which might be a gracious way of saying he can write a dud. With forty-five novels and at least forty-two short stories to his credit, not every one of Dutch's enterprises was going to be a masterpiece. Published in 1983, Stick gets very, very close to that mark.

In a continuation of his 1976 novel Swag, Stick finds Detroit heist man Ernest Stickley Jr. in Miami, paroled after servin
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Kirk
Jul 06, 2013 Kirk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's rained like a motherfucker for four days straight during this July 4 so time I should have been putting into my tan and chlorine intake was wasted having nothing to do but read. I suppose I could have watched Law and Order: SVU reruns but there's a certain point when you can recite the Benson/Stabler banter down to the dramatic pause and that means it's time to rest the Mariska Hargitay obession, at least for a short time. So I unplugged the appliances and scrambled around the house for som ...more
Ben Loory
Sep 24, 2013 Ben Loory rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"You getting along all right?"

"You mean are we making ends meet without any help from you? Not one cent in over seven years? Yes, thank you, we're doing just fine."

"I sent you a couple hundred from Jackson."

"You sent a hundred and eighty-five dollars. Mr. Wonderful."

"I'm going to help out," Stick said. "In fact"-- he dug out his wallet-- "I got paid this morning. I even got a raise. I thought I was going to get fired for something I did, he gave me a raise. So I can let you have... here's three
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Mark
Aug 05, 2011 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have this adage: If all else fails, read Elmore Leonard. If I'm at a loss on what to pick up next, I can always turn to Elmore Leonard for a guaranteed good read. He's a master of characterization and dialogue, and he makes it all look so easy.

Stick is no exception. The main character is a likeable anti-hero, who is just trying to get his life back on track after spending some years in Jackson, a prison in Michigan. A simple job, intended to earn Stick some spending money goes south, and he sp
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Ian Thomas Malone
Apr 29, 2015 Ian Thomas Malone rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is probably a 2 star book if you compare it to most of Elmore Leonard's other books, but it's a quick read with some fun characters and a satisfying ending. Leonard's writing is a treat as always. Great beach read.
Drew
Oct 16, 2008 Drew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every now and then I'll pick up an Elmore Leonard novel after months or years of not reading anything by him, and without fail, my reaction is always, "Why don't I read this guy's stuff more often?" I never really considered it before this book, my dozenth or so Leonard, but now that I have, I must credit Elmore Leonard with the distinction of being in my top 10 or so favorite authors. He's a brilliant wordsmith who is able to both keep it simple and stay out of the way of the story he's telling ...more
Bridget
This was my first Elmore Leonard and it won't be my last. Reviews in Goodreads suggest that this one is not his best work but I liked it. I like a good story about good-hearted crims who are getting shafted by other good-hearted (and not so good-hearted crims) and this has that. Nicely atmospheric and full of dodgy characters this was fun.
Sandi
I've usually enjoyed the Leonard books set in Detroit much more than the ones set in Miami but this will rank among my favorites. Part of the reason was the return of Ernest Stickley who first appeared in Swag which is probably my all time favorite book by Elmore Leonard so far. Listened to the audio which was expertly read by the late Frank Muller.
Steven
May 22, 2016 Steven rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
No one does the cool crime caper better than Leonard and this is another great read, full of wit and humour and so much style.Set in 80's Miami and focusing on ex con Ernest Stickley and a sweet revenge scam.This creates such a great setting you can almost feel the breeze through the palm trees and not a cloud in the sky!.Con men, low lifes, double crossing and so much brilliant dialogue between characters,it's also really clever as things develop and feels more deeply involving than maybe some ...more
J.M.
Jul 18, 2015 J.M. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, fiction
... 7/10

Alright, so certain writers frequently write about writers, some write about espionage, others often write about sports, or diseases, and so on. All kinds of subjects and themes. Having been exposed to Elmore Leonard's work four times now (if we can count the movies L.A. Confidential and Jackie Brown), which admittedly is not a lot considering how prolific he was, I'm becoming more and more convinced that his most frequent subject is film. I read Be Cool, regrettably, and enjoyed this on
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Ed [Redacted]
A good enough book, not a great one but it is an Elmore Leonard book. The characters and dialog are outstanding, the plot is good, it just didn't have that extra bit pushing it over the top.
DR
Aug 19, 2013 DR rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Everything readers love about Elmore Leonard is in STICK, the prototype for the bestsellers to follow. Great dialogue!--but nobody, including Stick, is as smart as they think they are.
Bobbie Darbyshire
I loved this one, and it was an unexpected bonus to discover I was reading a sequel to ‘Swag’, my first and favourite Elmore Leonard novel. ‘Stick’ is a stand-alone story, but read ‘Swag’ first to get the most out of it. Ernest Stickley is a brilliant flawed hero, and here he is again, seven years later, trying to go straight in Miami. It’s cleverly plotted, suspenseful and hilarious with an eclectic cast of engaging characters. Elmore Leonard’s spare prose is, as ever, deceptive, tempting you t ...more
K.C. Cave
Jan 25, 2016 K.C. Cave rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just getting into Leonard (a little late, I know). Started with Hombre, because it's one of Paul Newman's greatest roles. The book didn't disappoint. Stick was outstanding--Miami in the coke-fueled 80s, but from the bottom up. Stick is just out of prison, gets a job as a driver for a rich, wise-guy Jewish investor. It's filled with crazy characters with too much money doing too many drugs (except Stick). Leonard's reputation for dialog is well deserved. I've got a lot to learn from reading him. ...more
George
Mar 18, 2015 George rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-mystery
Ο Έρνεστ Στίκλεϊ, ή απλά Στικ, μόλις έχει αποφυλακιστεί από το Τζάκσον, όπου ήταν κλεισμένος για εφτά χρόνια λόγω των ένοπλων ληστειών που έκανε με τον Τζακ Ράιαν (μπορεί κανείς να δει τα γεγονότα αυτά στο Swag - δυστυχώς δεν έχει μεταφραστεί στα ελληνικά).

