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Charlie Martz and Other Stories: The Unpublished Stories

3.47  ·  Rating details ·  452 ratings  ·  97 reviews
A collection of fifteen stories, eleven of which have never been previously published, from the early career of bestselling American master Elmore Leonard

“Elmore Leonard is a classic of one.”—Dennis Lehane

“He might justifiably be called America’s Author.”—San Diego Union-Tribune

Over his long and illustrious career, Elmore Leonard was recognized as one of the greatest crime
Hardcover, 237 pages
Published June 16th 2015 by William Morrow
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Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you are a fan of "the Dickens of Detroit," don't be put off by this book's pedestrian title - Martz, a collection of over a dozen short stories from Leonard's early years (back when he was churning them out for now-defunct magazines like Argosy and Collier's in the 50's) has a few gems in the mix. They are mostly westerns and crime-oriented tales, of course - his bread and butter - but my favorite in the bunch were the more off-beat dramas like Evenings Away From Home (a awkward Mad Men-esque ...more
Aug 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own-this
Early writings of EL before he was published. Some, like the Charlie Martz stories, shows his budding brilliance. A couple weren't so good but all in all I enjoyed this collection of short stories. Must read for fans of EL.
Denise Billings
Aug 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Every night I looked forward to my bedtime reading. Sometimes turning off the television and going to bed early so I could get back to these great stories. Each short story is so engrossing. The characters are pushed to the edge. Forced to make decisions in situations that they'd never thought about before in their otherwise regular, ordinary, average, garden variety lives. Forced to stand up for themselves. Forced to face sexism. Forced to face themselves.
Brian Stillman
Jun 25, 2015 rated it liked it
Reviews on GoodReads for Charlie are refreshingly sane compared to the whining twits on Amazon.

Dutch in his prime - which is most all 40+ entries in his oeuvre - is Coke. All the sugar is there.

This early stuff is Diet Coke. Not Coke. If you want to taste Coke, drink a Coke.

The Amazon reviewers are screaming at the fact that the publisher offered up a can of Diet Coke, told them explicitly on the dustjacket it was Diet Coke, and they drank the Diet Coke, and damned if it wasn't the Diet Cok
Larry Bassett
Jul 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
I listen to this book in the audible format while reading along in the e-book. I have a couple of books by this author in hardcover that I bought used sometime ago thinking he was somebody I should read. But then I began to have some visual problems tracking lines in paper books so they are still sitting on my shelf.

But these short stories almost without exception I found extremely good and even fascinating. The characters are unique and intriguing. I think all of the stories were evidently writ
Moshe Mikanovsky
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
3.5* average of each story below:

One, Horizontal - 2* - bad boys, stupid boys. Nothing good can come out of it...

Charlie Martz - 3* - good buildup but a predictable and unsatisfying end

Siesta in Paloverde - 2* - hmmm, same story as the one before, same main character, almost the same setting, nothing new, just a variation.

Time of Terror - 3.5* - not bad. Different from previous western stories, this one deals with English colonialism and terrorists in Malaya

A Happy, Lighthearted People - 3* - a
Apr 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: listened-to
This is one of the strongest collections of short fictions I've ever read. I used to read EL religiously, but then I didn't really enjoy some of his work late in life and kind of drifted away. Well, consider me drifted back. Now I have to go back and read everything he ever wrote because this guy was a genius. I agree with the assessment that he simply cut out all the boring parts and just gives you all the best parts of a story. These stories are lean and mean (and I do mean mean). Great stuff!
David Cranmer
Jun 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Film critic Roger Ebert nailed it when reviewing the Stephen Soderbergh 1998 adaptation of Leonard’s Out of Sight, by saying, “Elmore Leonard is above all the creator of colorful characters.” And this collection certainly serves up another batch of those gravelly, authentic, fringe-dwelling lives. First time readers to Leonard should probably start with one of his later novels like 52 Pick-Up, Stick, or Glitz. Leonard aficionados by all means should dig straightaway into Charlie Martz and Other ...more
ღ Carol jinx~☆~☔
Jul 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
He was an amazing writer.
Aug 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Delightfully UNfluffy short stories, carefully selected and introduced by his son. Some were written long ago. I hope there are more.
Ronald Koltnow
Jun 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
HarperCollins is counting the days until they release the new/old Harper Lee novel. In the meantime, their fellow company Wm Morrow just published a book of early, mostly unpublished stories by The Late, Great Elmore Leonard. The good news is that although not top drawer Dutch, the stories are mostly pretty good, in a pulp sort of way. The title character, a phlegmatic marshal in the Old West, appears in two stories, much in the Louis L'Amour mold. Some of the stories are about men, underestimat ...more
May 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
A volume of unpublished stories by Elmore Leonard. The master of crime fiction died in 2013 so this collection of his early work is an unexpected and welcome bonus. The stories of course come with training wheels but the future genius of the man can still be recognized.

