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Be Cool (Chili Palmer #2)

3.47  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,038 Ratings  ·  217 Reviews
New York Times bestselling author Elmore Leonard is back, and he's brought Get Shorty's Chili Palmer along for the ride.An unforgettable, hilarious, and spot-on insider's look at Hollywood as only Leonard could write it, Be Cool takes readers on a back-side tour of Tinseltown's other big business--the music industry.

Chili Palmer's follow-up to his smash hit film Get Leo bo
Audio Cassette, Abridged
Published February 9th 1999 by Random House Audio (first published 1999)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Joe Valdez
Published in 1999, Be Cool is the sequel to Elmore Leonard's Get Shorty Whether it was good vibes or his fans or the money, or all three, Leonard felt compelled to continue the misadventures of Miami Beach loan shark turned film producer Ernest "Chili" Palmer in Los Angeles. The reader is quickly brought up to speed that Chili's movie Get Leo was not only produced but was a hit. As the story goes, the studio moved forward with a sequel, the producer balked, the studio let him come up with a stor ...more
Jul 03, 2013 Jamie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mr. Chili Palmer says it himself in this one, his own sequel: “A sequel has to be better’n the original or it’s not gonna work.” And I don’t know that it’s better than Shorty, but it’s sure about as much fun.

In fact, the only thing denting this one is that in between the two, I watched the movie Get Shorty. Travolta is a love-him-or-hate-him kind of actor, I think, and I lean towards the latter. He was so not the Chili in my mind and I wish I didn't have to work so hard in this one to picture an
Sep 14, 2011 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Elmore Leonard pisses me off because he writes so well that, in my nimble mind, the task of writing a novel seems to be a no-brainer. I DO know better. Leonard is so much fun to read because he's so easy to read. That's not to say his writing is simple, far from it. He just does it so well, with a perfect flow to dialogue and exposition. Be Cool is the continued adventures of Chili Palmer and the usual cast of miscreants. Have fun.
Verge LeNoir
Nov 07, 2015 Verge LeNoir rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5 out of 5

For a fun breezy read from the master of the Crime Fiction genre Mr. Elmore Leonard (RIP)

Chili ‘look at me’ Palmer, the ex-wise guy (okay so he was ‘loosely connected’) ex-loan shark from Brooklyn by way of Miami Beach, is in Los Angeles now where he has re-invented himself as a movie producer whose in dire need of material for a new film project. And he gets one; at a lunch meeting with a shady record producer which opens the book with a bang.

Intrigued by this music business thing, h
Aug 22, 2015 Kandice rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think I like this more because of the reader (Campbell Scott) than the story. When I stop listening and go about my day, I try to think about the plot and what is going on in the tale. It just isn't that great. I get back in the car, turn it on and am immediately sucked in. Scott's voice is just so lovely. It's deep and a bit throaty. He doesn't "do" voices, but somehow you always know when a woman is talking. To me, that's the real mark of a great reader.

It's a bit unfair to Leonard that I've
Sincere W.
Jun 15, 2012 Sincere W. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jesus, if I'm ever able to write dialogue this well I can die a happy man.

This is a fun read, full of interesting characters and very funny scenes. There's Shylocks, gay Samoans, rappers, music execs and a healthy dose of gangsters. The characters develop in unexpected yet logical ways. And the interactions between characters is crisp and authentic.

The story concept - if that's what you'd call it - is damn clever, too. The main character, Chili Palmer is putting together what's to be his third
Aug 02, 2016 Dave rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The return of the charming thug Chili Palmer does what too many sequels do by capturing some of the spirit of the original but not much else. Although this is a pleasant enough jaunt with Chili using his magic on the music industry this time, the story is too much of a retread. What was once surprising and innovative is now too familiar. My expectations were perhaps too high, but this is just a merely adequate thriller with paint-by-numbers background characters.
Dec 03, 2015 Peter rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-thriller
Be Cool (1991) is the second in Elmore Leonard’s Chili Palmer series. Ernest (Chili”) Palmer was introduced in Get Shorty as a mob-connected Miami loan shark chasing down a deadbeat in LA. The deadbeat, Harry Zimm, is a producer of B movies and Chili joins with him to produce a movie called Get Leo. The movie is a success and the profits pay off the producer’s loan and give Chili an asset boost. But a sequel named Get Lost tanks at the box office.

