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The Bounty Hunters

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  629 ratings  ·  67 reviews
The old Apache renegade Soldado Viejo is hiding out in Mexico, and the Arizona Department Adjutant has selected two men to hunt him down. One -- Dave Flynn -- knows war, the land, and the nature of his prey. The other is a kid lieutenant named Bowers. But there's a different kind of war happening in Soyopa. And if Flynn and his young associate choose the wrong allies -- an ...more
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Published November 23rd 2010 by HarperAudio (first published 1953)
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Leonard has done it again. Very good western with a gritty, realistic edge. The only downside was the prose was a bit too spare even for me at times. Great characters & story, though. As usual, there were some pretty jarring moments.
Heath Lowrance
Seasoned scout Dave Flynn is partnered with the young, inexperienced Lt. Bowers on a covert mission across the border to hunt down Apache bandit Soldado. But once in Mexico, the pair find themselves in the middle of an unfolding crisis-- corrupt rurales, under the command of Duro, have subjagated a small village where Flynn has old friends, and Duro is making money off so-called Apache scalps brought in by a blood-thirsty band of bounty hunters. But the scalps don't necessarily belong to Apaches ...more
David Williams
The Bounty Hunters was Elmore Leonard’s first novel. He had published a number of short stories in Western magazines before this. As a writer of westerns he was brilliant. The love of character is evident from this first novel.

The Bounty Hunters follows Dave Flynn, former cavalry officer turned scout as he leads a young lieutenant into Mexico on the trail of an Apache war chief. Along the way they encounter American scalp hunters who work for the local Mexican commander. Trouble with these scalp
Description: The old Apache renegade Soldado Viejo is hiding out in Mexico, and the Arizona Department Adjutant has selected two men to hunt him down. One -- Dave Flynn -- knows war, the land, and the nature of his prey. The other is a kid lieutenant named Bowers. But there's a different kind of war happening in Soyopa. And if Flynn and his young associate choose the wrong allies -- and the wrong enemy -- they won't be getting out alive.

Listening and gardening! This audio has sound effects - twa
This was Elmore Leonard’s first published novel, written in his late twenties. In it, already fully developed, is the trademark edge that he brings to his fiction. With its opening scene in a barbershop in Contention, Arizona, we get just that—an exchange of contentious dialogue that’s both bristling and funny. It’s the same mastery of verbal dispute between people at sharp odds with each other that makes “Justified” so much fun today. . .

Read my review at my blog.
David Cranmer
This 1953 novel begins with two men searching for Apache renegade Soldado Viejo in Mexico. One is Dave Flynn, who knows the lay of the land and how to hunt human prey. Flynn’s a Civil War veteran who quit the military, disillusioned by an act of cowardice he observed from a commanding officer named Deneen. He now works (and is making more money) as a guide and Indian tracker. His latest assignment is offered to him by Deneen, and Flynn suspects it may be a way for his former commanding officer t ...more
Assuredly, from the piles of critical praise he received over his prolific career, Elmore Leonard is skilled at what he does. He's written novels, screenplays, short stories and though not every piece of work has garnered critical acclaim, he's one of the structural foundations of modern crime writing. Thus, it comes as some shock that his first novel, The Bounty Hunters, is such a drag to read. Before he wrote crime, Leonard honed his chops as a writer of Westerns and The Bounty Hunters is his ...more
Megan O'Neill
As a general rule, I love Elmore Leonard's style of writing, and so I figured that, in order to reach my goal of 100 books by the end of the year, I might as well tackle the body of work of a favorite, extremely-prolific author. So, I went through Leonard's Wikipedia page, wrote everything down, and started at the top.

Now, I'm going to start by saying that practically the entirety of my childhood and teen years was spent in my grandfather's living room, with the television set to one of three t
Bobbie Darbyshire
I was so wowed by my first Elmore Leonard (“Swag”) in April that I decided I would read all of his books in order of publication. He wrote westerns before crime, and this, “The Bounty Hunters” (1953), was his first. Not a patch on “Swag”, but I wasn’t expecting it to be – I want to see Elmore Leonard’s development.

