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The Hot Kid (Carl Webster #1)

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  3,347 Ratings  ·  315 Reviews
The Barnes & Noble Review When the The New York Times calls someone "the greatest crime writer of our time, perhaps ever," that's no small compliment. This talented author has shown an extraordinary range in his work, from westerns to crime stories (both contemporary and historical) to a novel about baseball and more.

In The Hot Kid, Elmore "Dutch" Leonard breaks new gr
Paperback, 400 pages
Published August 29th 2006 by HarperTorch (first published 2005)
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Best Manfiction
180th out of 1,210 books — 484 voters
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Books Set In Oklahoma
21st out of 126 books — 56 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jason Koivu
Sep 05, 2013 Jason Koivu rated it really liked it
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
Jan 28, 2013 David rated it really liked it  ·  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
Oct 22, 2014 Jim rated it liked it
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
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.
Sep 03, 2013 Josh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, read_2013
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
Ty Wilson
Oct 31, 2014 Ty Wilson rated it really liked it
Shelves: pulp-fiction, 2014, crime
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
This book came to my attention in an unusual way. I just listened to the audible version of NOS4A2 by Joe Hill and at the end the author gives some recommendations on audio books. 'The Hot Kid' was one that he praised so I used my next audible credit on it.

The story is set during the great depression and follows the early career of US Marshall Carl Webster. Carl kills a cattle rustler at age 15 and from then on gains the reputation of being a crack shot. He's also motivated by another incident w
Eva Smith
Sep 17, 2013 Eva Smith rated it it was amazing
In one of life’s little coincidences, I was sorting through books and came across two by Elmore Leonard. I’d read them so long ago that I’d forgotten most of the plot points and the writing was so good that I gave both of them a re-read. Mr. Leonard picked that week to die so I saw it as a sign that I should seek out more of his books. Just finished “The Hot Kid.” Excellent.
Benjamin Thomas
Nov 03, 2014 Benjamin Thomas rated it really liked it
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
May 01, 2016 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: completed
Elmore Leonard wrote some really good books full of quirky bandits and eccentric lawmen. This one is set in that 20's-30's era of Oklahoma and Southwestern U.S. banditry. Webster joins the U.S. Marshal service with the main goal of gunning down a robber who insulted him as a fifteen year old kid. With that accomplished fairly quickly, he becomes the "Hot Kid" -- being covered by a reporter from True Detective magazine only bolsters his fame. Soon, he is hunting fugitives and outlaws and coming o ...more
Larry Edwards
Sep 23, 2015 Larry Edwards rated it it was amazing
Stephen King rates this as Leonard’s “best novel.” I don’t know that I would go that far — my favorite is Hombre — but I enjoyed it.

Two men, one (Carl Webster, grandson of Virgil Webster in Cuba Libre) wants to be a well-known U.S. marshal, the other (Jack Belmont) wants to be known as public enemy No. 1. Told in a folksy style, sentence fragments, colloquial grammar—even the narrative, although the narrator is never identified. I’m annoyed by the passive voice and the needless (and grammaticall
Aug 07, 2011 Hayden rated it really liked it
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
Mar 24, 2011 Debra marked it as to-read
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
Jul 11, 2015 Patrick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story follows Carl Webster, who is a federal marshal, on the chase of bank robbers. The reader follows Carl throughout his youth and focuses upon his first seven years as a marshal in Oklahoma.

Within the storyline, the reader receives the perspective of the different characters, a trademark for the writer. The switch in perspectives allows the reader to see and feel the story from different angles. Moving around the point of view is not as pronounced in this work as in some others, only a f
This might be my last Leonard novel. Starts out strong, but then the conversations begin sounding familiar. This is probably a good beach book for some, but I found that the writing was a bit too breezy, the dialogue a bit too hip. At this point in his career, I'm tempted to say Leonard can write these in his sleep, but there's some nice historical details that shows he's not on auto-pilot. For those who like Leonard, and his period pieces, check out a lesser known title, The Moonshine War.
Jeff Dickison
Apr 19, 2014 Jeff Dickison rated it it was amazing
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.
Jul 21, 2016 Jamie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-wild-west
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...
Fuzzy Gerdes
Oct 01, 2007 Fuzzy Gerdes rated it it was amazing
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.
Jul 26, 2014 Donna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Eddie Whitlock
Jun 26, 2013 Eddie Whitlock rated it it was amazing
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.

