Carl Webster, the hot kid of the marshals service, is
polite, respects his elders, and can shoot a man driving away in an Essex at
four hundred yards. Carl works out of the Tulsa, Oklahoma, federal
courthouse during the 1930s, the period of America's most notorious bank
robbers: Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson -- those guys.
Carl wants to be
America's most famous lawman. He shot his first felon when he was fifteen
years old. With a Winchester.
Louly Brown loves Carl but wants the world to think she is Pretty Boy
Tony Antonelli of True Detective magazine wants to write like
Richard Harding Davis and wishes cute little Elodie wasn't a whore. She and
Heidi and the girls work at Teddy's in Kansas City, where anything goes and
the girls wear -- what else -- teddies.
Jack Belmont wants to rob banks, become public enemy number one, and show
his dad, an oil millionaire, he can make it on his own.
With tommy guns, hot cars, speakeasies, cops and robbers, and a former
lawman who believes in vigilante justice, all played out against the flapper
period of gun molls and Prohibition, The Hot Kid is Elmore Leonard --
a true master -- at his best.
The Washington Post - Patrick Anderson
Elmore Leonard is our Prospero, a magician who has given us inspired fun for 50 years. He floats above the action, amused; his motto is surely Puck's "What fools these mortals be." In The Hot Kid, Oklahoma is his version of Shakespeare's enchanted isle in "The Tempest," a brave new world where maids and monsters, outlaws and oilmen, strange creatures all, act out their dubious destinies.
The New York Times Book Review - Charles McGrath
There's a little irony here, of which Leonard is surely not unaware: he, the novelist, has written a sparer, more faithful account than we can expect from Tony Antonelli, the true-crime journalist. And yet The Hot Kid is not unsympathetic to Tony or to the pulp- magazine impulse -- no surprise when we remember that Leonard got his start writing for magazines like Argosy, Dime Western and Zane Grey.
Booklist - Keif Graff
As always, Leonard's prose seems effortless, his dialogue is perfect, and his humor is as dry as a moonshine martini. If there's anything that keeps The Hot Kid from catching fire, it might be that the Hot Kid is a little too hot....Still, a terrific pleasure.
Library Journal - Thomas L Kilpatrick
Leonard's encyclopedic knowledge of crime history and wry humor make his novels reading experiences to savor. His latest is no exception.
...The whole sepia-toned caravan, infact, is so relaxed that even the most violent felonies may leave you smiling. Leonard's gentle epic is as restorative as a month in the country.
Starred Review. Set in the world of 1930s gangsters and gun molls, features characterizations so deft and true you can smell the hair oil on the dudes and the perfume on the dames.....it's all pure Leonard, and that means it's pure terrific.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Bruce 10/11 From one Libra to another The Hot Kid is another excellent book from an excellent writer (whom I say humbly, shares my date of birth) and the main character is very interesting. As a young man he has an encounter with a thief that changes the course of his life. I... Read More
Leonard became interested in
writing in 1935, after reading a
serialization of All Quiet on
the Western Front in the
Detroit Times. Touched by
the story, he wrote a play based
on the novel for his fifth-grade
classroom, using the desks as
"No-Man's-Land." In 1951
Argosy magazine published
his short story "Trail of the
Apache." Other storiesall
westernsfollowed. In 1953 he
published his first novel,
The Bounty Hunters, followed
by four more over the next eight
years. Between 1951 and 1961 he
published 30 short stories, five
novels, and made two sales to
As the market for westerns began
to dry up, he switched to crime
fiction with the publication of
The Big Bounce....
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