Hero, Dave Flynn, is sent by a US army baddie to bring back an Apache renegade who is hiding out in Mexico. There are too many threads and the choreography of the plot gets confusing,
Mathew Carruthers
Very good - hard to believe that the writing career that brought us such memorable characters as Raylan Givens, Chili Palmer, and Karen Cisco has such humble beginnings. If you appreciate the works of Elmore Leonard, then read the book - it is the work of a writer who was learning and honing his craft, but it's also more.
G.P. Hutchinson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elyce Strong
After reading The Bounty Hunters, I now understand why Elmore Leonard is regarded as a master of dialogue. Too many lines to name were so catchy and snappy and memorable. With that first scene in the barber shop, we see the brilliant exchange of warm, fun banter between Dave Flynn and Madora, juxtaposed with the bristling, yet hysterical interaction between Flynn and Frank Rellis. The characters truly come alive through their words. For instance, also in the opening, the audience really understa ...more
My first experience with this author, and my first real experience with a Western-type novel as well. It took a while for me to get into it, especially with the odd style of writing. Or I guess really it's more of a formatting thing (I'm used to passages of character's thoughts being in italics to separate them from the narration, for example). But eventually I did get into the story and I enjoyed the ending, although I did feel that the denouement was particularly rushed. But I'll definitely gi ...more
One day about two years ago I woke up and wondered, "Why do I think I hate westerns? They contain so many things that I like!" Hunting and gathering, horses, wild frontier lands with minimal law enforcement, unlikely partnerships, sass, beautiful scenery in the American west . . . and very few females! So I decided empirically to begin reading westerns. I wrote down some names, did some research about popular writers and recognized good works, recommendations and the like, and this was one.

I tho
This is a solid first effort by Elmore Leonard, who is, of course, better known for his straight crime fiction. This one s a Western and it is pretty good. It reads like a book version of a Sergio Leone spaghetti western movie, with all of the gritty realism. It is definitely not along the lines of "Shane". There is a lot of blood shed in this one.

The book surrounds the activities of a band of scalp hunters, which is, interestingly, the same topic as Cormac McCarthy's, "Blood Meridian", a more
Matt Allen
I've read very little Elmore Leonard. Yeah, I know, that's on me.

Recently, I read Pronto, the first Raylan Givens novel, and saw what all the fuss was about. Leonard writes characters as much as he writes novels, and his dialogue is spot on. Spot. On.

So, my next journey with Leonard was to go back and see where it all began. Plus, I've always felt like I haven't read enough good westerns. Meaning I was primed to enjoy The Bounty Hunters. I wanted to. I was jazzed to.

But I didn't.

The dialogue
Rich P
Not Leonard's best

After the splendid characterizing and action of "Valdez is Coming" and a couple of Leonard's other western, I was rather surprised to find this novel rather rambling with some cardboard characters and very little suspense. The most interesting character is probably Lieutenant Duro, but he is one of the villains and really plays a negligible part in the story. Very much a disappointing read.
Dave Moffitt
Elmore Leonard's work is terrific - always.

His top rule for his writing was: "if it sounds like writing, re-write it." As an author, he wanted to be invisible and it to be about the story and the characters.

