Jane Stewart's Reviews > Out of Sight

Out of Sight by Elmore Leonard
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's review
Nov 23, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: crime-fiction-with-a-little-romance, 4-plus-star-other
Read in November, 2011

4 ½ stars. I smiled a lot during this book. I’ve never read anything like it.

Jack has robbed hundreds of banks. He’s smooth, charming, and likeable when talking to the tellers he’s robbing. Karen is a Deputy U.S. Marshall. She arrived at the prison to deliver something and is getting out of her car when she sees Jack crawl out of a tunnel. He has just escaped and his getaway driver Buddy is parked next to Karen. They take Karen with them so she can’t help authorities catch them. Jack gets into the trunk with Karen while Buddy drives. They have a nice conversation for about a half an hour in the trunk. Certain events happen, Karen gets free, and Jack misses her. He wants to spend time with her. He keeps thinking about what it would be like if they had met in a bar, what they would have said, what would have happened, etc. Karen gets herself assigned to the task force trying to catch Jack.

I was smiling many times during this book. I kept shaking my head with Jack’s thinking and actions. He wanted to date her! He actually had contact with Karen more than once while she was trying to catch him. I’ve never read anything like this before. It was great because it was different, and unexpected things happened. I really liked both of these characters, Jack and Karen.

Because I was smiling so much, I wanted to give this 5 stars. But I didn’t because 5 stars for me needs a wonderful feeling at the end of the book. But that kind of ending could not be. He is a career criminal. At one point he said talk about an honest job to a criminal and he’ll jump out the window. She has integrity, and her job is important to her. They cannot have a happy ending together. But they care about each other. Given the set-up this was probably the best ending the author could do. It was reasonable. But it was a little bit of a letdown.

The book was a little slow in the middle concerning Glenn in Detroit, but I could see the need for developing that part. This book is shorter than most novels.

I agree with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch which says it well. “Elmore Leonard’s ear for dialogue and imagination for plot and character make life’s likable losers endlessly entertaining.”

The movie based on this book was made in 1998 staring George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez. One reviewer said the movie had a different ending from the book.

A sequel to “Out of Sight” was published in 2009 called “Road Dogs.” It includes Jack plus characters from two other books. According to several other reviews the “Road Dogs” plot is weak. I have not read it.

The narrator George Guidall was excellent.

Unabridged audiobook reading time: 6 hrs and 49 mins. Swearing language: strong, but rarely used. Sexual language: none. Number of sex scenes: one, told not shown. Setting: current day Florida and Detroit, Michigan. Book copyright: 1996. Genre: crime fiction with a little romance. Ending: Sad yet sort of happy in a reasonable way.
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