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The Hot Kid (Carl Webster #1)

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  2,631 ratings  ·  252 reviews
Carl Webster, the hot kid of the marshals service, is polite, respects his elders, and can shoot a man driving away in an Essex at four hundred yards. Carl works out of the Tulsa, Oklahoma, federal courthouse during the 1930s, the period of America's most notorious bank robbers: Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson -- those guys.

Carl wants to be America's most famous lawman. He sho
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Hardcover, 312 pages
Published May 10th 2005 by William Morrow & Company (first published 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jason Koivu
Sad that it takes a man's death to get me to finally read one of his books...

And man, have I missed out!

Elmore Leonard writes the sort of straight-forward, workman-like prose that is a pleasure to read. You won't get much in the way of poetic flourishes or long meditations on human psyche. But his characters are rounded off believably and they are plenty colorful!

I'm a Leonard noob, but if The Hot Kid is typical of his work, then this is the sort of story-driven stuff I'll be returning to again
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David
Jan 28, 2013 David rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: US marshals, gun molls, privileged little shits who rob banks
My first Elmore Leonard novel. He's a terse, pacey author, and The Hot Kid is pretty much Hollywood in a book, but a nicely-filmed Hollywood with engaging if not terribly deep characters.

It's a 1930s gangster piece. Carlos Webster is the son of a wealthy pecan farmer. At 15 he shot a man who was trying to rustle his cattle. His father observed, "Good lord, this one's got a tough bark on him." He also encounters a wanted felon who, in the course of robbing a store and shooting a tribal police off
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Jim
More of a 2.5. Carl is a neat character, but the book encompassed a bit too much territory & didn't focus well enough for me. Leonard's gritty style chopped it up a bit too much as we skipped from character to character without really getting into any of them properly which was a shame, because he sketched out some dynamite ones.

There were a lot of good moments, but that's all they were. Also, the ending was too predictable. I've been told the 2d book isn't as good, but the 3d is better. I
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Cathy DuPont
I like Carl Webster, the character. It sounds like he doesn't like his name Carlos, he doesn't like someone taking he ice cream cone and if he takes out his pistol, he's shooting to kill. Carl is one badass character who is a good guy.

This would have been so much better had I read it or someone else was narrator. Arliss Howard sounded bored about most of the first half of the book only "getting into it" the second half.

I love Elmore Leonard...he's the best.
Josh
Chronicling the kills of Carl Webster, a gun toting prodigy working as a US Marshal, THE HOT KID pits wanna-be gangsters and bank robbers (and some reluctant gun molls) against a man who is as much legend as the revered outlaws of the time.

Carl Webster was inducted into the life of crime at an early age when famous bank robber, Emmett Long robbed a store where Carl bought his ice cream as a kid. Long left a lasting impression on the young Carl, not only by killing an officer of the law but also
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Ty Wilson
The Hot Kid is an Elmore Leonard novel through and through. It follows Carl Webster, the new hotshot marshal in Prohibition-era Tulsa, as he quickly becomes a famous lawman because of his quick and deadly gun skills. Webster navigates a world filled with criminals, gun molls, whores and writers seeking to document the clash of good versus evil. This is a time of famous gangsters like John Dillinger, Pretty Boy Floyd and Baby Face Nelson, all of whom live large in the imagination of Leonard's cha ...more
Debra
Mar 24, 2011 Debra marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Stephen King recommended book and author.

King says: "Leonard began his career (back when I was in diapers) writing Westerns. He finally achieved success in the '80s with urban shoot-'em-ups. In The Hot Kid he has combined both genres, producing a randy Bonnie-and-Clyde-era thrill ride featuring a U.S. marshal, a bank-robbing maniac who once tried to drown his sister in a pool, and a good-hearted woman with a shady past. It's Leonard's best novel since Get Shorty, maybe his best ever."

From Wikipe
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Hayden
The Hot Kid is a 1930's period piece that tells the story of a young and badass US Marshal straight out of the picture shows, an idiot with disillusioned dreams of spending his days with high-class bank robbers like John Dillinger and Pretty Boy Floyd, an Eye-talian journalist who always ends up in the middle of the madness, and a handful of ladies along for the ride; all interwoven in an expansive, Pulp Fiction-esque story.

