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Gold Coast

3.52 of 5 stars 3.52  ·  rating details  ·  868 ratings  ·  52 reviews
When he kicked off, Florida mob boss Frank DiCilia left his gorgeous widow Karen everything, but with strings attached. She loses the millions, the cars, the palatial Gold Coast mansion if she ever gets involved with another man. And there's a crazy cowboy-wannabe thug named Roland who's acting as Frank's eyes beyond the grave, making sure Karen doesn't dally, with serious ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published October 1st 2002 by HarperTorch (first published 1980)
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Treasure Island by Robert Louis StevensonThe Hobbit, or There and Back Again by J.R.R. TolkienThe Arabian Nights by AnonymousGoldfinger by Ian FlemingLe Comte de Monte-Cristo I by Alexandre Dumas
All that Glitters...
43rd out of 180 books — 33 voters
Cuba Libre by Elmore LeonardLast Stand at Saber River by Elmore LeonardGet Shorty by Elmore LeonardThe Bounty Hunters by Elmore LeonardThe Law at Randado by Elmore Leonard
Novels of Elmore Leonard
20th out of 46 books — 6 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,204)
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Jamie
So much fun. Right on page 9, what I love about Elmore: Karen, “Playing a role and enjoying it. It was real.”

Or page 61, Maguire in a rant after my own heart: “I didn’t say I didn’t like it, I said it wasn’t real. It’s like a refuge. Nothing can happen to you there, you’re safe. But it’s got nothing to do with reality. It’s like you’re given security, but in exchange for it you have to give up yourself. You have to become somebody else.”

Getting it, even in the stories that are just pure fun, the
...more
Brian
I recently purchased a drop-leaf table that Elmore Leonard once owned, and perhaps he wrote some of "Gold Coast" while sitting at it. Even if he didn't, the novel is an enjoyable crime caper that has aged well, unlike most other remnants of the late-1970s. I picked it up at our Florida rental condo's book exchange and finished it in a couple of days. I mention this because Elmore and I are both from Detroit. And because "Gold Coast" took place in Florida. And because I read it in Florida. Seriou ...more
Linda Nonalaya
This is the first time I am reading a book from this author. There were so many characters in this story I had to write their names on a separate paper to keep them straight. When I did that I could see the story more clearly. I had no idea how this story was going to end. Would Karen ever be able to have a sex life again? How would this be enforced? Could the stipulations of her deceased husband get changed? Who was going to help her? Did she want help? Did she like her rich lonely life? I thin ...more
Rob Smith
This is part of my Swampy's Florida book collection.

Not sure why I had trouble connecting with this book. It does occur to me that I've had trouble connecting with characters in past Elmore Leonard books in the past. It was particularly difficult with this book. It could be that I've recently been reading books with very well drawn characters. These are well defined, but in the typical Leonard caricature that I struggled with. I should add there is one character that has a few levels that appear
...more
wally
this is something like the...15th, 16th from leonard for me...kindle edition.

dedicated: for bill leonard

story begins:
one day karen dicilia put a few observations together and realized her husband frank was sleeping with a real estate woman in boca.

karen knew where they were doing it, too. in one of the condominiums frank owned, part of oceana estates.


time & place
*florida...fort lauderdale...miami...miami beach
*karen's present address, 1 isla bahia...the harbor beach section of lauderdale
*det
...more
Sarah Nurse
I admit to reading this because I liked the film. I also recalled that the author was quoted as not liking the film adaptation, so I wanted to see what the differences were! Very few, as it turns out. It's a good read, as you'd expect, and even the dialogue was used in the film. So what was his problem? Well, the ending was totally different. I rather preferred the film.
Eliana
Apr 05, 2014 Eliana added it
Criminal suspense, usually told from the criminal's point of view. Leonard's criminal protagonista are among the most likeable of the genre! Funny, with excellent plot lines.
Frederick
Gold Coast by Elmore Leonard Gold Coast by Elmore Leonard - Pretty standard Elmore Leonard. I've read several of his novels now and I don't think you can really go wrong with him. I thoroughly enjoyed this one from start to finish. It didn't quite jump out and grab me like some of his others did, but as far as I'm concerned it was a great read. I just learned upon finishing this that Elmore Leonard died just this August. I'm really disappointed to hear that. I'll definitely miss him. Fortunately there are so many more of ...more
Jessica Lave
I was a little disappointed with this one. Leonard is one of my heroes, and I just couldn't get into this one. I was all for Cal's role in the story because he seemed like a decent guy in spite of some of the choices he made, but Karen as a protagonist was just unlikeable. Stick up her ass the entire book, and the ending was both unexpected and a let-down after getting through the rest of the book. I was surprised because I had heard this was one of the really good ones to add to the Elmore Leon ...more
Irl Newham
The only man who ever could tell a story like this with such humor, Elmore Leonard.
Elizabeth (Alaska)
With this, I wandered far from my usual faire, and enjoyed myself doing so. It's a pretty much R-rated (language, violence) crime novel set in south Florida with the usual elements of the crime boss, thug, helpless women.

