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Pronto: A Novel Paperback – January 3, 2012
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In the world of Elmore Leonard novels, cops and criminals get by with a grudging respect for each other's capabilities:
Harry had been arrested by Buck Torres a half-dozen times or so; they knew each other pretty well and were friends. Not socially, Harry had never met Buck's wife, but friends in the way they trusted one another and always had time to talk about other things than what they did for a living.Right now, 66-year-old Harry Arno's in trouble. In order to get at his boss, Jimmy Cap, the feds told Jimmy that Harry's skimming off the sports book he runs, the idea being that Harry will testify in exchange for protection from Tommy Bucks (a.k.a. the Zip), Jimmy's enforcer. But Harry's got a few tricks up his sleeve. Then when a straight-shooting U.S. Marshall decides to spend his vacation tracking Harry down, all hell breaks loose. Set in Miami, Florida, and Rapallo, Italy, Pronto is another brilliantly executed combination of suspense and black humor from the master of crime fiction. --Ron Hogan
From Publishers Weekly
From sly title through breath-stopping climax to funny wrap-up, readers will relish Leonard's ( Maximum Bob ) latest roller coaster ride. South Miami Beach bookie Harry Arno has been skimming from his mafia bosses for years. After a ruthless FBI man spreads a rumor to that effect, in an attempt to get Harry to testify against his boss, "Jimmy Cap," the 66-year-old bookie splits early on his long-planned retirement in Rapallo, Italy. Rapallo is soon mobbed, so to speak, as Harry is joined by his girlfriend, his new bodyguard, Jimmy Cap's Italian-born enforcer "the Zip," a handful of Italian thugs and a deputy U.S. Marshal, Raylan Givens. All engage in a deadly dance before Raylan manages to get most of the good guys back to Miami, where the dance begins again. Leonard's spare language and propulsive plotting still leave room for expositions of Sicilian slang, gamblers' lingo and Ezra Pound's private life. His colorful characters work together splendidly, especially the top trio: Harry, whose drinking, posturing and willfulness endanger everybody; the lethal Zip, who models himself, literally, on Frank Costello; and Raylan, whose Stetson and apparent goofiness mask a hard past in bloody Harlan County, Ky. The only problem with the book is that it ends. BOMC and QPB selection; major ad/promo; author tour.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
Honestly, reading Djibouti recently, I was starting to question whether Elmore was ever the writer I remembered, but Pronto set me straight. This is easily the best Elmore Leonard novel I've ever read.
It might even be the best crime novel I've ever read, but being female, my taste in crime novels may be different than most. This story is purely character-driven. Guns don't fire and guys don't slap each other around every chapter, but the tension is always there, and when action strikes, you're on the edge of your seat, swinging with the characters.
I love this novel.
I've never read Elmore Leonard before, but I am a huge fan of the TV series "Justified," which is based on his short story, "Fire In The Hole." The novel "Pronto," is the first novel in which Leonard introduces the Raylan Givens character (main character in the TV series). With Leonard's recent passing, I decided to dive into those novels which featured this character.
Leonard had a laid back writing style that was easy and enjoyable to read. In this novel, the story is told through each of the character's perspectives, allowing the reader to see all events from multiple viewpoints. Although it is definitely Raylan's story, it is also equally the story of the other characters, all interwoven into an exciting adventure, racing from the US to Italy and back. Although I haven't read enough of Leonard's work featuring the Raylan character to be sure, I believe the final action of the novel is the set up for "Fire In The Hole," providing the reason for Raylan's transfer back to the Harlan County, KY offices of the Marshall Service.
Like most novel series characters who jump to the small screen (well, some home screens aren't so small anymore, are they?), Raylan's backstory in the novels is a bit different than in the series. Winona (ex-wife) is less important and certainly described less attractively than Natalie Zea, who plays her in the tv series! Also, in the TV series, they have no children (until the 4th season, anyway), but he has two sons in the novels. However, the basic character is the same, for the most part, and I'm looking forward to reading the next novel in this short series, "Riding The Rap."
No problems with editing, proofing, etc. A thoroughly enjoyable read as Raylan tries to keep the rascally Harry Arno and Arno's girlfriend Joyce, alive and out of the grasp of Tommy Bucks (aka The Zip), and the rest of the gangsters out to make sure all three return home in a pine box.
And you find yourself still reading at two thirty in A.M. I am Justified junkie and I am so happy to have read this novel . I love that they took this great character and made him and some of his cohorts into a fantastic TV mini-series. Pass this book by and you have missed some great riveting entertainment.
If you accomplish nothing more in life you should make a real attempt at reading all the Elmore Leonard books you can get your hands on but be warned it may place a real strain on your marriage or relationship.