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Comfort to the Enemy and Other Carl Webster Stories Paperback – Bargain Price, September 28, 2010
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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 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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
The first two stories are reprised from "The Hot Kid," and tell the story of a young Carl Webster, all of fifteen years and just popping into the pharmacy for an ice cream only to encounter a bank robber. Years later, Carl brings that very same man to justice.
Another tale is about Louly, whose cousin married Pretty Boy Floyd. Ensnared by his charm, she starts a letter writing campaign to his prison and ends up penpals with another inmate. She becomes a gun moll, robbing people who haven't got much to begin with ending up with Carl on their trail.
The final novelette here is about a POW camp in Oklahoma housing German prisoners captured in the North African campaign. This story firmly plants Carl and Louly in the wartime era and drags together a lot of elements from other Carl Webster stories.
All of these stories have a firm sense of time and place. You really feel as if you've taken a time machine back to that period.
Rating: Three-star (Recommended)
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Another great US Marshal joins the list. Tight writing, clever characters that always provide interesting reading. Thanks.Published 4 months ago by Ralph Manos
If you are a fan of Elmore Leonard and haven't read this compilation, you will certainly find it enjoyable. Read morePublished 5 months ago by michael loving
I love Elmore Leonard's writing style. His books read so easily you just fly right through them. Three story's
of the twentys' to fortys'
I am a big time Elmore Leonard fan, and was really disappointed in this book. The characters were shallow and sketchy, dialogue was flat. Doesn't even seem like he wrote it.Published 6 months ago by Karen D. Harris Stevens
Typical Leonard story. Characters are interesting and believable. Only wish is that it ran longer and concluded. Maybe a sequel is in order.Published 16 months ago by Kindle Customer
Love everything Elmore Leonard ever wrote, so my review is sort of worthless. But loved it!Published 19 months ago by Mark S. Bridge Vmd