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Four hardboiled novels from America's modern master of crime fiction, edited and with an introduction by Leonard's long-term employee, researcher and friend. A must-have, collectable edition of four of Elmore Leonard's most popular novels, written later in his career. Included are the books: Get Shorty (1990), Rum Punch (1992), Out of Sight (1996) and Tishomingo Blues (2002).
The definitive edition of America’s modern master of crime fiction continues with four classic novels widely considered his best, presented in one volume for the first time with behind-the-scenes accounts of their genesis by editor Gregg Sutter, Leonard’s longtime researcher, and rare archival material: a must for any fan. It was during the 1980s that Elmore Leonard came into his own as the most popular and critically acclaimed crime writer in America. The four novels collected here show him at the top of his form, each in its own distinct way: City Primeval is a modern-day Western pitched on the border between law and lawlessness, with Detroit as the frontier; LaBrava, set in Miami, orchestrates a complex scheme involving a long-forgotten film noir actress and an ex-Secret Service man turned photographer; Glitz plunges into the seedy world of Atlantic City casinos and into the twisted mind of the unforgettable Teddy Magyk, one of Leonard’s most indelible bad guys; and Freaky Deaky sets in motion a tumultuous ’60s flashback, laced with harsh and outlandish comic touches, as a pair of morally dubious veterans of Ann Arbor revolutionary politics try out some new scams.
Fifty-Two Pickup / Swag / Unknown Man No. 89 / The Switch
The Library of America inaugurates its Elmore Leonard edition with four funny, street-smart early masterpieces, gathered in one volume for the first time: Blending gritty toughness and unpredictable violence with wild humor and an uncanny ear for the rhythms of ordinary speech, Elmore Leonard (1925?2013) was the most widely and enthusiastically admired crime novelist of his time. His genius for scene and dialogue led Time magazine to describe him as ?a Dickens of Detroit,” and Newsweek called him ?the best American writer of crime alive, possibly the best we’ve ever had.” Now The Library of America inaugurates a three-volume edition of Leonard’s greatest work, prepared in consultation with the author shortly before his death and edited by his long-time researcher Gregg Sutter.
The four novels collected in this first volume re-invented the American crime novel and cemented Leonard’s reputation. All are set in his hometown Detroit, a hard-working ?shot and a beer” kind of place whose lawless underside becomes a stage for an unforgettable cast of rogues, con artists, and psychopaths. Fifty-Two Pickup (1974), fast and sharply written, is an insidiously brutal book about an adulterous businessman who runs afoul of a crew of murderous blackmailers. Swag (1976) finds Leonard moving for the first time into the more comic mode that would become his signature, as he charts the small-time criminal careers of an amiable ex-con and an ambitious car salesman who share a bachelor pad and pursue their hedonistic dream of the good life through a string of armed robberies. Unknown Man No. 23 (1977) spins a complex web of crisscrossing rip-offs and con games, with process server Jack Ryan, a typically laid-back Leonard protagonist, caught in the middle. In The Switch (1978), one of Leonard’s funniest books, Mickey Dawson, a discontented housewife held for ransom, manages to turn the tables on her kidnappers while exacting overdue revenge on her scheming husband.
This volume also contains a newly researched chronology of Elmore Leonard’s life, drawing on materials in his personal archive, and detailed annotations, which include as a special bonus a scene from the typescript for Swag that did not appear in the published book.
The revered New York Times bestselling author, recognized as “America’s greatest crime writer” (Newsweek), brings back U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, the mesmerizing hero of Pronto, Riding the Rap, and the hit FX series Justified.
With the closing of the Harlan County, Kentucky, coal mines, marijuana has become the biggest cash crop in the state. A hundred pounds of it can gross $300,000, but that’s chump change compared to the quarter million a human body can get you—especially when it’s sold off piece by piece.
So when Dickie and Coover Crowe, dope-dealing brothers known for sampling their own supply, decide to branch out into the body business, it’s up to U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens to stop them. But Raylan isn’t your average marshal; he’s the laconic, Stetson-wearing, fast-drawing lawman who juggles dozens of cases at a time and always shoots to kill. But by the time Raylan finds out who’s making the cuts, he’s lying naked in a bathtub, with Layla, the cool transplant nurse, about to go for his kidneys.
The bad guys are mostly gals this time around: Layla, the nurse who collects kidneys and sells them for ten grand a piece; Carol Conlan, a hard-charging coal-mine executive not above ordering a cohort to shoot point-blank a man who’s standing in her way; and Jackie Nevada, a beautiful sometime college student who can outplay anyone at the poker table and who suddenly finds herself being tracked by a handsome U.S. marshal.
Dark and droll, Raylan is pure Elmore Leonard—a page-turner filled with the sparkling dialogue and sly suspense that are the hallmarks of this modern master.