Going into this I didn't really expect much. I found it on the shelf of
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Benjamin Thomas
Elmore Leonard is a writer after my own heart. He started with westerns and then turned to crime fiction, becoming one of the best selling crime fiction writers of all time. When I saw the audio book, "The Hot Kid" on the library shelves this time, I just couldn't pass it up because I knew I'd be in for a treat. I also needed a relatively short book this time so I could complete it before the end of the year. It was so good though that I made excuses to go driving just so I could hear more of th ...more
Donna
Jul 26, 2014 Donna rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: crime
My first Elmore Leonard! I don 't think this was a mystery...more of a thriller. Setting is 1920s-30s Oklahoma with lots of moonshine, gun molls and Public Enemies. Wonderfully evokes the time period. Not my favorite book, but very well done.
Jeff Dickison
A really, really good tale by Leonard. Story is of a hot shot U.S. Marchall in Oklahoma and Kansas City area during the depression years and one particular inept criminal he goes after. Highly recommended.
Kirse
Read 1/30/15.

This is the one about Carlos, a.k.a. Carl, Webster, the hot young U.S. Marshal of the 1930s, who got the bank robbers and murderers... He killed his first man, a would-be cattle rustler, at age 15.

The story has a great start, and a very laid back, chilled out tone. Characters include Tony Antonelli, the detective-magazine writer; Louly, the young woman who ran away from home and shot a bank robber, and Jack Somebody, the wacko cold-blooded killer, the son of a rich man.

I both rea
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Kris
3.5 STARS

"Before Elmore Leonard abandoned westerns to blaze across the pantheon of bestsellerdom with his hip, stylish thrillers, punctuated with dead-pan humor and dialogue worthy of a David Mamet play, he might have written The Hot Kid; it has some of the same crisp pacing and well-defined, if not especially complex, characters that marked his earlier novels. A show-down between Tulsa oil wildcatter and millionaire Oris Belmont and his 18-year-old son, who's attempting to shake him down, says
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Dewayne Stark
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Peter
my wife and me were shopping for books on our trip to Edinburgh. I decided I had all the books I wanted to buy on this trip, and even some more and decided to take a seat and wait for her to finish. While sitting there, this book caught my eye, and having heard some good thinks about Elmore Leonard I decided to add this book to my to buy pile. And it even became the first book from that bunch of books that I started reading.

This story happens in 30's in Oklahoma and is the story of a local lawme
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Jim
There was a lot to like here and I enjoy Leonard's style, though this little voice in my head kept trying to read Carlos/Carl's character in the voice of Raylan (and there are many similarities, as if Carl is a prototype). I don't think this is the best of his work, but still okay. Not quite as edgy or tight as some of his other novels. But the character development and especially the dialogue I enjoy the most.
Fuzzy Gerdes
The Hot Kid exists at the intersection of Westerns (it's set in Oklahoma), gangster stories (it's the 30s), and true-crime fiction (in a touch of meta, one of the characters writes for those sorts of magazines). And it's unmistakably Elmore Leonard. Yes, please.
Jamie
Summer’s almost over! I have to scarf down the last of my summer books, the ones made for sweltering afternoons and ice cold beers.

Louly is one of my favorite Elmore ladies. And Carl Webster? A hotshot, ice-cream-loving marshal by any other name...
Lorna
I'm struggling to come up with the words I need to describe how much I disliked this book. It started out with some promise - two young men both from families with means, but raised completely differently. One becomes a US Marshall, and one becomes a crook, go figure. Unfortunately, from there the book becomes one shoot out after another, and is so cluttered with characters (with very similar voices in the audiobook narration) that it was difficult to figure out who was who.

My main problem with
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Eddie Whitlock
Excellent story!

It would be pointless to tell you anything else.

It's an entertaining tale of -

Oh, hell. I started to tell you more.

