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Mr. Majestyk: A Novel Paperback – July 3, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Leonard is the king of crime writers."
--Newsday

"Elmore Leonard is our greatest crime novelist...the best in the business."
--The Washington Post

"The hottest thriller writer in the U.S."
--Time

"Whatever you call his novels, they always read like Elmore Leonard, distinctive in style and vision, brilliantly inventive in plot and characters."
--Los Angeles Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

Once, Vincent Majestyk crashed through a jungle with an M-15 and a sack of grenades. Now he works under the open skies of the American Southwest, growing melons on his farm. But a strong-arming punk came to Majestyk's fields and set off a violent chain reaction that left Majestyk without a friend in the world--except for one tough, beautiful woman.

Heading to prison, Majestyk finds himself shackled beside a notorious Mafia hit man. And now a man who's been searching for peace and a man who's been looking for an angle are about to be set free by a violent breakout: making the farmer and the hit man each other's only hope--and worst possible enemy.

Mr. Majestyk  is vintage Leonard, an edgy, dark, fiendishly compelling tale of a quiet man--making a whole lot of noise.... --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (July 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062188402
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062188403
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #556,841 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

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Keithly on April 20, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Mr. Majestyk, an interesting name for a vietnam vet turned Melon Picker. Actually, forget Mr. Majestyk was ever in Vietnam, it isn't that critical to the story. If you knew that Mr. Majestyk was a hunter, then his hard nose attitude would still make sense.
All of that however, is an aside. Mr. Majestyk tells the story of a man that has escaped the world of Vietnam and attempts to raise a melon crop. He hires migrant workers to bring his crop in, including the love interest of the story, Nancy. And as others have put it, the job must get done.
However, where there is a job, organized is usually not far behind in Leonard's novels. Even in the American Southwest. For Mr. Majestyk, it starts with a two bit hood named Bobby Kopas that tries to muscle in his own crew to pick the product in Majestyk's fields. With a punch and a shot gun, Majestyk drives them off and starts the whole ball rolling.
After getting arrested for assaulting Kopas, Majestyk gets involved with a prison break with a Mafia Hitman named Frank Renda. The rest of the novel centers around Renda's planned revenge against Majestyk.
I just found out this morning, after having completed the novel, that Mr. Majestyk was also a movie in 1974. I'm not certain which came first - the novel or the movie. However, Leonard wrote them both. The movie stars Charles Bronson, who I can see playing Mr. Majestyk, but I think someone like Clint Eastwood, or a larger actor would have matched my image from the novel better.
Again, I digress. I guess I'm not surprised this book is also a movie. Unlike Leonard's more recent novels, Mr. Majestyk is much more action oriented than dialogue driven. That is kind of disappointing because Leonard's dialogue is the best.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Charles Wm Anderson @wordpress on November 28, 2008
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The more I read Elmore Leonard the more I appreciate movies made from his authentic, down-to-earth stories.

Every scene he depicts is shown through the eyes of someone each of us knows as a friend or an acquaintance instead of from some hifalutin artistic writer in love with words or his own voice.

Mr. Majestyk, the movie, is one of those rare movies that is both as good as the novel and stays true to the novel itself. Probably it stays true because Elmore Leonard writes in pictures instead of in five syllable words. Also, perhaps, because Mr. Leonard is a master story teller - C. William Anderson, aka Travis C. Ward.

There is more --- the book has bonus materials for your reading enjoyment and to ease your effort to complete your collection of Elmore Leonard titles.

I promise you this...Read one Elmore Leonard story and you'll bust a gut to get the next, and the next, and the next.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Paul-John Ramos on April 5, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Elmore Leonard's 1974 pulp thriller owes much of its renown to a film treatment starring Charles Bronson. But as a freestanding novel, 'Mr. Majestyk' is a sturdy piece of craftsmanship and a benchmark for the genre. Just 216 pages long in the recent HarperTorch softcover edition, it is the engaging story of Vincent Majestyk, a former POW from the American tactical missions in Laos, who finds his Arizona melon-growing business under siege by local mob bosses.

'Mr. Majestyk' uses an intricate storyline, placing Vincent at odds with mob head Frank Renda, the police, and his loyal farmhand Nancy Chavez, with whom he falls in love despite a stoic attitude. The novel is mostly driven by Majestyk's intense self-respect and desire to live on his own terms. Leonard keeps a fairly good pace in advancing the story, providing balanced character insights and a limited but well-made helping of shootouts and car chases.

During lulls in the action, 'Majestyk' interestingly portrays migrant farm work that still employs thousands of Chicanos in the United States each year. Leonard's Arizona setting is a living, breathing one, allowing us to feel the dust, intense sunlight, and stillness. The lead players are given enough color and shape for readers to stay interested, although character development is typically lacking. Plot gaps and far-fetched situations (two chronic symptoms of thrillers) also have their place in 'Majestyk,' but the story is far too entertaining, at least in my opinion, for these weaknesses to jump off the page and spoil a reader's enjoyment.

'Majestyk' is recommended for thriller fans and available from HarperTorch in an October 2002 printing. A sneak preview of Leonard's 'Tishomingo Blues' is also provided after the novel's conclusion.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bobby Downs on June 20, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Mr. Majestyk by Elmore Leonard
Reviewed by Bobby Downs

Vincent Majestyk was a soldier in Vietnam. Now he is a poor Arizona farmer just trying to make a living growing watermelons, but when it comes time to pick the watermelons a man Vincent doesn't know has people in his field picking melons. This guy wants Vincent to pay him, like he's the mafia. The guy won't leave and threatens to shoot Vincent, but Vincent takes his shot gun away and kicks his ass. Then the mafia want-to-be guy calls the cops and Vincent gets thrown in jail for a felony assault. Vincent knows he will lose his farm if he doesn't get the watermelons picked soon, but now he's in jail and this is just the beginning of his trouble. In jail Vincent meets a real bad mafia hit man. They are on a bus together, and Vincent tries, but isn't able to stop the hit man from escaping. After that instead of taking off far away the hit man is obsessed with killing Vincent. The only thing is, Vincent has the Vietnam experience, and he's a hunter who knows the land--unlike the hit man. He might not be Rambo or anything, but Vincent has a pickup truck and a rifle and he doesn't plan on sitting around and making it easy for the hit man to come and kill him. This is a pretty good book.
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