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on 29 November 2000
If you've seen the movie and loved it, buy this book because it's even better. If you've seen the movie and hated it, buy this book because it's better. If you haven't seen the movie, go see the movie and then buy this book. It's so good, it turned me into an Elmore Leonard addict. It also made me want to become a bank robber. That idea wore off, the Leonard addiction didn't. I can't recommend this book highly enough. If you like your books fast-paced, all the fat trimmed off so there's nothing to bore you, just one highlight after another, try Elmore Leonard, start here with Out of Sight!
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on 7 September 2013
... the characters never give but much about themselves - the unfolding plot and the coincidences which link two opposed characters together always take precedence. This is a really good example of the crime/thriller genre - but it always seems to be holding back from something it's dying to tell us. Well worth the read, though.
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on 6 April 1999
In adapting Elmore Leonard's "Out of Sight" for the screen, Scott Frank has done what all talented and conscientous adpators should do - he has stayed true to the material, and expanded upon it without straying from the nature of the source. In short, Frank has crafted a rarety - a script which is better than its source material. But perhaps more interesting than the hundred-twenty-odd pages of screenplay is the twelve-or-so page interview with Frank, reprinted from Scenario Magazine, in which Frank discusses his motivation for the changes made from Leonard's novel, and the ways in which novel-writing and screenwriting differ. I felt Frank was robbed in not winning the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for this taut, exceedingly cool work, all of which reflects incandescently from the page. Nobody writes 'em like Elmore Leonard, sure; but nobody adapts 'em like Scott Frank.
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on 28 October 1999
This was my first Elmore Leonard novel, and I will definitely be reading some more. The characters are well-rounded and realistically written and the dialogue is witty and sharp. Leonard achieves a great sense of atmosphere by setting the novel between two extremes - the humid climate of Florida, and the snow-ridden city-scape of Detroit. A testimony to Leonard's writing is the fact that the film (well worth checking out!) is full of large chunks of dialogue copied verbatim from the novel.
A fantastic slick and stylish read which piles on the tension and atmosphere in spades.
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on 22 November 2011
this was an enjoyable read. his famous dialogue is up to form - as a wannabe writer, it is galling to see how easy it is for him to create characters with their own identities in so few words. the book rattles along, nothing wasted - it's nearly all plot, and little description. i enjoyed it, but it sometimes felt a little like watching a film on fast forward. there wasn't much time to savour the mood or anything else. and the end was particularly sudden. i would recommend it as a quick easy read, with decent characters, but it's not a classic and unlikely to stay with me for long. but i'm not sure that's what he intended anyway. i think it does exactly what he wanted it to do.
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on 23 August 2013
This is how to write a good crime novel. Sharp dialogue and clean plot lines. No sick dwelling on crimes against some poor girl but quick fire repartee and move on fast with the story.
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Stories about criminals trying to escape from prison have always fascinated me. They have much of the same appeal as a locked room mystery. And they also have the possibility of a good tale covering the chase after the prison is left behind. In Out of Sight, Elmore Leonard has created the most unique prison escape story that I have ever read.
Here's the situation. Jack Foley, a career bank robber, has thought of a way to use a planned escape by some other convicts to help him get out. Everything goes smoothly until . . . the way out ends up being covered by a deputy U.S. marshal carrying a shotgun who's visiting the prison to serve a subpoena. What now?
Sound interesting?
Then, Mr. Leonard throws in a role reversal. The deputy is an attractive 28 year-old woman wearing designer clothes.
I think that many of the best novels are those that propose a totally unique situation, and then let the characters deal with the situation. That seems to be how this book was written, and it's fascinating.
She doesn't shoot. He ends up taking her along, and riding in the trunk with her. They start talking . . . and discover they are interested in each other. What if they had met in some other way?
She escapes. Foley's on the run, and she's after him. What will happen to them?
As usual, the dialogue reflects Mr. Leonard's almost-perfect ear for spoken language.
Mr. Leonard's famous wit concerning the foibles of criminals is in evidence in almost every paragraph. If you are ready for lots of laughs from a crime novel, this book may well appeal to you. In fact, the book will remind you a lot of the romantic comedies that the two main characters find that they both adore. Don't be surprised if you are asked to suspend your disbelief from time to time.
On the other hand, there are some truly nasty criminals in the story who do despicable things. If such events disturb or annoy you, this book's darkness should cause you to prefer another source of romantic comedy. You will see this book as a two or three star effort. I graded the book down one star for needless violence.
After you have read the book or thought about the situation that kicks off the plot, think about where you may be missing opportunities to get to know others whom you would like. For example, I have just read a book by Stephen Ambrose in which he describes the pleasure that enemy commanders who have fought against each other find in their post-war friendships.
Speak up or act . . . or forever miss your opportunity to connect!
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on 23 May 2004
What else can i say? i got straight into it and couldn't put it down. The book is full of twists, excitement....and its also humorous as well! Definately buy it if you're bored or just need to read something, its worth it.
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on 4 February 2015
Good book, the film is actually very closely tied to it, much of the dialogue is very recognisable. Loved the 'extra scenes' that put more flesh on the bones of the story
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on 13 September 2013
So he is criticised as formulaic and not developing character? Who cares, he's a great story teller and this is a great story. Unputdownable. The late great, RIP.
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