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Comfort to the Enemy and Other Carl Webster Stories Paperback – Bargain Price, September 28, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 197 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (September 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061735159
  • ASIN: B0057DCSPA
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,293,272 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The "Hot Kid" of the U.S. Marshals Service, Carl Webster maintains the law with a cool, showdown attitude. He's one of the richest creations in Elmore Leonard's half century of delivering the goods. From his appearances in the critically acclaimed novels The Hot Kid and Up in Honey's Room, Carl returns to lay down the law in a novella that originally appeared as a serial in the New York Times Sunday Magazine.

The title novella—plus two Carl Webster short stories—traces Carl's career from his run-in with 1930's gangsters to his investigation of a murder at a German POW camp in Oklahoma. This time it's Carl against war-seasoned Afrika Korps Nazis. With its pitch-perfect dialogue, compelling characters, and classic charm, Comfort to the Enemy is vintage Leonard.

About the Author

Elmore Leonard wrote forty-five novels and nearly as many western and crime short stories across his highly successful career that spanned more than six decades. Some of his bestsellers include Road Dogs, Up in Honey’s Room, The Hot Kid, Mr. Paradise, Tishomingo Blues, and the critically acclaimed collection of short stories Fire in the Hole. Many of his books have been made into movies, including Get Shorty, Out of Sight, and Rum Punch, which became Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie BrownJustified, the hit series from FX, is based on Leonard’s character Raylan Givens, who appears in Riding the Rap, Pronto, Raylan and the short story “Fire in the Hole”. He was a recipient of the National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, the Lifetime Achievement Award from PEN USA, and the Grand Master Award of the Mystery Writers of America. He was known to many as the ‘Dickens of Detroit’ and was a long-time resident of the Detroit area.


More About the Author

Elmore Leonard wrote forty-five novels and nearly as many western and crime short stories across his highly successful career that spanned more than six decades. Some of his bestsellers include Road Dogs, Up in Honey's Room, The Hot Kid, Mr. Paradise, Tishomingo Blues, and the critically acclaimed collection of short stories Fire in the Hole. Many of his books have been made into movies, including Get Shorty, Out of Sight, and Rum Punch, which became Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown. Justified, the hit series from FX, is based on Leonard's character Raylan Givens, who appears in Riding the Rap, Pronto, Raylan and the short story "Fire in the Hole". He was a recipient of the National Book Foundation's Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, the Lifetime Achievement Award from PEN USA, and the Grand Master Award of the Mystery Writers of America. He was known to many as the 'Dickens of Detroit' and was a long-time resident of the Detroit area.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By seadog on November 4, 2010
Format: Paperback
The writing in this collection is typical Elmore Leonard: great. I would give this review five stars for the stories. But the packaging is misleading to the point of being almost fraudulent. The cover says "First time published in the U.S," and that the collection includes Comfort to the Enemy and "other Carl Weber stories." The two "stories" are not new Carl Webster stories: they are chapters out of Leonard's novel "The Hot Kid." Moreover, the novella included in this collection, "Comfort to the Enemy," was published serially in the New York Times Sunday Magazine back in 2005. And it is still available online. (Apparently, this collection was originally published in England, and it still retains English punctuation - single quotation marks, absence of periods from abbreviations, etc.)

The novella is well-worth reading, and some may feel it's worth the price of a trade paperback novel or collection. The story takes place in the time between the events of Leonard's Carl Webster novels, "The Hot Kid" and "Up in Honey's Room". It concerns events surrounding the break out of two German POWs referred to in the latter novel, and includes characters from the former. In that sense, it is a great companion piece to the novels, much the same way his stories "Chickasaw Charlie Hoke" fits into scenes referenced in "Tishomingo Blues," and "Karen Makes Out" elaborates events referred to in "Out of Sight."

