Friday, July 13, 2012

When the Women Come Out to Dance, by Elmore Leonard

(hb; 2002: story anthology)

Overall review:

Superlative, dialogue-snappy anthology that seamlessly blends humor, neo-noir, Western and general crime fiction, with characters that are often larger than life and generally memorable. There's not a lackluster piece in this collection, though some stand out more than others.

Worth checking out, this.

Standout stories:

1.) "Sparks": An arson investigator (Joe Canavan), working for an insurance company, interviews a noir-sexy claimant (Robin Harris).

2.) "Hanging Out at the Buena Vista": Two retirement village residents meet and banter with each other. Short, sharp, entertaining.

3.) "When the Women Come Out to Dance": Lourdes, a Colombian maid, take on new, more interesting duties when the wife of her employer reveals her marital unease.

4.) "Fire in the Hole": U.S. marshal Raylan Givens (last seen in the novels Pronto and Riding the Rap) is reassigned to duty in Harlan County, Kentucky - his hometown - and his first case involves bringing down a longtime friend-turned-criminal (Boyd Crowder).

This story is followed by the novel Raylan.

This story is also the basis for the first episode ("Fire in the Hole") of the cable show Justified, as well as good portion of that show's first season - "Fire in the Hole" originally aired on March 16, 2010.

Timothy Olyphant played Raylan Givens. Walton Goggins played Boyd Crowder. Joelle Carter played Ava Crowder. Nick Searcy played Chief Deputy Art Mullen. Jacob Pitts played Tim Gutterson.

Damon Herriman played Dewey Crowe. Doug E. Doug played Israel Fandi. Kevin Rankin played Devil. Ryan O'Nan played Jared Hale. Daniel Stewart Sherman played "Pork #1". Joel Garland, billed as Joel Marsh Garland, played "Pork #2".

Danny Wildman played "19 Year Old Raylan". David Michael Holmes played "19 Year Old Boyd".

Graham Yost wrote the episode's teleplay; Michael Dinner directed the episode.

5.) "Karen Makes Out": Karen Sisco (federal marshal, from the novel Out of Sight) discovers that her new boyfriend (Carl Tillman) might have a foolhardy - illegal - source of income.

6.) "Tenkiller": A rodeo cowboy-turned-Hollywood stuntman (Ben "Tenkiller" Webster) returns home to Okmulgee, Oklahoma, where criminals are living on his property, under false pretenses - a situation he seeks to remedy, via action and the law.

Other stories:

"Chickasaw Charlie Hoke"; "Hurrah for Capt. Early"; "The Tonto Woman"

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