Summary and book reviews of The Hot Kid by Elmore Leonard

The Hot Kid

by Elmore Leonard

The Hot Kid by Elmore Leonard X
The Hot Kid by Elmore Leonard
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    May 2005, 312 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2006, 416 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

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.

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 Floyd's girlfriend.

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.

Chapter One

Carlos Webster was fifteen the day he witnessed the robbery and killing at Deering's drugstore. This was in the fall of 1921 in Okmulgee, Oklahoma.

He told Bud Maddox, the Okmulgee chief of police, he had driven a load of cows up to the yard at Tulsa and by the time he got back it was dark. He said he left the truck and stock trailer across the street from Deering's and went inside to get an ice cream cone. When he identified one of the robbers as Emmett Long, Bud Maddox said, "Son, Emmett Long robs banks, he don't bother with drugstores no more."

Carlos had been raised on hard work and respect for his elders. He said, "I could be wrong," knowing he wasn't.

They brought him over to police headquarters in the courthouse to look at photos. He pointed to Emmett Long staring at him from a $500 wanted bulletin and picked the other one, Jim Ray Monks, from mug shots. Bud Maddox said, "You're positive, huh?...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

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.

Publishers Weekly
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.

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.

Kirkus Reviews
...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.

Reader Reviews

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 especially...   Read More

Write your own review!

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

Elmore 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 stories—all westerns—followed. In 1953 he published his first novel, The Bounty Hunters, followed by four more over the next eight years. Between 1951 and 1961 ...

This "beyond the book" feature is available to non-members for a limited time. Join today for full access.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

More books by Elmore Leonard

If you liked The Hot Kid, try these:

  • November Road jacket

    November Road

    by Lou Berney

    Published 2018

    About this book

    More books by this author

    Set against the assassination of JFK, a poignant and evocative crime novel that centers on a desperate cat-and-mouse chase across 1960s America - a story of unexpected connections, daring possibilities, and the hope of second chances.

  • The Mirror Thief jacket

    The Mirror Thief

    by Martin Seay

    Published 2017

    About this book

    Set in three cities in three eras, The Mirror Thief calls to mind David Mitchell and Umberto Eco in its mix of entertainment and literary bravado.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: And The Ocean Was Our Sky
    And The Ocean Was Our Sky
    by Patrick Ness
    Patrick Ness has developed a reputation for experimental literature executed well, and his latest, ...
  • Book Jacket: Let It Bang
    Let It Bang
    by RJ Young
    Every interracial love story is an exercise in complications. R.J. Young and Lizzie Stafford's ...
  • Book Jacket: A Spark of Light
    A Spark of Light
    by Jodi Picoult
    The central premise of A Spark of Light involves a gunman holding hostages within the confines of a ...
  • Book Jacket: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing
    An Absolutely Remarkable Thing
    by Hank Green
    As one half of the extremely popular YouTube duo "Vlogbrothers" (the other half being his brother ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Unsheltered
by Barbara Kingsolver

A timely novel that explores the human capacity for resiliency and compassion.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Paris Echo
    by Sebastian Faulks

    A story of resistance, complicity, and an unlikely, transformative friendship.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Kinship of Secrets
    by Eugenia Kim

    Two sisters grow up bound by family but separated by war; inspired by a true story.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Severance

Severance by Ling Ma

An offbeat, wryly funny, apocalyptic satire that is featured on more than twenty 2018 "Must Read" lists!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

I Ain't O U T F L S

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.