Θέλοντας και μη μπλέκει πάλι. Ήταν να παραδώσει μια βαλίτσα με 200.000 δολάρια σε έναν Κουβανό έμπορο ναρκωτικών ονόματι Νέστορ Σότο, κατ'εντολήν του Τσάκι, ενός τύπου με πολλά λεφτά που έκανε διάφορες βρώμικες δουλειές. Την παράδοση θα την έ
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wally
Dec 18, 2014 wally rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: leonard
read this one in february...december now...and it had a different cover...a shirt palm trees on it...orange background. anyway, i've read 45 titles from leonard and i know there's a few stories to be read...don't know what that total is...and i wish there were more.

this one says for joan, always

dunno who joan is...someone special sounds like it.

story begins:
stick said he wasn't going if they had to pick up anything. rainy said no, there wasn't any product in the deal; all they had to do was dro
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Simon Wood
Sep 27, 2013 Simon Wood rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Man, I forgot how great the dialogue in an Elmore Leonard novel is. Just so effortless and cool and it never feels any less than absolutely real.
A very cool book. Funny, fast paced, clever - all of the above.
Like with Lee Child, or Philip K. Dick, I tend not to read any of Elmore Leonard's books in a row. Because they do all come from the same kind of place with the same types of characters pulling similar types of scams. Even though they're usually great, the formula can start to stick after a
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Dan Trudeau
Aug 20, 2014 Dan Trudeau rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-crime
I first read Stick almost twenty years ago, remembered loving it, and had given it five stars here based off that. Recently, I was thinking back over Leonard's books and realized I barely remembered anything about it.

So here I am, having read it for the second time, with the book fresh in my mind. I wouldn't put it at five stars any more, but it's a solid four still.

Some Leonard books feature a heavy plot, with a lot going on, while others feature characters that pretty much hang out for most
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Diogenes
Feb 15, 2016 Diogenes rated it really liked it
Nobody captures the world of ex-cons, high rollers, grifters, drug dealers and incompetent thugs like Elmore Leonard, and Stick does it all with grace, humor and graphic realism. It engages from the start and keeps getting better, right up to the satisfying end. Plus the South Florida setting is a cherry on top of it all.
Edmole
Nov 21, 2012 Edmole rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Hard Man; Done hard time; Gets hard luck; Don't give fuck; Meets loud fools; Makes own rules; Meets good girls; Lays down tool; Owed five Gs; By drug Bs; Revenge? No; Levels up, slow.

(This is an Elmore Leonard set in 80s Miami (Biscayne Bay - where the Cuban gentlemen sleep all day), with big time fiscal hustlers, luded out dealers, sly ex-cons and dumb cowboys all in the mix. Elmore Leonard is a guarantee of hard-boiled quality, like a Marks and Spencer Egg Mayo Sandwich. Get yerself the meal
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Holly Foley (Procida)
I have recently read a total of three Elmore Leonard books. He is the master of dialogue. His books read like movie scripts and usually have movie scripts as a part of the plot somehow. I have noticed that about halfway through the books Elmore Leonard finally gets around to elaborating on the female characters usually regarding sexuality. This book particularly had some fun sex scenes. One thing that I don't love about these books is that they are usually told from the perspective of one bad gu ...more
Derk
Feb 06, 2016 Derk rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm enjoying rereading (or perhaps reading for the first time; it's hard to remember what I read 30 or so years ago) many of Leonard's books. This one, Stick, is one of the best of my current reading to date, but they are all great.
William  Simon
Feb 02, 2015 William Simon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite novels. I've read it 3 times. Each time has kept my attention through the entirety of the novel. Elmore draws a perfect picture of each character, so much that you can visualize each individually.
Mary
Mar 01, 2015 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
another great elmore leonard book to add to my listThe American Heiress
Jay Wright
For a book that started slowly, it had me by the end. I enjoyed the characters although I was a little disappointed in the ending.
Chuck
Aug 13, 2011 Chuck rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Have you ever noticed all of the luxurious residential areas around Biscayne Bay or take a boat ride up the Intercoastal Waterway through Ft. Lauderdale and wondered, "Where does all the money come from?" I have. This tale looks at the dark underbelly of south Florida a/k/a the drug trade. The protagonist, Ernest Stickley (Stick), an ex con, is inadvertently drawn into a nest of rich but
otherwise smarmy characters and must outsmart them to extricate himself. Mr. Leonard is such a good story tell
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Daryl
Aug 05, 2014 Daryl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Riveting, action-packed, with colorful characters galore and a good plot line to boot. You won't want to put it down.
Titus G
Typical Leonard with brilliant dialogue and weird thinking crims.
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Elmore John Leonard lived in Dallas, Oklahoma City and Memphis before settling in Detroit in 1935. After serving in the navy, he studied English literature at the University of Detroit where he entered a short story competition. His earliest published novels in the 1950s were westerns, but Leonard went on to specialize in crime fiction and suspense thrillers, many of which have been adapted into m ...more
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“He saw Harvey and Edgar catch each other's eye as he looked off toward the strains of "Alley Cat," Jesus, hoping they'd rush it faster than the others or he'd have to get out of here. It was the only song he knew that made him want to break something.” 2 likes
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