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Swag [Paperback]

Elmore Leonard
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Book Description

26 Dec 2012

There aren't any textbooks on armed robbery. The only way to learn is through experience, and small-time crooks Frank and Stick are determined to do as much learning on the job as possible.

In 1970s' Detroit they embark on a crime spree, holding up liquor stores and supermarkets. They invent their 'Ten Golden Rules for Successful Armed Robbery' and for a short time the cash is rolling in. But then they bend their own rules, and it looks like trouble is heading their way¿

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow & Company; Reissue edition (26 Dec 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062227866
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062227867
  • Product Dimensions: 20.4 x 13.7 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 725,040 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Elmore Leonard was born in New Orleans on 11 October 1925. He wrote forty-five books during his phenomenal career, including the bestsellers Mr Paradise, Tishomingo Blues, Be Cool and The Hot Kid. Many have been made into successful movies, including Get Shorty with John Travolta, Out of Sight with George Clooney and Rum Punch, which became Tarantino's Jackie Brown. He is the recipient of the Cartier Diamond Dagger Award and the PEN USA Lifetime Achievement Award. He died on 20 August 2013 in Detroit.

Product Description


You will look long and hard before you find anyone with a bad word to say about Leonard. About the worst thing I can think of to say about SWAG is that it might be said to make armed robbery look like a enticing career move... if you haven't read him before, you are in for a treat. -- Nicholas Lezard The Guardian --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

Elmore Leonard is 'the man other crime writers call the Boss' DAILY TELEGRAPH. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elmore Leonard's 'Piece de resistance' 11 Jan 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
OK, so on the face of it, this appears to be nothing more than another trashy slice of '70's 'Pulp Fiction', but start reading it, and... MAN!... What you've actually got is 229 pages of the paciest, coolest, most readable crime writing ever to flow from the pen of Mr Crime Fiction himself, the one and only Elmore Leonard.
SWAG follows the highly dubious exploits of Frank and Earnest, a couple of low-lifes out to get rich quick, introducing us to a world where afternoons are spent in summertime Detroit bars, people drive '75 Thunderbirds and real men pack powerful hand guns.
As long as they abide by their self-made 'Ten Golden Rules For Successful Armed Robbery', how can anything possibly go wrong?...
Written in 1976, this novel positively drips with the feel of that coolest of cool decades. And in true Elmore Leonard style, very little actually happens in the first half of the book, but guess what? It doesn't matter! The writing is of such a high standard, cut to the bone, stripped right down to it's essential parts, that your eyes fairly tear down the page eagerly absorbing this wonderful lesson in dialogue creation. Every budding author should read this novel as an example of how to achieve maximum impact with the minimum of words!
A mini modern masterpiece - I think it's the only book I've ever read three times! Buy it, read it and lend it to everyone you know! (Well, maybe not your mum...)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So much fun 18 Dec 2013
By BGirl
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The premise of this novel is so much fun, making armed robbery seem almost amiable. The idea of having 10 rules for successful armed robbery (including be polite always say please and thank you) is wonderful, and the adventures of this Odd Couple are great fun. My first foray into reading Leonard, now working my way through his back catalogue. I recommend the follow up Stick.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant.... 12 Dec 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A riveting read, keeping you glued to the pages, Leonard is one of the very best crime fiction writers of our time .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elmore Leonard 5 Dec 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
One of my favourite Elmore Leonard books, I recently re-read Swag having first read it over a decade ago. I love his writing and, if you haven't tried his books before, this will appeal to fans of writers such as Walter Mosley, Carl Hiaasen and Leonard Lynch.

Great dialogue and suspense! Recommended!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good of its genre 28 Sep 2013
By Hugo
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was my first Elmore Leonard and I enjoyed it. An unusual story of two would-be small time criminals who get out of their depth. The story steadily improves and one began to hope they would get away with it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My first Elmore Leonard novel 7 Sep 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Following the recent death of Elmore Leonard and the many eulogies and positive reviews of his work, I decided to read one of his novels, although American crime fiction is not a genre I am normally attracted to. However, "Swag", once started, is difficult to put down. The prose is simple, without being simplistic, elegant without distracting embellishment. It is first-rate story-telling. The story itself is unusual in that the heroes are the bad guys, though not the worst, yet there is a very satisfying thread of morality through to the last paragraph. I look forward to reading more Elmore Leonard.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cool! 12 July 2012
By RiB
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
For me, the characters and events are totally convincing, like they could have actually been out there doing that stuff, back then, and the dialogue rattles along, pitch perfect. I can't ask for any more than that. It's the one and only Elmore Leonard.
PS: Swag is a word that has become way overused among today's youth but is totally applicable to Elmore Leonard - the dude has swag.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! Can't wait to read another by this writer! 15 April 2014
By Bobbie
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I’m blown away by my first Elmore Leonard and must soon read another. On the face of it ‘Swag’ is a smallish story, sparely told, about two small-time crooks in 1970s Detroit, but Leonard’s subtle art makes it so much more. He trusts the reader to know what isn’t written – the laughs, the plot implications, the dilemmas, the deepening psychology. I found myself caring a lot for I-won’t-say-whom without once being told to care, Leonard’s methods are so unobtrusive. The characters are real, flawed, funny. The dialogue is to die for. The plot is clever but unforced. It had me gripped to the last, very satisfying line. As tight as a Greek tragedy. Bravo—and shucks! Elmore Leonard was my Facebook friend – I wish it wasn't too late to be the millionth to tell him what a master craftsman he is.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Recently discovered.
Only bought this after reading about the author after he had died recently. What a great book so unlike anything I normally read but it fair gallops along, is amusing and sad and... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Deejay
4.0 out of 5 stars Page turning crim-side action
Leonard at his best. Nice set up. Convincing, well formed characters. Plenty going on with the plot. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Kwev
5.0 out of 5 stars Good. Very good.
A classic, and classy, Elmore. Which means, a well thought out and well written crime novel by a master of the genre
Published 3 months ago by The Bagster
5.0 out of 5 stars Another cracker from Elmore Leonard
The story rips along with his usual spare prose. His well drawn characters are alive and jump out of the page.
Published 4 months ago by Patricia Paterson
4.0 out of 5 stars You know what to expect
Noble criminals, one last job, leisurewear, cocktails, weakness for leggy women... it's the same old stuff. And it's bloody terrific
Published 4 months ago by Mike
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Elmore Leonard Book I Have Read
I have always been a fan of Elmore Leonard. He has a way of getting straight into the story, avoiding the boring build up you tend to get with other crime writers. Read more
Published 7 months ago by DAVID J CAMPBELL
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Entertainment
Its easy to read,its escapist and its fun. An enjoyable book all round.My first Elmore Leonard but it won't be the last.
Published 7 months ago by byron lad
5.0 out of 5 stars my first Leonard book
I read the book in only two evenings, it was hard to put down. Its a shame that it took the death of Elmore Leonard to bring me to his work.
Published 7 months ago by chef steve
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