Steve's Reviews > Road Dogs

Road Dogs by Elmore Leonard
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's review
Jun 16, 09

it was amazing
bookshelves: read-in-2009
Read in June, 2009

Leonard started out a great writer, and 40-some books in to his career he continues to improve, which is difficult to imagine until you read his most recent novel. He's writing literature disguised as crime fiction (or is it the other way around?), with no repetition of theme or lack of inspiration. Even Leonard's minor characters are stronger, stranger, and more interesting than those in novels by many other authors. In this book, for example, we have Zorro the driver, and Mike Nesi the skinhead, and Tiny Banger (we'll let him tell his own story) and even Foley's ex-wife Arlene: each is more than you expect, and is artfully sketched with just a few choice words of dialog. I think this aspect of Leonard's art adds dimension and drama. Leonard backs his subjectivity out of the way to let his main characters shape and be shaped by what's happening in the book story, and to allow the reader to just enjoy a damn fine read. He took three characters from three previous novels (including Foley from "Out of Sight" which was made in to a great movie) and threw them into a story of treachery and unexpected friendship. I also feel that Leonard's writing has not been adversely affected by his awareness of his own popularity. If anything, he's even funnier than he was before he was so well known. Give this inside-out buddy novel a try: he's one of our best writers of fiction.

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