Chili comes out of it with cash and a reputation
Feb 27, 2015 Josh rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read a lot of reviews saying this book was way worse than Get Shorty and some of Leonard's worst work but I really enjoyed it. In fact, I think I liked it better than Get Shorty. They are both very similar and I don't see how you could like one and not the other because they're different enough to be different books. I'd give this 3.5 stars if I could, I feel like it was a little better than 3 stars because I enjoyed it so much but not enough to give it 4. Don't let bad reviews fool you, just ...more
Aug 22, 2009 Nekouken rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
Elmore Leonard's Be Cool was the long-awaited sequel to Get Shorty, but as eager as I was to read it, after I was finished, I was not only disappointed but I realized why it was a terrible idea in the first place. In my review of GS, I described Chili Palmer as a neanderthal at a fencing match. In BC, he's the same neanderthal, except he's learned to fence just in time to go bowling. At the time the book starts, Chili is part of the Hollywood machine; his mobby directness is gone in favor of Hol ...more
Rex Fuller
Apr 24, 2013 Rex Fuller rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At the Four Seasons...yeah LA not NY, you know I been back a week already. So I'm looking and who comes in but Chili Palmer. Yeah, the man himself. We go back to the old days and he comes over and we catch up. Gives me a Cohiba panatela and we don't light up account of the rules everywhere. And I ask him it bother him the reviews and stuff they say about Be Cool. How they say it don't "measure up" to Get Shorty and "formulaic." And he says, what, he's supposed to read guys who couldn't get somet ...more
Nov 30, 2008 Lori rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008november
I didn't realize when picking this up (another book sale cheapo) that it was the sequel to Get Shorty, which I don't think I've ever read or seen. (I kept being bothered by the idea of Travolta as Chili Palmer, though that must be the role he plays.) Even as I figured it out, though, I decided to read it anyway. It certainly looked like it could stand on its own.

And for the most part, it did. Fast plot, fast characters, fast action, fast read.

Which is basically the problem. Even though billed as
Asghar Abbas
Jan 07, 2016 Asghar Abbas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Better than its movie, more racist and still about movies, music part playing a small role.
Both had huge Samoans.
Sarah B.
Jan 02, 2011 Sarah B. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book, but I didn't love it as much as other Leonard books. It's set in Hollywood, and although the main character Chili Palmer is out-of-place (having missed both movies, I managed to picture a middle-aged retrosexual and not John Travolta for Chili), the rest of the characters are mostly pretty terrible Hollywood stereotype people. I didn't want to know them better and I didn't care if they succeeded or failed to achieve their superficial desires. Except Eliot: him I loved. Fortuna ...more
Sep 16, 2009 Steven rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I had high expectations for Elmore Leonard - perhaps this wasn't the best introduction. Didn't like the non-grammatical voice his characters would pick up and drop over the course of the story.
The music industry plot line and character development on Linda Moon was good and kept interest, but the song and rap lyrics? Please.
Definitely dates because of the pop culture references, but not too much.
By the end of it, I was ready to be done. He's too smooth, his characters telegraph the next twists
Sharon Michael
The interesting thing about this book was that the protagonist was a writer who was writing about writing a screenplay. There are different things happening in his life, and he is paying attention to what people say so that he can use their lines as dialogue in a screenplay. So, the reader is being told a story and that story is going to be the basis for another story, which is going to become a movie. All the characters know this, and want to be in the movie.

The main character, Chili Palmer, me
Sam Pendlebury
Chili Palmer, shylock turned producer, back looking for ideas and inspiration for third of three movie deal following success of Get Leo and flop Get Lost. Conceit Elmore Leonard also looking where his fictional character, Chili, will look see where supposedly real life characters take him and these characters themselves alternately wonder if they will play a part in the yet-to-be-written movie or just be used as material for Chili's 'treatment'. Movie was made same title.

Hitmen get whacked ego
LawStudent Reader
Dec 22, 2015 LawStudent Reader rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
They say the sequel is always the inferior to the original. I didn't think so with this book. Looking back at my review of Get Shorty, I found that my overall thoughts about it were that Leonard was all-tell-and-no-show and that there wasn't enough action. I thought the book had more potential. Be Cool has what Get Shorty was lacking. I enjoyed that there were three plot lines going on at the same time and how Leonard tied them all together at the end in a way that made sense. But what I liked m ...more
Jul 25, 2011 Amy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'd put it in 'summer beach read' category. Again Chili P is working on a movie idea and everyone he comes across (and manipulates?) is a potential character or scene. But everything is a scene, no action happens, Chili usually is just describing (talking, talking, talking) to someone what happened. I won't say the ending, but it summed up how I felt about the book - no real story.
Ken Doggett
Jun 07, 2015 Ken Doggett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this one Chili Palmer is a big-time B-movie mogul looking to plot out his next movie with real-life events. At the same time he has to deal with Russian mobsters trying to kill him, along with a local hood and his huge "Samoan" bodyguard trying to do the same. The book actually told me more than I wanted to know about the movie and music business, and even supplied lyrics I didn't need—not sure how, or even if, it contributed to the story. You do have to plow through a lot of seemingly unness ...more
Jan 23, 2014 Pigfender rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to like this. People say such good things about Elmore Leonard, and I'd enjoyed the movie version of the first Chili Palmer story (Get Shorty). Sadly, I just can't get on with Leonard's writing. After about 50 pages I muttered something to Mrs Pigfender like "life is too short for books you're not enjoying" and stopped reading.

