Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Donald Hamilton and Elmore Leonard

From: Patrick King (
Date: 31 Aug 2009

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    Since Leonard's Road Dogs was mentioned today (along with his qualifications for a Nobel????), I'm wondering if there has been a discussion of the book. My feeling is that he's drifted into the Robert Parker fun-to-read- but-basically- empty spot on the bestseller list. Thinking back,I have a hard time remembering any of the books since Out of Sight, other than that they were all entertaining. No small thing, of course. I was hoping that Road Dogs might recapture the quality of OOS, but instead it reminded me of an OK TV episode following a terrific pilot and missing one of the leads. Leonard says that he wrote the book with the idea of George Clooney once again playing the lead in the eventual movie, but Clooney passed. Probably had his reasons.


    Personally, I loved ROAD DOGS. I also loved LA BRAVA & RIDING THE RAP, as well as OUT OF SIGHT, so was curious to see how those characters would interact and I was not in the least disappointed. I love the way Cundo, in both books, thinks he's smarter than everyone, because he surrounds himself with people who are stupider than he is. But in ROAD DOGS he doubly out-classes because both Foley and Navarro are way ahead of Cundo, not to mention his faithful book keeper whom he erroneously believes is gay. Cundo is hamstrung by also being very naive. He believes he's come by his money by way of shrewdness rather and dumb luck, which is, in fact, the case. He also believe that people he's known in prison are more trustworthy because they share some special bond. He also thinks that his woman has his best interests at heart and is going to do what he tells her to. In short, for all his arrogance, he hasn't got a clue.

    How you can compare the interplay of criminal minds in this funny, thought provoking story to the redundant, tiresome pontification of Robert B. Parker is beyond me.

    I also enjoyed UP IN HONEY'S ROOM. I don't think Leonard has ever let me down. "Sieg Hiel, ya' all."

    Patrick King


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