He was unequaled for quirky characters, spot-on dialog and believable stories told with wit and humor. I wish I could give proper credit for this but somewhere I read the following: Imagine coming across an Elmore Leonard novel fo
Bryan D
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was the first collection of Elmore Leonard short stories I've read and it proves yet again that here's a master at work, majority were written in the 50's and 60's and it's distinctive Leonard, the humour, cleverness and compulsive reading of his later novels are present here with many a fun yarn to keep a devoted fan and a new arrival to Mr Leonard's chaotic world happy, well worth a read and it should be in everyone's library
Jul 01, 2015 rated it liked it
gonna have to buy this one, had to turn this one in to the library
Bobby Mathews
Oct 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So my five-star rating is contingent on a couple of things.

First of all, these are stories from early in Leonard's career, and they are noted as "the unpublished stories" right on the cover.

There's a reason that 110 of these stories are unpublished: Many of them are unremarkable--ordinary--and it's easy to see the book as the cash grab by Leonard's publishers and estate that it clearly is. Many of these stories owe a great deal to Ernest Hemingway, and much of Leonard's unpublished work was (an
Jan 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Usually “previously unpublished works” of dead authors are dreck, but not in this case. Elmore Leonard — froooom the graaaave! — offers a diverse collection of stories written before he hit it big, showing not just a writer finding his style (at times this is painful), but also a variety of people and situations from the traditional Old West, from behind Union lines of the Civil War, from the struggles of a husband and wife caught in the middle of a home invasion and from the set of a big-budget ...more
Shannon Lawrence
Apr 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
An interesting collection of short stories by Elmore Leonard. I enjoyed the mix of stories, with some westerns, crime, and others all thrown together. There wasn't one that I hated in the mix, though some didn't have any real impact for me. My favorites were "One, Horizontal;" "The Bull Ring at Blisston;" and "Siesta in Palo Verde."

One thing that irked me was the weakness/uselessness of the female characters in 90% of the stories. These are, by and large, stories about men (which I don't take i
Dan Downing
Dec 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sometime around 1983 an associate in a chain bookshop, in a mall of all places, chatted me up, then recommended Elmore Leonard. At the time, Mr. Leonard was relatively new to the modern crime novel, having spent a few years producing mostly westerns. Myself, I'd moved past westerns a few years before, and thus missed his earlier work.
Among the short stories presented here are a few westerns and a Civil War story, too. Since that day in 1983, I've read about thirty Leonard novels. His prose is c
Mark Feltskog
Jan 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrillers
Because the words "Unpublished Stories" are in such small print on the cover of this book, I want to reiterate, as Goodreads does in its entry for this book, that this is a selection of stories from Elmore Leonard that he never published. There's a good reason for that: several of them are nearly unreadable.