The amazing thing is this is his first novel from way back in the 1950s, and he is already a master. Great narrative, believable characters, and some nice historical touches - all wrapped in very clean prose.
It was just okay for me. I will however try a couple more just to be sure. I feel like he is a 1970's, made for television version of Cormac McCarthy. You know all the good guys live, get the hot Mexican girl in the end and live happily ever after. I prefer how in a good Cormac novel pretty much everyone you have ever cared about in life dies a horrible death right in front of your eyes. Sure it's a skosh brutal and gruesome but come on that's really more like real life.
Richard Epstein
This is very early Leonard -- 1953 -- and he hadn't really hit his stride yet. The sentences are not yet transparent -- several times I had to read one more than once to untangle a pronoun, something which never would have happened in Latter Leonard. And the villains are mere cardboard. Not even amusing cardboard. No one would have inferred or predicted Get Shorty from this.
read this on the kindle...has the boots/spurs for a cover...stars:

dave flynn stretched his boots over the footrest and his body eased lower into the barber chair. it was hot beneath the striped cloth, but the long ride down from fort thomas had made him tired and he welcomed the comfort of the leather chair more than he minded the heat. in contention it was hot wherever you went, even though it was nearly the end of october.

here it is december and i can hear one of the crotch-rockets out there,
This is not the typical book I read. It is a western set in border of Mexico and western US. I chose to read it because of the author. He has written many mysteries and westerns. He had recently passed away and I wanted to read something different.

If you like westerns I highly recommend it. It is well written and has a good story line.
I enjoyed reading The Bounty Hunters, though I must admit that I found parts of it a bit drawn out. I found the perspectives of the characters very foreign and thus intriguing, though a bit difficult to comprehend at times. Some elements of the story seemed a bit formulaic - the typical western with an outcast who is a badass, proving that the establishment is wrong, catching the bad guy and getting the girl. Yet, the journey to get through the formula was enjoyable.
Robert Grant
Not a bad tale in this story of bounty hunters on the trail of a Mexican bandit. Kind of feel like this story has been told many times before and then it comes to me that this book was published in 1953. It is a good first effort from this author and I will go on and read some of his other works for sure.

A pretty gritty book for the time it was published.

I would say 2.5 stars out of 5.
This one is billed as Leonard's first novel, and though it is a gritty western that gets the historical details and the proper flavor, etc. It still seems somehow lacking. Leonard refined his craft as he wrote and his stuff got better and better. This one is a fine example of a decent, but not great, western.

I think one of the problems with the novel is too many bad guys. There are the Indians, portrayed here as noble, but vicious savages, the overbearing cavalry officer, the commander of the ru
How nice that my first Elmore Leonard book was his first written novel. After not having read any fiction, much less anything, resembling his stuff lately, it was a wonderfully refreshing change of pace.

The crispness of dialogue and the economy of the action and set pieces stand out.
Having become more enamored with the man after having the priviledge of meeting him, I now want to read everything he's ever written. The only way to start is at the beginning with his first book. Know what's fascinating? It isn't a good book! There are too many characters whose motivations aren't made clear. The dialogue is inconsistent. Sometimes a person speaks high English, the next scene he's speaking Western slang. It's difficult to figure out what's going on half the time. However, you ca ...more
Don Massenzio
The Bounty Hunters was Elmore Leonard's first novel. Having just received a review of my own first novel that compared my writing to Elmore Leonard's, I had to read this book.

I'm usually not a fan of the western genre, but this book was well crafted for a first effort. Leonard's talent with descriptive dialog was evident in The Bounty Hunters. He makes his characters come alive by what they say and do in this work. He uses the "head hopping" point of view technique which is ambitious for a firs
This was Elmore Leonard's first book. I enjoyed it. I didn't love it, and one of the main parts of the story didn't work for me until after I'd finished it and read some reviews on Amazon, which explained the plot piece I'd missed. Still, I think it's well-done and tightly written, with some real gems of dialogue and character description.
If you're going to read an Elmore Leonard book, don't choose this one. It's not representative!

I found the characters to be stereotypical, the plot predictable and Leonard's trademark dialogue blunted. I still could get lost in his obscure syntax & undefined jargon, mind you, but without an edge of black humor it was, well..."okay," but kind of a waste of time.

Oh, and if it's true that this was his first novel, then I'm being harsh! Lord knows Leonard's first description of Lieutenant Duro
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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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