Friday, December 11, 2009

Up In Honey's Room - Elmore Leonard

buy - author site

The Deal: At this point in time, due to an RSI, I can only type for 10 minutes at a time. What you see below is what is hammered out before the timer goes off- and nothing more.

I'm guessing I read this in February some time. I remember it being hot - a lot of books get associated with heat, as I don't want to turn the computers on in summer. Back in 2005, Ellen Datlow recommended Leonard when she was tutoring us at Clarion South. It has taken me this long to get around to reading any of his works. (I am contrary, I like to do things in my own time.)

Reading this was just incredible. It's all dialogue. Seriously! There's not much of anything else in there, it's all conversations between characters, maybe a moment to move from doorway to couch or make a highball, and then more talking. And damned if it wasn't one of the fastest moving books I have ever read. Damn thing just hurtled along. I guess being all dialogue, it wasn't carrying any excess weight whatsoever. It's a gazelle of a book, no, actually, it isn't so prissy, it's more like a jaguar of a book, with saucy patterned fur, claws, teeth, and sassy eyes.

It's been so long since I read it the details of the plot have grown fuzzy, but it involves federal agents, incredible women, SS agents and a man who believes he is, or could be, or should be (at least entitled to all the glory of) Hitler. Plus some more spies. And cross-dressing butlers. And dialogue, endless snappy sparse dialogue that you simply can't stop reading. You don't walk away from an interesting conversation, do you? I couldn't.

It was a great read, but the enjoyment I took from it was purely from a writer's point of view - marveling at the mastery in my hands. As a story, it was entertaining, but it didn't change me, move me. Just killed some time in the heat.

Verdict: I think, should I happen across further of his books in sales and the like, I shall pick them up, because there is a lot to be learned, and damn I need more fun, light books. Very interesting.

Thanks to Miss Apricot, who approves of this more than she did of House of Leaves.

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