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Touch [Mass Market Paperback]

Elmore Leonard
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Aug 2002

Ginny Worrel was blind but now can see after being touched by a young man called Juvenal. Suddenly the kid with the healing hands is flavour of the month in downtown Detroit. Bill Hill, a former minister turned RV salesman, has dollar signs in his eyes and a get-rich-quick scheme; the priests at the Sacred Heart Rehabilitation Centre want Juvenal to soothe the brows of their alcoholic inmates; and beautiful baton-twirler Lynn Faulkner simply wants him to soothe her.

But with a slew of cash-hungry hucksters on his back, Juvenal's got a trick or two up his sleeve that nobody sees coming...

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTorch; Reprint edition (Aug 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060089598
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060089597
  • Product Dimensions: 17.2 x 10.8 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,789,369 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


A wry take on fame and the miraculous. (CATHOLIC HERALD) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

Miracle or scam...? An exhilarating tale from the NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of ROAD DOGS. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
FRANK SINATRA, JR., was saying, "I don't have to take this," getting up out of the guest chair, walking out. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
3.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jeffs opinion 22 Jan 2012
By Jeff B
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
as with all his novels, great piece of writing - the man is a legend after all! Again great price, quick next day delivery - thank you amazon :)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Going with the divine flow 21 July 2012
By Blue in Washington TOP 500 REVIEWER TOP 1000 REVIEWER
The flow in "Touch" is blood that comes from the lead character's (Juvenal) stigmata wounds when he comforts and heals the afflicted. And Juvenal's life has biblical echoes as his gifts represent threats to some and financial opportunities to others. So how does a moral man with healing powers make his way in the contemporary (1977) world? How does a woman who loves him relate to someone with such an awesome gift?

This story was a major departure from genre for Elmore Leonard at the time the book was published. In a foreword, the author explains what difficulty was involved in getting "Touch' published 30+ years ago. But the book seems completely accessible and relevant today. Add to that, the usual wonderfully quirky and delightful Leonard characters who are present and going full throttle.

I loved this short book for its honest presentation of a moral dilemma, complicated by the normal base human instincts of opportunism and greed.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Touch 21 April 2012
By Judywoo
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is disappointing. The premise of the story had potential but is wasted. There is blatant moral lecturing and the end for all the characters reads just like the sort of end you would have wished for all the people you loathed and loved as a teenager. The end comes suddenly and I think the author must have been as fed up as I was by that stage. Only read to end because it had been chosen for our book club. Also the quality of the printing is very poor. On many pages the edge of the last letter of each line was missing!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.1 out of 5 stars  25 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A quick but good read 10 Jun 2002
By - Published on
The only problem I have with this book is that it's too short. Perhaps where it ends is the right point, because it makes you think for yourself what actually happened, and what whould happen to the main characters after the incident. But take it as a compliment that I wanted to read more about these characters.
The story is about a stigmatic who may also have healing powers. One of the good points of the book is that they explain the phenomenon of those who have stigmata. For those uninitiated, this is the condition where humans periodically experience the wounds suffered by Christ at his crucifixtion. They actually get holes in their hands and bleed. This has been documented enough to prove it does indeed exist. Whether it is due to an extreme power of self-suggestion or an actual miracle I will leave to the reader.
Ditto with the healing power. The main character seemingly has this, and Leonard teases us by not showing any healing until the end, and that is even written to make us wonder. It does, however, have the actual stigmata occur, and when it does, it is powerful writing by the author.
Of course, being a Leonard novel, you have to surround him with a cast of con men and hucksters that see how they can benefit from this. What is tantalizing is that we never really know if the central character is good or just another con man. We think he's good, and we want to believe he's good, but Leonard just leaves little hints to make us wonder ourselves.
I'll also not reveal if he's a good man or not, and for that matter, I might be wrong myself. I highly recommend you read it and make your own decision.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book/Quick Read 23 Jan 2001
By Peach - Published on
The book was actually written in the 1977 but took 10 years to get published because of the religious undertones. I honestly don't understand what the fuss was about but then again that was over 20 years ago. It's a story about a man, Juvenal, who has the ability to heal the sick and when he does heal them he gets the wounds of Jesus, stigmata. Juvenal does not claim to be a saint however the rest of the world disagrees. All Juvenal wants to help those in need and to be left alone. However, there are too many people who want a piece of him. They want to exploit this miracle for a profit. And then there's Lynne... with Lynne Juvenal has found a soulmate, someone who he can talk to and who understand him. Now this 'saint' has a girlfriend and people are up in arms. Should Juvenal live his life for the Church or for himself?
I highly recommend this book; it's a fairly quick read and very unique story.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE PERFECT GIFT FOR THANKSGIVING 23 May 2000
By A Customer - Published on
If only I had read this book back in the 70's, then it may have had an impact on me, somehow. But seeing as to the fact that I'm approaching 80, and will soon be too old to actually appreciate the sub-text of this wonderful novel - I'd have to say that tho' it is one of EL's best books he'd ever written, I would have to agree with my wife who keeps telling me to put the book down and connect myself back to reality.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just a genre writer 1 Sep 2010
By Anthony Bruno - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
So-called genre writers are typically treated like second-class citizens in the literary world. ("Oh, he/she's just a mystery/romance/sci fi/ whatever writer.") To many readers, unless a book is long and a chore to read, it isn't a serious work. Well, I think Elmore Leonard disproves that pile of poop with TOUCH. This is a departure from his usual good guy/bad guys set-up, but his wry, economical style works like a charm. Sure, the charlatans in this book could have shown up in any of his crime novels, but the stakes are higher here. If you start reading with no preconceived expectations and just go with it, you will not be disappointed.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astonishing, Perfect, A Must for Elmore Leonard Fans 14 July 2011
By Cheryl Hanna - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This marvelous novel, with its tone-perfect prose, spot-on dialogue, unpredictable twists and engaging characters caught me by surprise, but it is quintessential Elmore Leonard, varying only from the author's better known works by an unexpected sunniness and sweetness of tone.

How the Coen Brothers have failed to film this, I don't know, but order a copy. You will create your own mind-movie.
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