Jun 17, 2015 Jim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A bit too long and predictable, but Leonard is fun to read.
Mariano Hortal
Publicado en

El otoño, con su tristeza inherente, es quizás una de esas épocas más propicias para leer cierto tipo de libros; en este caso se me antoja que las novelas negras pueden ser más que propicias para aprovecharlas en una de esas tardes lluviosas en las que tampoco apetece hacer mucho más que sentarse en un sillón, disfrutar de un buen café o infusión y, cómo no, de una buena novela policíaca.

Para ello hoy traigo tres recomendaciones de tres maestr
Wu Ming
Dec 29, 2010 Wu Ming rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WM1: Se vi sono piaciuti The Ghost of Tom Joad di Bruce Springsteen e Fratello, dove sei? di Joel e Ethan Coen, amerete Hot Kid di Elmore Leonard (Einaudi Stile Libero, pp.314, euro 14,50).
Piaciuta la proposizione condizionale? Bene, eccone subito un'altra*: chi subisce il fascino degli anni Trenta americani (la Depressione, le ballads di Woody Guthrie, gli hoboes a bordo dei treni-merci, le lotte del movimento operaio americano, il neonato FBI che dà la caccia a John Dillinger, Warren Beatty
Magnus Stanke
Oct 03, 2016 Magnus Stanke rated it really liked it
4 1/2
I'm very happy to say that this late Leonard delivers the goods. He was/is a real fave of mine and has influenced my writing choices maybe like nobody else. After a couple of weaker books (I've been reading my way through his oevuvre chrononogically for nearly 20 years and have only a couple of titles to go) this is a welcome return to form.
It's a kinda sequel to Cuba Libre in that the protagonist Carlos Webster here is the son of the earlier book's hero. The setting is the 1920's and 30's
Oct 04, 2016 Larry rated it liked it
Let's call it a guilty pleasure. While moving along at a brisk pace with predictable conclusions, the characters are easily distinguishable as good or bad guys.
Carl Webster was fifteen when he witnessed his first murder. Now he is the hot kid in the Marshall services; polite, respectful and can shoot a man driving away from 400 yards. He is on his way to being the most famous lawman of the 1930s. Jack Belmont wants to rob banks, become the most notorious outlaw and show his millionaire father he can live his own life. In the time of the Volstead Act comes The Hot Kid, a fast paced crime novel from a master of his craft; Elmore Leonard.

I love the Volste
Quite entertaining and, to some extent, quite as good as it's made out to be. It's just as the descriptions had made me expect: spare and elliptical in the telling, and with a very good ear for dialogue, the ungrammaticalities of which sometimes seep into the narrative text. (Not always sure how effective that is.)

Also it's more than just a crime novel: he tries do some history, give you a feel of the 30s era. And get your metafiction-radars out: much like in the classic western Unforgiven he m
Anita Laydon
Oct 10, 2011 Anita Laydon rated it really liked it
An ELMORE LEONARD (all writers should read his books for a lesson on tight writing) review from my Colorado Springs GAZETTE book column:

Elmore Leonard, where have you been all my life? All the hours I’ve scanned shelves looking for good books, I could’ve been reading yours. And now I will. Every. Single. One.

The above is a copy of an email I sent to author Elmore Leonard. I sent it through Leonard’s researcher, Gregg Sutter, because Leonard doesn’t own a computer. The author’s written more than
Daniel Polansky
The entire time I spent reading this novel (admittedly, only like 4 or 5 hours) I was trying to figure out if I had read it before, but never exactly coming to a conclusion. In and of itself this actually isn't the most terrible thing you could say about a book – Ross McDonald's Lew Archer stuff are one big morass of genius in my mind – but Leonard is, bluntly, not Ross McDonald. The story of a US Marshall in the twenties who's really, really good at shooting people, and of all the people he sho ...more
Nov 19, 2015 David rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-fiction
I bought this when it was a Kindle Daily Deal. I have observed that some books reappear as Kindle Daily Deals on a regular basis. The reappearance of this one is worth keeping an eye out for.

I read Important Modern Novels partially out of a sense of duty, but when I found myself in an antique land with a bacteria-driven case of the feverish shakes, I abandoned the IMN I was laboring through and went with Elmore Leonard to divert me until the inner man was sufficiently recovered to address a work
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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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Carl Webster (3 books)
  • Up in Honey's Room
  • Comfort to the Enemy and Other Carl Webster Stories

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