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3.54  ·  Rating details ·  1,384 Ratings  ·  85 Reviews
Touch is sensational suspense from the master of crime fiction, New York Times bestselling author Elmore Leonard. 

A Michigan woman was blind and now she can see, after being touched by a young man who calls himself Juvenal. Maybe it was just coincidence, but Bill Hill—who used to run the spectacular Uni-Faith Ministry in Dalton, Georgia, and now sells RVs—can see dollar si
Paperback, 336 pages
Published July 30th 2002 by HarperTorch (first published 1987)
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aPriL does feral sometimes

‘Touch’ treads water for a hundred pages introducing conventional stock American characters who work in media jobs generating publicity for TV talk shows or evangelical or conservative Catholic Church ministry interests. Then the story turns into a series of low-key humorous sketches of romantic and personal upsets despite the book’s controversial subject of people who possess magical healing powers. The author, Elmore Leonard, bunted in my opinion.

Thirty-three-year-old Charles Lawson, ex-m
What do you get when a defunct Southern evangelist and a politically militant Catholic traditionalist discover, at the same time, a former Franciscan monk who seems to be able to heal by touch?

You get one hoot of a tongue-and-cheek read. I mean this is Elmore Leonard we’re talking about here.

Then, on the turn of a toe, you are presented with the true nature of the book – a beautiful love story. Not a romance, mind you, but a love story. Huh, maybe not so traditional Elmore Leonard after all.

Dec 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
How did I not know Elmore wrote a book on faith healing and faith and Southern evangelists and stigmata! I’m going to say it’s in my top five of his books, because I had no idea he had one like this in him and I’m so glad he did.
Aug 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
Leonard adds a large element of fantasy into what is otherwise a pretty straightforward version of his typical crime/grift related stuff. As always, characters are fascinating and well-rounded, the action and dialogue are great, and it's a fun, quick read.
May 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Much like John D. MacDonald did with his "The Girl, Gold Watch and Everything," Elmore Leonard goes against "type" and produces a funny, humanizing, spiritual work that makes you just smile with pleasure...Juvenal has the "healing touch" and with a grounded spirit and guileless life-stance, confronts those who wish to exploit him and he even wins the girl...a pleasure!
Gregg Bell
Nov 26, 2013 rated it really liked it

"I bleed from my mind..."

This is from an Elmore Leonard novel? Surely not the Elmore Leonard. The Elmore Leonard famous for south Florida crime novels with titles like "Maximum Bob." But every now and then Leonard will surprise you and write something serious.

Not that "Touch" is stodgy. It still has the famous Leonard pace and readability, the off-kilter characters doing off-kilter things. But it's about miracles, faith healing and stigmata.

And Leonard has some interesting things to say about it

Dec 29, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: own, read_2011
Juvenal has the ability to heal a broken body by touch while experiencing stigmata. Seeing this as an opportunity to make a quick buck and cash in on the religious faithful, Bill Hill concocts a scheme to get Juvenal on air and gold in his pockets. However, Bill Hill isn't alone in wanting to exploit Juvenal's mystic touch and soon enough Juvenal's once quiet life in Brazil is little more than a distant memory as everyone has his name on their lips. In typical Elmore Leonard fashion 'Touch' is d ...more
Max McNabb
Aug 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A novel about a faith healer is a surprise coming from Leonard. I wasn’t at all sure what to expect, but I was pleased with what I found. And I appreciated Leonard’s approach to miracles and faith—it was respectful where many other writers would’ve gone the popular route of shallow mockery.

The protagonist, Juvenal, believes in God. Juvenal doesn’t know if God is working through him or not, but somehow he has the power to heal people—a power which causes an assortment of fanatics and whackos to a
Apr 27, 2012 rated it did not like it
This is almost worth reading for what has to be the most awkward sex scene ever. "I want to feel you." "Where are you?" "I'm here". I was rolling my eyes so hard they almost fell out of my head. Plus, the ending of the book was horrible. There's a climactic scene on a television show, and then the last chapter basically says "and then the main characters went to Texas. The End." Elmore Leonard is supposed to be a good writer, but this book read like it was written by a 15 year old. A 15 year old ...more
Andy Plonka
Oct 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: src
I tried to read one of Leonard's books several decades ago and couldn't get into it. Obviously my tastes have changed. This one was a delight though I couldn't tell in many places whether he was being serious or offering a hearty dose of very wry humor.
Sep 06, 2007 rated it it was ok
Least favorite Elmore Leonard novel I've read... and I've read quite a few...
The Reader's Bookshop
Aug 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
another great leonard. after you read it watch the film adaptation with Skeet Ulrich, Bridgette Fonda and Christopher Walken
Jul 17, 2012 rated it it was ok
This is quite an atypical Leonard novel. It’s got a lot of familiar E.L. tropes, the smooth dialogue, some humour, some violence and a laconic sort of plot that seems to go from one place to another without you really noticing (which is all fairly enjoyable), but the story itself is more of an observational sketch than a genuine narrative.

The main problem though is that the main character isn’t really the main character. Juvenal can heal people but he doesn’t know why or how and the author does
Carl R.
Nov 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
And you think Elmore Leonard's only about guns and sex? Try Touch. Juvenal has the gift of healing, or so it appears. It happens whenever his stigmata start bleeding and some lame or halt or blind individual is in the neighborhood. The thing is, he doesn't take it all that seriously. He can't seem to control it, and it's just there, like his hair color or height, not something he feels like taking credit for.

