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Fire in the Hole

(Raylan Givens #2.5)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  5,988 ratings  ·  579 reviews
Elmore Leonard, best-selling author of 37 novels including Get Shorty and the recent Pagan Babies, now brings his unmistakable style to electronic-publishing.

In Leonard's first original e-book, U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens (featured in Pronto and Riding the Rap) returns to the Eastern Kentucky coal-mining country of his youth. When Boyd Crowder, a mail-order-ordained minist
ebook, 240 pages
Published January 1st 2001 by Contentville Press
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Average rating 3.91  · 
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 ·  5,988 ratings  ·  579 reviews

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Bill Kerwin

This collection of Elmore Leonard's short fiction was originally entitled When the Women Come Out to Dance, but the title was changed to capitalize on its connection to FX's Justified. “Fire in the Hole” is the novella which inspired the series, and was used as the basis for the plot of its first episode. (The series did it justice, but the novella is better.)

At least half the book is taken up with two novellas, the aforementioned “Fire in the Hole” and “Ten Killer”, the tale of a confrontation
Reading this collection of Elmore Leonard short stories was kind of like going to a family reunion and having your mother give you running commentary on all the people you haven‘t seen a while. "Remember Carl Webster from The Hot Kid ? That’s his grandson Ben. He’s trying to run some redneck squatters off the family farm. And there’s Karen Sisco! Why, I haven’t seen her since she was chasing that bank robber in Out of Sight . Raylan Givens over there has his very own TV show now. We’re all so pr ...more
Jan 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, I think it's a law or something that you have to like Elmore Leonard. I purchased this one for the one story "Fire in the Hole" A Raylan Givens story. That one was the best story in the book for me, but, there were some other gems in here as well. But, there was one or two that were only a few pages long and kind of left me scratching my head. But, over all if you like Elmore you'll want to add this one to your collection.
Nick Younker
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"We dug coal together."

You know, it's funny how that old saying never quite fits until you read a story that gives you the purest form of perspective.

The camaraderie in the statement is akin to big city beat cops. When a partner's on the take, but the other isn't quite down with the bribes, how can he be trusted? Eventually, the decent cop is gonna take the bribe, just to put his partner at ease, so they can do their jobs and trust each other. It's necessary to trust your partner when extreme da
A fantastic collection of short stories, it starts out with a couple of short sketches that are more interesting than they should be for what they are. Leonard's writing really shines as he manages to use a short scene to paint entire people & years of history.

Other stories include the one on which the TV series Justified is based & one with Karen Sisco, another interesting marshal. Plus plenty more, including 2 that I had previously read in his western stories. They were just as good the secon
Aug 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 Stars, best of the Raylan so far

As usual with my reviews, please first read the publisher’s blurb/summary of the book. Thank you.

Home town Harlan Kentucky, Raylan hears old coal-digging buddy Boyd has been bad, and shot up a church and some other terrorist acts. They decide to pull Boyd in, but the lovely Ava confuses things a bit.

Nice pacing, good dialogue, down home feel, good tension, too. Nice climax for a novella. Well-worth reading.

The story is expanded and set to TV series, very ni
Oct 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Justified
This review is solely on 'Fire in the Hole', the only story I've read in the collection so far.

I've wanted to read 'Fire in the Hole' since I started watching Justified, which is one of my favorite shows on television now. So when I saw the short story collection it was in at a book sale for a dollar, it was an easy decision to make (despite my repeatedly telling myself not to buy more books while I have so many sitting at home unread).

I loved the hell out of this story, even after knowing the b
Guy Portman
Feb 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime
This compilation, consisting of 9 short stories, is named after its longest title, Fire In The Hole, the inspiration for the television series Justified. It begins with a Kentucky-based Nazi called Boyd blowing up a church with a grenade launcher. When US Marshal Raylan arrives to investigate, he becomes reacquainted with Ava, an old school friend. Ava has recently killed her husband, Boyd’s brother.