So I would not discourage anyone from buying this book. Just know that you are not buying three new Carl Webster stories.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Stephen T. Hopkins VINE VOICE on February 11, 2011
Format: Paperback
The character Carl Webster is one of the finest created by Elmore Leonard. This U.S. Marshall was known as "The Hot Kid," and he behaves with cool competence in all situations. Readers who want to sample Leonard's writing in a small dose will find Comfort to the Enemy to be an enjoyable introduction. While I prefer Leonard's novels to his shorter fiction, this novella and story collection provides enjoyable reading entertainment.

Rating: Three-star (Recommended)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By keetmom on September 1, 2013
Format: Paperback
"Comfort to the enemy" is a short read, made up of two of Elmore Leonard's previously published short stories about US Marshall extraordinaire, Carl Webster, and a novella covering his exploits in wartime crime fighting. Together they make up a wonderful introduction to this determined and skillful policeman tackling gangsters and bank robbers and their molls in the backwaters of Oklahoma and Arkansas. The stories are well told and Leonard's research very detailed - especially on the (to me at least) little known history of WW II Prisoner of War camps in the US. All this makes for an engaging and enjoyable journey through the glamour, dangers and disappointments of small town life shaped by Prohibition, the Depression and the cult status of big name criminals and the men who tracked them down.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dabby Cool on October 29, 2010
Format: Paperback
Thanks to the publisher and goodreads for the advanced reading copy.

Comfort to the Enemy is a collection of two short stories and the eponymous novella starring Carl Webster. The two short stories, "Showdown at Checotah" and "Louly and Pretty Boy" also appear in the book, The Hot Kid.

I've known about Elmore Leonard, having seen the movies Get Shorty and Out of Sight and having loved the tv show Justified. But I never got around to reading his work until now.

As expected, Leonard's got style and every character is just cool, cool, cool. Carl Webster reminds me of Raylan Givens of a different era.

I preferred the two short stories over the novella, as I like the cowboy marshal hunting down or meeting bank robbers more so than solving a murder revolving around Nazis. A lot of the mystery solving also involved longer-than-usual and therefore less-spunky dialogue, which diluted what was supposed to be Leonard's forte.

I'm not sure if this collection is meant to satiate existing fans of Carl Webster or to entice new readers to read the Carl Webster novels The Hot Kid and Up in Honey's Room. As a new reader, I'd say this book successfully piqued my interest in Leonard's other books, even if the novella contained herein was less than perfect.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By P. A. Doornbos on December 6, 2012
Format: Paperback
Nice sequel to `The Hot Kid' (2005) and 'Up in Honey's Room' (2008) about Deputy US Marshall Carl Webster. Who aged 15, warned twice, then shot and killed a man stealing his cows from 400 yards. A writer from `True Detective' wrote a book about Carl's later exploits in law enforcement that sold well in Oklahoma, Ohio and Arkansas, but not far beyond. This follow-up contains two short stories about young Carl and a great novella about when he is older.
This review is about the novella, situated late during WW II, when Carl returns to Oklahoma from the Pacific with a Purple Heart and sundry other medals. His wife Louly is still a US Marine gunnery instructor, but after their short, passionate reunion, she wonders if being shot and hit by 2 Japanese jungle survivors has somehow mellowed Carl, softened his focus. So does Carl's new partner Gary, a dumb ex-bull rider, pining for a write-up about himself. And they are not alone. More people will try to test Carl's reflexes...

The US Carl returns to is dotted with hundreds of POW-camps holding some 350.000 Germans, some still in uniform, many having survived the tank battles in North Africa. Carl investigates an `assisted' suicide in a camp and focuses on ex-tank driver Jurgen, once a Detroit citizen, now a serial run-away (but always returning), indifferent to Nazi-ideology and his hard-core camp committee, with Carl hoping he will help him arrest the real killers. Then the plot thickens. A Jewish gangster furious about the fate of Jews in his parents' homeland Poland, starts a private campaign against Nazis basking in cozy camp conditions.

Central to most or all of Elmore Leonard's novels and film scripts is the showdown, the final confrontation.
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