So why five stars for this book, you may ask? Because it is a glimpse inside the workshop of a master. One seldom has a chance to see what a publisher--or even a writer--rejects. That said,
Rob Epler
Jun 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really REALLY like Elmore Leonard, so I am pretty much on board for whatever he writes. That said, as other reviewers here have noted, this is a collection of previously unpublished stories, so go it with that caveat. Some feel more like character sketches than whole stories with a beginning/middle/end, but if you're a fan of Dutch, you know how god he is with character & dialog, so I'd say it's still worth taking a dip in the pool. Added bonus: This is a very quick read, so no big commitment. ...more
Bob Ryan
Jul 04, 2017 rated it liked it
I think my review is already in the foreward, written by his son, Peter: " you'll see glimpses of Elmore's greatness to come". The book contains 15 stories, mostly written in the late 1950's and early 1960's. The westerns, which is where Elmore started his professional writing, are the better stories in this group. He's able to build the drama in confrontations between the protagonists to a finer pitch in these stories. Or maybe it's because you're expecting a dramatic ending and when he pulls t ...more
Sam Sattler
Jan 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Entertaining compilation of 15 very early Elmore Leonard short stories running the gamut from hard core westerns to equally hard core crime fiction happening in mid-twentieth century Detroit.

As in any short story collection, some stories are stronger than others, but none of them fail either to entertain or display the early talent that would very soon mark Leonard's work as a novelist and short story writer. This one might be a little harder to find than Leonard's better-known work, but I reco
Mike Harper
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
I have read and enjoyed almost everything Elmore Leonard ever wrote. These short stories went unpublished until after Leonard's death, and for good reason: they aren't very good. They are sketches done by an aspiring writer before he hit the stride that ultimately made him famous. They are at the level one might expect from a student - an A student - in a writers' workshop. You can see Leonard's style developing, which may be enough for a dyed in the wool fan, but most of what he published durin ...more
Jan 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a 3-star book if you're looking for a collection of short stories, as there's a reason they're unpublished even if Leonard's talent undeniably shines through even in his embryonic period.

But this is a 5-star book for a Leonard superfan. It was fascinating to read these stories where he's trying to be Ernest Hemingway and learning to be Elmore Leonard.

Of particular note are the two Charlie Martz stories, which are essentially one story in two drafts (and tremendously improved). So this
Jul 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
It’s not really a four-star book, but I’m a Leonard guy for more than 20 years. He’s not always on, like I used to think he was. So when I find something unexpected like this — a collection of his earliest stuff — and I like it, I feel extra generous.

These are short stories, some of them quite quite short. The themes aren’t too dissimilar, either to each other or to the rest of his work — strong men interacting with, often bolstered by, strong women. Maybe I’m generalizing too expansively.
Aug 09, 2019 rated it liked it
These are unpublished stories that probably should have remained so, other than it does complete the Leonard-phile library.
His son notes very clearly that these are the stories Elmore wrote when he was finding his voice (though some are dated around or after some of his hits). This is very evident because it reads like he hasn't hit the ground entirely. His nods to Hemingway are apparent. Overall it's only average.
Ed Sarna
Feb 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
A group of entertaining unpublished stories from the formative years of one of our best writers. It was interesting to see glimpses of what he would become as a writer. This book also points out the influence Hemingway had on Leonard's writing. I recommend it for all but especially fan's of his work. It has inspired me to reread 52 Pick-up, one of his early books, and see the growth from these stories.
Nov 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Man, I don't understand why these stories were not published before.
He is a great story teller. He has an innate technique that is engaging and fulfilling. Every story will leave you with a smile on your face. I've always been a fan of him. He mastered the art of Short Story Telling. If I could, I would rate him at 10 stars.
Feb 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
This isn't the best collection of by any means. There are some stand outs but for the most part I can see why a lot of these weren't published. The best part of these stories for me was it was just nice to have more Elmore Leonard to read.
Michael Prelee
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed Elmore Leonard's Charlie Martz and Other Stories: the Unpublished Stories. As I worked my way through these short stories, mostly written in the 1950's and 1960's, it was clear they were written as the author was finding his voice. I've grown accustomed to reading the polished works of a master American novelist and these stories were more raw and gave the reader a glimpse into how even the best writers have to work hard at their craft in order to perfect it. It was actually cle ...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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