Vengeful Colombian mail order brides are the subjects of When the Women Come Out to Dance. The ap
Jan 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3½ out of 5 stars

After finishing this short story collection, I now understand why Elmore Leonard is considered a classic in contemporary Western. He's a skilled writer of viable dialogues that keep his stories moving forward even when there isn't much happening.

Leonard's style can be described simply as punchy because it can pack a punch and punctuate a seemingly simple story with lots of undertones. His writing might look like straight-forward pulp fiction, but there's a sense of "literary lit
Jan 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: miscellaneous
A collection of really excellent (well, most of them) stories by Elmore Leonard. My favorites were the collection titled story, "Fire in the Hole" that provided much of the background and basis for the "Justified" TV series (very good, btw.) "Karen Makes Out" was lots of fun. Karen is a U.S. Marshal who has been smitten by Carl, a man wanted (they think) by the FBI for bank robbery. How she deals with it is delightful, indeed. Shades of Raylan in that girl. "Hurrah for Captain Early" provides a ...more
I read this book for one story specifically, ‘Fire in the Hole’, which inspired the first series of Justified. I loved that show and still miss it. It also happens to be the longest and most memorable in the collection, which are otherwise neatly written and wryly amusing yet didn’t really grab me. Leonard’s narratives are character-driven but his characters aren’t generally very sympathetic. His most common theme is Disorganised Crime. Even Boyd Crowder, the most competent criminal in the book, ...more
Cathy DuPont
Jul 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Four stars, absolutely four solid stars.

The title story, When Women Come Out to Dance the last story along with two other stories I would rate higher but the remaining (and majority) short stories, three and four stars.

Unfortunately I haven't been able to locate a list of the title of the nine stories otherwise I would know their names but it matters not, they were all fun. A couple of them just turned me upside down with a big "Huh????" "What? Lemme think a minute."

So silly us...while we're
Every time I read this— which is a lot, a lot— there’s another familiar face I’m thrilled to see. It’s like family. And while I’ve always got this handy to flip to whatever story I feel like, now and then, I just have to get all the kids together and read it front to back. This time, it was “Hurrah for Capt. Early” that grabbed me more than it has before.

Damn, these stories are the best. The best.

- - -

May 2010: Mmm-hmmm.

Felt like taking this everywhere with me today and for the record that’s ne
Feb 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Goddamn, Fire in the Hole is smart fun. I'm not much of a short story reader but Leonard's short stories are the perfect length, almost like well-told bar stories or the best of popcorn movies. The title story (the genesis of the Justified tv show) makes me want to kiss my fingers and say "perfect" like a French waiter or something. Leonard was a treasure. There's not a bad story in the bunch. The only problem is the book's length, 162 short pages that make me want to bang myself on the head wit ...more
Mar 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: you know who you are or who you emulate

Purchased the original collection when it was called "When The Girls Come Out To Dance'.
I was 3 0r 4 novellas into this before I realized I owned the original anthology despite delighting in the short stories once again.
It's Elmore Leonard.
It's brillaint.
The fogggggg you want out of life?

Recommended to Elmore Lenonard fetishists.

Mar 02, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-fiction
This book is a compilation of nine well written short stories with characters whose lives fall just outside the norm. These stories are gritty, ironic, sometimes humorous, and always end with some sort of twist. An interesting, enjoyable read!
Andrew Shapter
Apr 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book has been reviewed more than enough for me to waste any time retelling the sort of stuff that the two people that may actually read this would already know.
However, I can't pass the chance to write that for all the Writers Group Writing Degree Never Actually Written Anything More Than A Blog On Writing writers out there who adhere to the "rules" and get all wound up and critical if punctuation isn't in the correct spot or if a sentence is too long/short or there's been an excessive use
Aug 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: leonard
this must be the 5th...6th...or 7th from leonard for me...stories.

the extras
hanging out at the buena vista
chickasaw charlie hoke
when the women come out to dance
fire in the hole
karen makes out
hurrah for capt. early
the tonto woman

then it has an "about the author"..."also by elmore leonard"...credits...copyright...about the publisher...that i'm tempted to look at curiosity is aroused...could be some racy details there...nah

the extras
i dunno...on this kindle i'm readi
Collin Henderson
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
I might be the only person on here who read the original version, when the women come out to dance, but I'd be lying if I said I approached this book for any other reason than "fire in the hole." I'll keep my discussion of that story brief. it's great.