There is no mystery, and the ending isn't entirely unpredictable. But like I said, I enjoyed myself reading this. It would make a thoroughly enjoyable B-movie. Not complete trash, but I couldn't possibly make a steady diet of this genre. Still, I'll be sorely tempted to pick up
...more
Darren
quick read. loved the ending
Natalie
What a good read, I couldn't put the book down - unless forced to by work!
It is easy to read, characters are either like able or you want to have a shower to remove the creepiness of them.
The revenge of a dead husband putting a chastity belt on his 44 year old wife and the story that unfolds.
Read it, enjoy all the way to the very last page!
Alex
I was really disappointed with this clunky little story of a mob widow "forced" to lead a chaste existence following the death of her possessive husband. Leonard's trademark snappy dialogue is there but this really needed an editor. Too many plot twists go nowhere, scenes totally lacking context being inserted to confuse and infuriate this reader.

I found the characters lacking any empathy making it impossible to care what happens to them.
Mark
An interesting premise: A mob boss's wife is left a fortune after he suddenly keels over. The catch is she can't ever be with another man, and he has his wiseguys around to make sure she remains faithful. Of course it's not long before the wiseguys start sniffing around the pile of dough. Leonard's good characters and dialog keep the story moving, but the plot unravels a little bit, and the end was unsatisfying for me.
Krok Zero
Sometimes you gotta put everything else on hold and chow down on some Elmore Leonard. This one has the usual third-act problems and bullshitty non-ending, but who cares? There is a particular pleasure to reading Leonard that is different from reading any other crime fiction...but that is a topic for a more thoughtful review to be written when I am less tired, or, better yet, to be written by someone else.
Amy
Eh, this book was okay. Nothing spectacular. Very stereotypical characters, and the dead guy forcing his wife to be celibate for the rest of her life was rather strange. Oh, the trials of being a mob boss' wife. After a while, I was getting very tired of Roland using the word "dink." Hadn't heard that in a long time, and it was VERY much overused at the end.
Michael Stewart
Again, well-drawn characters by Elmore Leonard. But the book just doesn't have the 'zing' of the others I've read. I may have over-dosed from reading five Leonards in a row.

Now, on to "SWAG", aka "Ryan's Rules", from 1976. Then that'll be it for the Leonard novels for quite a while. I have to get back to Robert Graves, George R.R. Martin, and Ian McEwan.
Susan
Aug 01, 2010 Susan rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: yes
At first this seems like a silly book with lots of sex, but the author slowly draws you in to the story and the characters become more 3 dimensional, until the end when it all comes together. Like Steve Jobs says, you have to connect the dots backward. I consider a book good if I'm still thinking about it after I finished. I did with this one.
Quentin Feduchin
Another very good book from Elmore Leonard.

Again, it is nothing if not realistic, There are some unpleasant people around and a woman in trouble.

It's a great story, well worth reading and will hold your attention all the way through; it took me no time to read it.

It ends in typical E. Leonard fashion: unexpectedly..
Jaclyn
plot line was very interesting, but the book was too short. it seemed that mr. leonard was in a rush to finish this book, and skipped over many important details he could have gone into, making this much more enjoyable. and the end of this book - was so abrupt that i was angry i had even read the whole book to get to it.
Tom Marcinko
Mafioso tries to enforce his wife's loyalty from beyond the grave. I'd read this one some years ago. One of his best, IMO.

~He wanted to get it done and present her with it. There, the guy’s off your back. Making it look, not easy exactly, but not too hard either. There. You have any other problems?~
Fred
A nice enough page-turner, but some characters' motivations and attitudes changed too abruptly at the very end.
Nathan
Leonard captures the voices of his crims well, but the story itself is excruciating. Imagine watching toppling dominos at 1/100th speed: nothing much happens at any one time, but you know eventually how it's going to end. I wish I hadn't read it, and instead had my time back again.
Carol
Beginning a session of Florida-based reads. Since have read most, if not all, the Carl Hiassen many years ago, thought Elmore Leonard might be a place to go. Will try 1 or 2 more from the library, not Kindle, to see if worthy. This one was ok, but not a real grabber, IMHO.
B
FM In this typically bizarre Elmore Leonard story, a very rich widow of a former Mafia boss has to remain single otherwise she will lose everything she inherited. An interested ex-con works on a plan to help her. Dark, gritty but funny as most Elmore Leonard books are.
Rog Harrison
I must have missed this one when it first came out and I enjoyed it much more than most of the books Elmore Leonard wrote after this one. Elmore Leonard is a great story teller and this book has interesting characters, a good plot and a satisfying ending.
Steve
This novel includes the best and worst of Elmore Leonard's style: great premise, and ending that leaves you wanting more. For some reason, he didn't paint these characters with his usual depth and humor. Even flawed books by Leonard are fascinating to read.
J.C.
I don't know how to feel about it. It was really entertaining right until the ending which felt a bit thrown together, but then again it wasn't the worst ending to a book ever. If you like Elmore Leonard then read it, its better than "Touch".
Beth
Oct 12, 2009 Beth rated it 1 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2009
not his best work. I'm a big fan of Elmore Leonard's snappy dialogue and no-nonsense style, but this one is rather choppy and disjointed, to the point where I am rereading a paragraph a couple times to figure out the meaning.
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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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“A wife's faithful to her husband, subject to him. It's in the bible.” 1 likes
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