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The Moonshine War [Paperback]

Elmore Leonard
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: 8.89 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Paperback: 209 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow & Company (21 Aug 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062208985
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062208989
  • Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 13.2 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 549,991 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.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The stills are alive with the sound of gunfire 21 April 2013
By Blue in Washington TOP 500 REVIEWER TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Early and delicious Elmore Leonard story of Prohition-era (1931) Kentucky moonshiners and bootleggers. Fine anti-hero/protagonist Son Martin, who makes the best hooch in the region and is also sitting on 150 barrels of barrell-aged whiskey that his father made early into the prohibition period. The highly-valuable cache of liquor attracts a wide range of crooks and conmen who want a crack at the liquid fortune; and the novel is mostly about Son Martin's efforts to keep them at bay.

As is the case in most all of Leonard's stories, the characters and the dialogue between them is direct, spare and engrossing. There's plenty of violent action and a dynamite ending. One of the joys of most of the author's writing (for me, at least) is the guarantee that good/virtue will more or less triumph over evil in the end. Nothing hokey in that--it just happens naturally. A second happiness with Leonard is that fact that he has written so many good books over 40+ years that there is always something new to read and enjoy.
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Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  59 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grade A Leonard 31 Jan 2005
By S. Harris - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"The Moonshine War," is Grade-A Leonard. Written in 1969, one could say it was written at a time when Leonard was still a wonderful secret, and not yet a trendy discovery for People Magazine. What makes "The Moonshine War" a bit different than some of Leonard's crime novels, is that it is set in the not too distant past - 1931. So to some extent it is a historical novel. The setting is Eastern Kentucky. True, Leonard skates pretty lightly over the regional specifics (dialect, land descriptions, etc.) - the kind of things that make Faulkner or Cormac McCarthy so authentic in a literary sense. But Leonard does throw enough in to make it thriller believable. Authentic details regarding the making of moonshine, historical nods, such as the Spanish flu, WW 1, and the kind of overalls men wore, for the most part root the reader well enough. The characters are as solid as any Leonard has created. Son Martin, the novel's hero, is your typical Leonard tough-guy. Quiet, operating on the edge of things, something of an outlaw himself. The bad guys are what you would expect. Vicious, erratic, and often kind of stupid. Of particular note, however, is Dr. Taulbee, a murderous bootlegger, who is smarter than your average Leonard criminal, and a difficult opponent for Son Martin. But he has a weak spot - Miley, a beautiful (and amoral) prostitute, who's along for the ride, though she's always looking for a reliable man. Son, with his internal code of honor, is closer to fitting that description than the good doctor, and Miley, who recognized this, is in her own way a more admirable character than Mrs. Lyons, Son's long-running love interest from town.

The plot in "The Moonshine War," is pretty simple: bootleggers trying to steal Son's hidden whiskey, and Son's reluctance to let that happen. There are echoes of "High Noon," as Son's friends and neighbors abandon him to the bootleggers. One questions whether mountain folks would abandon one of their own to an assault from outsiders, but Leonard seems to anticipate this, when he has a neighbor of Son's tell him that the difference in their predicament is that Son has no family being threatened. In essence, to what extent Son cares for his neighbors is thus returned, in kind, which makes the ending appropriate, and well done. Leonard's endings can sometimes be disappointing. I have remarked on this myself ("52 Pickup"). But my complaint had more to do with the fireworks leading up to the end of that novel. If you look at the range of Leonard's work, you see an author who likes the open ended ending. It is a deliberate artistic choice by Leonard. At his best (for example, "Valdez is Coming," "City Primeval") he leaves the reader with a vivid, even mythic, tableau that invites the reader in. Leonard loves his High Noon moments, and will often freeze it, in novel after novel, like a photograph of opponents squared away on Main Street, guns drawn, with the sun beating down. "The Moonshine War," to my mind sits up there with the best of Leonard.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Better review not Justified 10 Dec 2012
By Sobosage - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Elmore Leonard continues his sojourn from Detroit to eastern Kentucky (6 hours down I-75 by car.) There be lots of interesting characters in the hills and hollers. This time it's pre-weed, Oxycontin, and Raylan Givens, and it's Prohibition time. Leonard stirs in a couple of buddies from WW I (one with a secret and the other with a great big gun), a doctor, a mule-shooter who get's bumped off a little too early and easily, a (sorta) heroic bellboy, a widow, and, of course, the prostitute with the heart of gold--all caught up in the quest for hidden moonshine. As usual, Leonard's dialogue is conceivable, vernacularly appropriate, nicely paced, and flows the story forward, but the secret ain't necessarily that concealed, and, shucks, after all the blastin', things never quite come together to provide an answer to, "Ok, so that was fun, but what's the point?"
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mr. Leonard has done it again! 8 Oct 1997
By float@ibm.net - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Loved the dialogue, loved the characters, loved the plot. I could taste the sour mash that oozed from the stills in this unabashingly witty novel.Son Martin is another in a long line of Leonard characters that are unforgettable. The little creep, Duel was contemptible and I cheered when he met his demise. The two women characters were stereotypical, but amusing.The Doctor was a nasty villain and the prohibition man was a perfect counterpoint between the Doctor and Son, our hero. I am hooked on Leonard. Looking forward to his next novel.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing characters, good suspense 28 Jun 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I picked up this older Elmore Leonard at a used book sale -- very glad I did. It is one of the best Leonard books I've read. The main (male) character is a strong, silent type -- even more inscrutable than many of Leonard's other leading men. And there's a nice mixed bag of bad guys. The plot has very good momentum, and though it may seem to end somewhat "abruptly" I liked the ending because it wasn't pat.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Leonard is Leonard and that's Good! Very Good! 17 Mar 2013
By Dennis A. Pratt - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Even bad Elmore Leonard is good, but this one is good Elmore Leonard. A good read with interesting characters. Hard to put it down and that's the problem with reading this guy's work. You want to eat it all in one sitting.
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