Of course, it could be a moneymaker, and some folks think that would be a great idea. (I
Charlie Lawson joined a Franciscan order and became a Monk serving in Brazil.

Bill Hill is a former minister who currently sells R.V.s. He used to run the Uni-Faith ministry in Dalton, Georgia. He's present when a young man named Juvenal touches a woman who has been blind for fifteen years. Suddenly, her sight returns.

Juvenal is the name Lawson was given when he joined the Monks. Now, Bill is sure that Juvenal has a healing touch and if he could persuade him to join Bill for a TV ministry, the re
Ben Loory
really interesting elmore leonard book; not a crime novel but the story of a stigmatic faith healer and the people trying to use/understand him and his power... still reads like an elmore leonard book, though-- great characters, great dialogue, moves fast, lots of fun... the end doesn't really come together quite right, but it's never boring and always feels really ALIVE. i realized while reading that the difference between leonard and quentin tarantino (who stole so much from him) is that leona ...more
Nicholas Armstrong
Aug 04, 2009 rated it liked it
I like Elmore Leonard because he has awesome dialogue. That's generally it. Touch was actually a pretty interesting idea with pretty good characters but it felt rushed.

There is little build up to the two main characters coming to know one another and the villain(s) are truly douche-bags but they don't ever really accomplish anything that makes me hate them. Some greedy people without many morals try to do some bad things and fail pretty quickly.

Most of the book is dialogue - good dialogue - whic
Matt Piechocinski
Nov 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
Great. This is probably my 3rd favorite book that secularly tries to tackle religion (the other two being Moore's Lamb, and Morrow's God is Dead trilogy). I think it only faltered in one spot, where Lynn and Juvenal start discussing their feelings about each other, which I'm sure Leonard meant to be innocent, especially with regards to Juvenal ... but ultimately came off really saccharine. No worries though, he righted the ship. It's nice to see authors have some type of respect for religion, be ...more
Mar 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had a little bit of a problem getting into it but that didn't last long. I've read some of his other books and liked them. This one was different though still enjoyable. His writing to me is short and clipped which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I enjoyed the story and the characters which were nicely developed given the length of the book! If you saw/enjoyed the John Travolta movie "Michael" you would probably enjoy this book.
Rachel N.
A blind woman can suddenly see and it seems to be caused by Juvenal, who almost became a Franciscan monk. He also seems to have stigmata. Multiple people want to use Juvenal for their own ends. There is also a really bad love story. I have read Leonard's books before and enjoyed them. My problem with this book is there was no real point to the story. Multiple characters spend a lot of time talking but very little happens, overall a disappointment.
May 09, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Elmore Leonard is an excellent author. This is the story of a young man who seems to have the power to touch others and heal. However, he behaves differently from those expect a healer or saint to behave. A most intriguing read. Good story.
Lisbeth Solberg
This is cool, because it's Elmore Leonard, and he has a good eye and good ear for detail. Its ultimate substantiation of faith-healing makes me uneasy, but when I think about it from a literary standpoint, where else could he go with it?
Sep 14, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: religious-books
A departure from his typical crime novels, Leonard's religious take is at times interesting but not deep enough to be much of substance. He creates some interesting characters but is a little too shallow on the main one and by the time the story picks up, the book is over.
Feb 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Seems that everyone is rediscovering Elmore Leonard, one of my long-time favorite authors. Touch is in my top three Leonard novels. (The others are Cuba Libra and Tishimingo Blues.) Highly recommended to the folks who're discovering this awesome author.
Rob Blundell
Oct 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
An unusual Elmore Leonard book with a lot of depth, enjoyed v much.
Oct 23, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some unexplored potential in the story, but a nice quick read. Off Leonard's beaten path a little bit, but with his knack for realistic dialogue and action.
Jun 25, 2011 rated it liked it
Very different sort of book for Leonard but with trade mark style and dialogue still.
Jun 13, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Slow dialogue...thought it might be campy as it was written in the 70's, but it was just boring.
Cat Eye55
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mr. Leonard's Best Book Ever

In Elmore Leonard's Introduction to this book he talks about how hard it was to publish it. Thankfully he finally found someone who would because it is brilliantly written. I am on the verge of finishing all of his non-western books - which I will read too - and I've loved almost all of them but this was a masterpiece. The dialog is so fun to read, the characters are all colorful and outstanding in all their individual ways and the story is so simple and straight forw
Richard Schaefer
3.5 Stars. One of Leonard’s more dated books, probably, and not just because it takes place during a specific period in 1977. The talk of Televangelists and TV talk shows definitely feels like it comes from a different era. But it’s still Elmore Leonard so it’s a quick read with fleshed-out characters and a pretty compelling story. All in all, I would say this is one to read if you’re interested in working your way through all of Leonard’s novels, as I currently am, but not one for people just c ...more
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Play Book Tag: Touch by Elmore Leonard 2 stars 2 8 Jan 28, 2017 05:08AM  
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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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“Yeah, ESP,” Juvenal said. “You know how you do it? You listen to the other person instead of thinking of what you’re gonna say next. That’s all, and you learn things.” 2 likes
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