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Gold Coast

3.53 of 5 stars 3.53  ·  rating details  ·  963 ratings  ·  63 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

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Paperback, 229 pages
Published July 20th 2010 by Caxton Publishing Group (first published 1980)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,354)
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Rob
2.5 stars.

Title this review, “The Time One of My Favorite Authors Wrote a Book I Didn’t Like Very Much.”

It happens. R.E.M. gives us Around the Sun, Quentin Tarantino writes and directs Death Proof, Michael Fassbender appears in Jonah Hex. Even our most reliable artists stumble from time to time – it would be unreasonable to expect otherwise – and with any luck, they recover. That’s largely how I feel about Gold Coast, a book that seems to have something on its mind but doesn’t execute very well.
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Craig Pittman
I first read this book years ago, and then tossed it aside, not realizing its important place in the Leonard canon: It's the first one he set in Florida, a state he'd been visiting for years and a place where he'd bought his mother a hotel to run. Leonard's quirky tale of a swamp-bred psychopath, a robber-turned-dolphin-trainer and a Mafia widow with an odd problem also marked a bridge between Charles Willeford's offbeat Hoke Mosely thrillers and the wackier Carl Hiaasen crime novels that began ...more
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
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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
Lee
Another great story from Elmore Leonard. With the mob involved, a beautiful widow in need of help, and with the help of a drifter and ex-con, she fights back. Leonard was one of the finest writers of crime fiction, and in his heyday I would say the finest.
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
Janice
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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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
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Neill Goltz
Thank God this was not my initial Elmore Leonard read. Simply a terrible book. (Alright, alright - disclaimers:

1) I was listening to it via CDs for a long road trip from Bozeman to Fargo; and
2) I had a hitch-hiker along for the Livingston - Fargo leg.

But still - story line was really weak, and the characters non-likable or non-memorable.

Chili Palmer - see "Get Shorty" and "Be Cool" - is still the best
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.
Chris Birdy
There is no such thing as a bad Elmore Leonard story. This was the story of a mob widow who lives like Rapunzel in an ivory tower. She's untouchable and lonely until an ex-con comes onto the scene. The story is funny and entertaining. The only problem was the end - it just hung there.
Karschtl
Schon ein etwas älteres Buch von Leonard, was man an den technischen Möglichkeiten zur Überwachung von Personen besonders deutlich merkt.
Trotzdem ein nettes, schnelles Büchlein mit ein klein wenig Thrill. An die Finesse und den Humor von "Out of Sight" kommt es aber bei weitem nicht ran.
Eliana
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.
Tim
A nice little gem of a yarn (~200 pages). Roland is unwittingly funny as the know-it-all knucklehead (a common character-type in Leonard's novels).
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
Irl Newham
The only man who ever could tell a story like this with such humor, Elmore Leonard.
Kevin
Entertaining read about a widow being kept alone by dead husband's mob friends.
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
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Darren
quick read. loved the ending
Leslie Bratspis
I love reading Elmore Leonard. He's the master of writing "bad" characters with foibles that are so funny you can't help laughing despite their dirty deeds. Some say he writes characters you love to hate. As always, the story was convoluted with many twists and turns. The ending was unexpected. If you like reading crime fiction, you can't go wrong with one of his novels.
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!
Karani Kimaru
Not my favourite but enjoyable nonetheless.
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  ·  review of another edition
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.
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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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