Scott
I thoroughly enjoyed this "late-period" (2005) Leonard novel, introducing the U.S. Marshal Carl (Carlos) Webster, a precocious hot-shot agent who enjoys getting the criminals dead-or-alive - but preferably dead, because then he can get his picture in the papers in his Panama with the perfectly snapped brim. Carl likes the fast life and cannot picture living and working the Oklahoma pecan farm owned by his father, a bona fide hero of the Spanish-American War. The scene of the novel spreads from E ...more
Tom
Elmore Leonard is a master craftsman. You think you can predict what a character will say or do or what might happen next? Good luck with that. You may be able to pull that off with other writers, but not with E Len. The Hot Kid has intriguing characters all busy living in the heart of Prohibition and the Depression. The characters are complicated in their seeming-simplicity, the dialogue is authentic, and the action is exciting and quite unpredictable. This is one of those books I found myself ...more
Karen
Happened upon this audio book which I took with me on a thousand mile vacation journey. I had never read Elmore Leonard, so here I am with book #42 of Leonard's and nothing but highway in front of me.

I found that the narrator, Arliss Howard gave a wonderful performance of characters. I was hooked from the start. Leonard brought together stories of individual gangsters running loose in the 1920’s and 30’s. These stories were coupled with one ambitious federal officer who wanted to kill or captur
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Christopher Seavey
First and foremost, I should start by saying that I am in no way usually inclined to read novels that follow gun slinging charlatans. I am not speaking from a place of great knowledge on this genre, so now that my preamble has been taken care of let me say that I enjoyed the book for its ability to read like a script in a Tarantino movie at times. Cheesy, contrived one-liners and all, the book is able to succeed where inherent logic tells you it shouldn't. I must read more Leonard in the future ...more
Lukasz Pruski
I seem to have a roller coaster relationship with Elmore Leonard's books. I found "Get Shorty" incredibly boring, then I liked "Mr. Paradise" a lot, and reviewed it here. Now -- solely through my superhuman patience and boundless optimism that the author will eventually write something interesting -- I have managed to finish "The Hot Kid".

Many readers may like the book; it has plenty of action, well-described shootings, and heavily macho characters who are bent on displaying how cool they are.
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Willem van den Oever
Balancing somewhere between his early Western-themed days and his own memories from living in Oklahoma, Elmore Leonard leads the reader back to the swinging 1930’s; with colored boys introducing the sounds of blues and jazz to the rest of the world, rattling roadsters driving down dusty dirtpaths amongst the pecan grooves and speakeasies flourishing under the Prohibition Act.
It is in this wild world, stuck somewhere between a sheriff-ruled yesterday and the hot, new days, that we meet Carl Webst
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Jason Kurtz
The Hot Kid is an excellent novel where Leonard has left his somewhat traditional Detroit for the dusty Prohibition Era Tulsa, Oaklahoma. Bank robbers, gun molls, and U. S. Marshals make up the cast of characters that come alive as part of the intricate world that Leonard has created. U. S. Marshal Carl Webster is the at the center of the action, making a name for himself as a marshall who always gets his man. As we see Carl develop as a man and marshall, we see the parallel life of Jack Beaumon ...more
Jack
What struck me most about this book was the overall tone. It has the strong feel of a Western that happens to take place during the Prohibition. A lone marshal with a strong, steady aim with a well-known deadly ultimatum, Carlos Webster resembles a Django or a Man With No Name. There are the wild towns, the wild ladies, and the shootouts. The story is told in a rather folksy manner, and the dialogue is a throwback to a style of the Wild West.

It has, however, a unique wit and understated humor.
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David Gillespie
Published in 2005, Elmore Leonard recreates the 20’s and 30’s crime underworld of Kansas City in The Hot Kid. Mixing fictional characters with such legends as John Dillinger, Bonnie and Clyde, and Machine Gun Kelly, the novel tracks the rise of U.S. Marshal Carl Webster, as he seeks out to become the most famous lawman in America. His chief foe is Jack Belmont, a sociopathic scion of an oil family turned bank robber. Manipulating both is Tony Antonelli, a writer for a lurid True Detective type s ...more
Kara Jorges
A new trend could easily start on the heels of this novel of bank robbers, gun molls, and US marshals during the Prohibition era. Worse things could happen. Elmore Leonard could apply his skills to any setting and come out a winner.

The hot kid is US Marshal Carl Webster, son of a pecan farmer with oil rights. Carl first killed a man when he was 15 for trying to steal his cattle. He then went on to make a name for himself killing bank robbers. Carl’s nemesis is Jack Belmont, the no-good son of a
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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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