I've tried to put my finger on why I didn't get on with it. My guesses are:
- He's trying too hard to be cool and getting it wrong, like a literary version of Guy
David Ward
Be Cool (Chili Palmer #2) by Elmore Leonard (Delacorte Press 1999) (Fiction - Thriller). This is the sequel to Get Shorty, and it is a movie about sequels. Chili Palmer is a Hollywood rewrite man, but the cards are stacked against him. My rating: 7/10, finished 1/1/2011.
Oct 18, 2015 Tom rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Chili Palmer was a fish-out-of-water, former(?) gangster in the Hollywood business in the book Get Shorty. Now he's taking on the music business. Elmore Leonard's dialogue is snappy and I guess the plot evolves in a natural way. But 3/4 through this book, I was ready just to give up. It's a name-dropping, meandering look under the covers at an icky business. Instead of being an interesting fish-out-of-water, Chili ends up just being another uninteresting Hollywood/music industry douchebag - ful ...more
An easy, amusing read, but something of a time-waster as there were no lessons to be learned, no personal insight to be shared, nothing memorable. Soooo not my scene.
Dec 13, 2014 Jason rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Get Shorty was full of memorable characters and was an engaging read that provided the basis for the hit movie starring John Travolta. Unfortunately, John Travola's portrayal of Chili Palmer seems to have influenced Elmore Leonard's treatment of the character in the sequel, Be Cool. This reads as a movie script and is devoid of the empathetic characters that populated Get Shorty. There are flashes of brilliance throughout the book but they are soon lost to pages and pages of empty dialogue. Mayb ...more
Edward Chapman
Sequel to Get Shorty and just not up to the original. Chili Palmer is still himself, but the story and the other characters can't compare.
Lutine Bonnemaison
Livre lu plus par obligation que par intérêt, et au final une lecture accélérée, en diagonale, que je n'ai su véritablement apprécier.
A part quelques passages, je me suis plutôt ennuyée, l'humour et l'univers employés ici n'étant pas vraiment les miens.
Je ne dis pas que Be Cool est un mauvais livre, simplement qu'il ne correspond pas à mes goûts personnels et que je ne m'y suis sans doute pas attaqué l'esprit ouvert, ce qui n'aide pas.
Le roman possède malgré tout des bons côtés, une rythmique
Jason Lilly
May 31, 2015 Jason Lilly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like all of Elmore Leonard's books, this one is full of witty dialogue and quirky characters. Best of all, it is a lot of fun to read. I haven't read Get Shorty, but as much as I liked (and almost never trusted) Chili Palmer, I have added it to my list. I love Leonard's way of delivering chunks of the plot through dialogue. It takes a great deal of careful talent as a writer to write this way. It also puts us in the hands of the characters as we are taken for a grand ride through their world (wh ...more
David Orphal
I really liked the straight up police-procedural in this novel. We know who did it and why. The question is, how is our hero going to get the bad guys.

I really liked the meta-adventure of our hero living through the police-procedural because he is a movie producer and he sees his next movie in the events stemming from the opening murder. For our hero, each day, each interaction with the other characters, is a scene in this movie he is going to produce.

I read this as my first Leonard novel. I d
Kaitlyn Utkewicz
Dec 17, 2015 Kaitlyn Utkewicz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
They say the sequel is always the inferior to the original. I didn't think so with this book. Looking back at my review of Get Shorty, I found that my overall thoughts about it were that Leonard was all-tell-and-no-show and that there wasn't enough action. I thought the book had more potential. Be Cool has what Get Shorty was lacking. I enjoyed that there were three plot lines going on at the same time and how Leonard tied them all together at the end in a way that made sense. But what I liked m ...more
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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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Other Books in the Series

Chili Palmer (2 books)
  • Get Shorty (Chili Palmer, #1)

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“You know what people who go to nude beaches look like?"

"Tell me."

"People who shouldn't go to nude beaches."

"Is Chili Palmer joining the tour?'

"I wasn't told"

"Ask Nick for me."

About a minute went by. Now he heard Nick saying, "Tell him if he goes near Chili Palmer I'll see that he suffers excruciating pain and will never fucking walk again in his life."

And, then Robin's voice: "Nick said to tell you that if you go near Chili Palmer he'll have your legs broken."

"Why couldn't he say it like that?"

"He reads, but the wrong books.”
More quotes…