Out of Sight

September 03, 2023 [books] #fiction #crime

Book: Out Of Sight: A Novel
Author: Elmore Leonard

I knew of Elmore Leonard’s reputation as one of the modern masters of crime, but I just never got around to reading him. Thanks to a prime deal, I finally got to read 'Out of Sight', one of his bestsellers from the 90s. Many years ago I saw the trailer of the movie remake on TV, and as I read the opening lines, the memory of George Clooney’s irrepressible charisma came flooding back. From then on, in my mind’s eye, Jack Foley’s dialogues were only in Clooney’s distinctive drawl. While the book ostensibly is about Jack Foley, a convict on the run, and a U.S. marshal, Karen Sisco who’s chasing him, I will remember it more for the rapport and friendship between Foley and Buddy, and the banter between Karen and her father. Leonard is regarded as a master of dialogue, and he’s in top form here. The chemistry leaps across the paper. Minor characters make their entrance and with just a few lines appear fully rounded thanks to Leonard's style. The violence, when it arrives, is swift but not unbelievable. One can see the traces of Leonard’s fiction in Tarantino movies, chatty characters driving the plot, tension building slowly till it explodes in ultra-violence. Love it.