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Hombre: A Novel Paperback – August 21, 2012

103 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"One of the 25 best Western novels of all time."
-- Western Writers of America (UNKNOWN ) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

John Russell was raised as an Apache, and even served as a member of the tribal police. Now the time has come for him to leave the San Carlos reservation far behind and live again as a white man. The stagecoach passengers he's traveling with want nothing to do with this man they call "Hombre," forcing him to ride in the boot with the driver. But they change their tune when outlaws ride down on them. Suddenly they all must rely on Russell's guns and his ability to survive in the desert. They shunned John Russell, and now they must follow him . . . or die.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reissue edition (August 21, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062206117
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062206114
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #129,498 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Robert Moore HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 30, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Elmore Leonard is not nearly as well known for his Westerns as his hardboiled crime dramas, but in fact he is one of the finest writers in the genre of the past fifty years. This is partly because he is simply one of the finest American writers period. He is famous for writing some of the hardest hitting, purest prose during his lifetime. There is nothing flashy about his writing. My guess is that a glossary of all his words would tally less than 400 words in all. There probably aren't more than 20 words of more than two syllables in the entire book. Some paragraphs have few two syllable words. This apparent simplicity can mask what is in fact a stunning virtuosity. Leonard is known as a writers' writer and this will escape no reader who pays close attention to the deceptive sophistication of his style.

The story he tells here is a simple one. Leonard is hardly the first to depict a Western hero. Nor is he the first to depict a hero who possessed outsider status. John Russell, the "hombre" of the title (and "hombre" here really has a similar sense as "Mensch" in Yiddish), is a white man who was raised in his formative years as an Apache. He is the result of white, Apache, and Mexican cultures, yet doesn't completely fit in any of them, though he seems most comfortable as an Apache. Though treated with disdain by his fellow stage coach passengers (actually, they travel in a mud wagon), he becomes their only hope after bandits hold them up. Russell is striking for being treated as both heroic and extremely capable, but not impossibly skilled as many Western heroes are depicted. Though a good shot, he misses more than he hits his target. Though most of his decisions are good ones, he isn't infallible.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Mac Blair on September 18, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
John Russell was not welcome to ride in the coach with the other passengers but they all want him after they are robbed and left to walk. Th story tells of their trying to get away and the outlws trying to catch them. Enough action to keep you interested. If everyone had been like Hombre the book would have ended differently. Russell was a great character. I liked his Indian ways and his quite silent wat if getting things done. The book is a fairly quick read and will hold you attention. As Henry Mendez says in the book, "Take a good look at Russell. You will never see another one like him as long as you live."
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Writetrak on March 4, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
If you haven't seen the 1966 movie take on Elmore 'Dutch' Leonard's book, HOMBRE then track it down and watch it. It is a western classic or perhaps a unique western, starring the late Paul Newman in a very good version of the book.
Saying that, read the book first because Leonard offers up a great story that is anything but a typical cowboy western. The premise is that raised among the Apaches John Russell has to readjust to 'civilized' life and finds out early on just uncivilized it can be.
Next to Valdez Is Coming and 3:10 to Yuma Leonard's Hombre makes us all look at the Old West with new eyes and perhaps a new appreciation of a talented writer early in his long career.
Although he went on to write modern best selling novels I'd sure like to see him go back and do another western. They may not have broad appeal since the public seems to look down on the genre (literally too, for that matter since one store where I buy my books has them situated at ankle level!) and probably don't sell as well as main stream works but many are better written and have stronger, more convincing storylines than most thrillers.
If you haven't read Leonard's westerns then try this book out for size and settle into a new realm of appreciation for a better brand of storytelling.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By F. J. Harvey on March 7, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
John Russell is in many ways an archetyypal hero of the Western movie and novel-tactiturn and laconic in demeanour,whipcord tough and a man of action -yet he is a man apart from most of those around him by virtue of having been raised by Apaches .He was captured by them as a boy and subsequently adopted by a white man, a supply wagon owner ,thus having experience of both the ways of the whites and the Apaches.
He is not the narrator of this tale however -a lot that falls on Carl allen ,a passenger on a stagecoach bound for Delgado where russell is going to see if he can fully embrace white customs and live as a white man .Allen is in awe of Russell but by no means uncritical of him or his manner .The journey is complicated by the presence on board the stage of an embezzling banker ,something which is known to a band of outlaws who lay siege to the coach and its passengers ,and are prepared to kill if need be to get their hands on the loot.

The result is grim chess match as standoffs and shootouts ensue but the emphasis is as much on the psychological and interpersonal tensions as it is on physical violence .The prose is lean ,mean and economical ,the action scenes punchy and direct and the characterisation way above normal for the genre .
Russell is a true ,if deeply flawed hero ,as he possess tha courage to do what he felt had to be done -others fall short of the mark.

Gripping and edgily compulsive reading -please dont miss it if you have any love for great storytelling
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