The rest of the stories are fun as well, and many deal with previously established characters, such as Karen sisco, who, we find out in this book, has always had a thing for older men who are also criminals. It's bite sized chunks of Leonard, with
May 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some great Elmore Leonard stories. There’s rarely anything you’d want to delete.
Nov 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
ebook When you open up a familiar package you expect the contents to be the same. This what I experienced in the third segment of Raylan Givens. It was a bonus for me because I could see the characters from the tv series.
Lynn G.
My reaction to this volume of short stories was rather unexpected. I liked it. I had not expected to. Recently I had begun to read another book by Elmore Leonard Raylan Raylan by Elmore Leonard and had disliked it intensely. Couldn't finish it. However, since I belong to a face-to-face book group that is reading books by Elmore Leonard for this month, I wanted to at least try another book by the author so I had something to offer during discussion. I decided that the least daunting approach to the dilemma was to ch ...more
Tom V
Oct 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
God Bless Elmore Leonard, and rest in peace, Dutch. These little collected stories have been on display before in an earlier paste-up called When the Women Came Out to Dance (I believe that's the title.)

Nevertheless, if you want to see what it's like to get inside the head of one of the last fifty years' greatest authors, then do yourself a service and dive on in. Leonard's prose is so true-to-story, and so "right" for the telling of his story, that I sit and wonder in amazement,"How does he DO
David Williams
Feb 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First book in the Year of Elmore Leonard. This is a collection of short stories that cover both the crime and western genres. There are some familiar names here. A fun Karen Sisco story and a story about the grandson of Carl Webster. The highlight for many will be the Raylan Givens story "Fire in the Hole." This is the story that inspired the FX series Justified. This is classic Leonard writing and is a pleasure to read. You could read this book straight through and then come back and just savor ...more
Feb 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
This is a collection of nine stories by Leonard, including "Fire in the Hole," which was what the TV series Justified was based on. That's really the reason I bought the book, but I liked best the final piece, a novella length work called "Tenkiller." "The Tonto Woman" is also very good, and the only one I'd really call a western. The rest are mostly crime tales. No clinkers in the bunch but these three were the best to me.
Nov 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I knew I liked watching the series Justified, though I had not cottoned to one book by this author, so I checked out this collection of shorts to give him another try. I really enjoyed these short stories and took time with them. Raylan does make a memorable appearance, but there is good variety to be found here with interesting characters and events.
Kate Simmons
Dec 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This the short story that spawned the FX series, Justified. It is almost word-for-word the pilot episode (with a notable difference at the end), and the show has done a great job staying true to the tone of the original story.
M.J. Johnson
Jul 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
These short stories are deliciously entertaining, great characterisations, lean prose, not a word out of place. Great fun to read.
Tom Mooney
May 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Brilliant, obviously. Also just highlights what a great job Timothy Olyphant did with this magnificent character. I wish we'd had more of Raylan and Boyd from Elmore and more of the TV show too.
Kathy Leland
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
This was my first ever Elmore Leonard, which I decided to read because of a recent addiction to the TV series "Justified," which Leonard produces. The stories in this book were enjoyable -- wry, knowing, atmosphere heavy, streetwise, often ironic and funny. The story "Fire in the Hole" and "Tenkiller" are the best, but the others were also engaging. I'm ready for more Elmore Leonard!
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Eclectic Readers: When the Women Come Out to Dance 1 9 Apr 25, 2012 01:48PM  

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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

Other books in the series

Raylan Givens (4 books)
  • Pronto (Raylan Givens, #1)
  • Riding the Rap
  • Raylan
  • Raylan Goes to Detroit

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