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Get Shorty Paperback – 1 Apr 1999

3.6 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New edition edition (1 April 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140139567
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140139563
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 2.1 x 18 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,807,131 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

In Hollywood, home of movies, gorgeous women, players and fast operators - every move you make is a potential scene... Nerve-shattering suspense, crackling dialogue and scathing wit from 'the hottest thriller writer in the US' [TIME]. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

In a novel filled with his signatures – nerve-shattering suspense, crackling dialogue, scathing wit, twisted plot, mad scams and daring surprises – Elmore Leonard proves once again why he sets the standard against which all other crime novels are measured.

'Get Shorty' follows the fortunes of Chili Palmer, a Miami loan shark with a talent for making a 'slow pay' come across. His pursuit of a mark who's behind in his payments takes him first to Las Vegas, then to Hollywood and horror-film producer Harry Zimm. It seems that Harry has gambled away $200,000 earmarked for his next production, and his investors, who run a limo-and-drugs service for the Hollywood crowd, will kill to know where their money is.

But in the land of make-believe Chili suddenly finds himself forming an uneasy partnership with Harry – in between evaluating screenplays, taking meetings with studio execs, and pitching a movie idea of his own. Who would have thought that successful hood would have the right job skills to make it big in Hollywood? Now all Chili has to do to reap the rewards is stay one step ahead of a trigger-happy investor who wants him removed from the scenario…permanently.

Now a major film starring John Travolta, Gene Hackman, Rene Russo and Danny DeVito.

Joe Mantegna has starred on Broadway in 'Speed-The-Plow' and 'Glengarry Glen Ross', for which he won a Tony award. His film credits include 'Godfather III, Bugsy, Homicide' and ' Searching for Bobby Fischer'.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Chili Palmer is a Miami loan shark, collecting Mob money. When he follows a bad debt to las Vegas, then Hollywood, he finds himself drawn into the movie world, a place where he encounters lowlife and big players in equal measure. Harry Zimm is a b-movie producer who asks Chili to help persuade top star Michael Weir to appear in a new film. Chili, meanwhile, has movie ideas of his own.

This is the setup for a very original, very funny and cleverly plotted crime story. As usual with Elmore Leonard, the entire deal is very cool, with a lot of attitude. Very few authors can write dialogue like this - believabe and memorable throughout, with even the briefest sentence revealing a lot about a character and his or her world. While some writers are intent only on 'functionality of plot', stripping everything away until you have a 'product' that does an 'effiecient' job, Leonard is too good for that. Instead you get the work of a man who loves to write, and who never creates anything less than a memorable experience for the reader. This is not in any way to suggest that he isn't good at plotting a story - quite the opposite. Read any - and I mean any - of his books, and you'll encounter the work of a master who is completely at ease with his craft. This book is a perfect example.

Forget issues of whether Get Shorty is fast-paced or takes a while to get going - there are plenty of best-selling titles by worthless authors who can tick those boxes in their sleep. Elmore Leonard sets his own pace, telling a fascinating story with characters that are immediately more entertaining than in most other crime novels. Some people talk about Chandler-esque in regard to Leonard books. But for me what really sets him apart is the jazzy, cool prose, and his unique way with dialogue.
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By A Customer on 18 April 2003
Format: Paperback
Having bought this book as part of my english degree course, I was not overly enamoured at the prospect of reading it. However I have to admit to being very pleasantly surprised. It is very well written, in a reader friendly manner and the characters are both endearing and believable. I would recommend this to anyone who is looking for a book to provide some escapism and light entertainment.
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Format: Paperback
Miami based loanshark Chili Palmer is in Hollywood tracking down a defaulting customer and like everyone else in that town he wants to be in the movies. As well as the outstanding thousands of dollars owed to Chili, the customer in question, Leo Devoe, fakes his own death in an airplane crash then runs off with the 300 grand in compensation that his wife receives from the airline. Chili's on Leo's tail and real life being stranger than fiction he can't help but feel the case has all the makings of a blockbuster movie. Inconveniently, incompetent Mafia hood, Ray Bones, also knows about the 300 grand and he's not far behind the shylock, plus he's still smarting from an altercation twelve years earlier when Chili took him out of the game with one punch over a jacket; add to that the fact that Bones still displays the scar where Chili shot him in the head not long after the coat incident.
While in Hollywood, Chili comes into contact with a host of interesting characters: Harry Zimm, a failing budget-movie-producer who wants Chili to come on board to help persuade A-list actor Michael Weir to star in a new project (Chili has his own burgeoning movie idea of course) that he thinks will be a big winner. Karen Flores - failed actress but still sexy and a premier league screamer, always a handy quality to have in budget horror flicks. Bo Catlett, drug-running gangster who, despite his wealth, is desperate for a piece of a movie - any piece - as long as his name is included in the credits at the end of the film. Catlett has absolutely no problem whatsoever with disposing of Chili Palmer if it enables him to get closer to Harry Zimm's side and realise his dream of seeing his name lit up in bright lights.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the fourth book I have ready by Elmore Leonard, and the best of those four. It is distinguished by a fast moving intricate and intriguing plot, together with the trademark fast moving style and psychological insight.

Strongly recommended!
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By A Customer on 20 Feb. 2002
Format: Paperback
This is the first Elmore Leonard book I read, and as with most people I read following his list of book-to-film conversions.(Get Shorty, Out of Sight and Rum Punch/Jackie Brown) It's easy to see why so many of his books are made into films because they are written in a contemporary, quick witted and easy to convert to a screenplay style.
This book is no different. It's slick, fast paced and the character dialogue is almost straight off the silver screen.
I've since gone on to read most of his books and I found Get Shorty to be one of his best. The only problem is if you've seen the film the main character, Chili Palmer comes across as the ageing and slightly fat John Travolta.
I highly recommend any of Elmore Leonard's books.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Loved this. Haven't seen the film, but I can't imagine a better casting than John Travolta for the cool. original hero of this novel. Funny, but no cheap laughs. Clever entertaining plot full of schemes and twists. I sometimes think that a novel of this weight (not heavy) might as well just be seen as a film and reading time better spent on something more substantial, but that isn't the case here. The quality of the writing is really satisfying and the humour smart and subtle...like when you have to spot the meaning of the title.
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