Pagan Babies

( 15 )

Overview

Father Terry Dunn thought he'd seen everything on the mean streets of Detroit, but that was before he went on a little retreat to Rwanda to evade a tax-fraud indictment. Now the whiskey-drinking, Nine Inch Nails–T-shirt–wearing padre is back trying to hustle up a score to help the little orphans of Rwanda. But the fund-raising gets complicated when a former tattletale cohort pops up on Terry's tail. And then there's the lovely Debbie Dewey. A freshly sprung ex-con turned stand-up comic, Debbie needs some fast ...

See more details below
Paperback
$11.99
BN.com price
(Save 20%)$14.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (18) from $1.99   
  • New (10) from $3.09   
  • Used (8) from $1.99   
Pagan Babies

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$6.99
BN.com price

Overview

Father Terry Dunn thought he'd seen everything on the mean streets of Detroit, but that was before he went on a little retreat to Rwanda to evade a tax-fraud indictment. Now the whiskey-drinking, Nine Inch Nails–T-shirt–wearing padre is back trying to hustle up a score to help the little orphans of Rwanda. But the fund-raising gets complicated when a former tattletale cohort pops up on Terry's tail. And then there's the lovely Debbie Dewey. A freshly sprung ex-con turned stand-up comic, Debbie needs some fast cash too, to settle an old score. Now they're in together for a bigger payoff than either could finagle alone. After all, it makes sense . . . unless Father Terry is working a con of his own.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
September 2000

Elmore Leonard Does It Again!

Without a doubt, Elmore Leonard is not only one of the most accomplished authors around, he's inarguably the coolest. Dubbed "the greatest crime author of our time, perhaps ever!" by the notoriously hard-to-please New York Times, Leonard follows the phenomenal success of Be Cool with his 36th novel, Pagan Babies. And it emerges as Leonard's funniest straight-faced novel to date — with its most devilish, irresistible hero.

Leonard at His Best

Some years ago, Elmore Leonard offered an interviewer a memorably succinct description of his distinctive technique, stating, "I just try to leave all the boring parts out." During the course of a career that has spanned nearly 50 years and has produced more than three dozen books, he has held to this aesthetic principle with remarkable consistency. Anyone wanting to see how he does it should check out Leonard's latest. It's called Pagan Babies, and it's a textbook example of how to write fiction that is spare, fresh, funny, and absolutely boredom-free.

Pagan Babies opens in present-day Rwanda, a nation still haunted by the genocidal tribal conflicts of the mid-1990s, conflicts that resulted in the wholesale slaughter of some 800,000 Tutsi natives. At the center of the narrative is "Father" Terry Dunn, an American missionary who may or may not be a legitimately ordained Catholic priest and who is himself haunted by the memories of atrocities committed within his church. Terry's tenure in Rwanda comes toanabrupt end when he hears the confession of an unrepentant murderer and exacts an extreme — and lethal — form of penance. Immediately afterward, he leaves Africa and returns — for the first time in more than five years — to his home in Detroit and to the various complications — some new, some old — that are waiting for him there.

To begin with, Terry — who has had a checkered, distinctly nonpriestly career — must finally face a five-year-old indictment for cigarette smuggling and tax fraud. With the help of his brother Fran, a successful personal injuries lawyer, he cons the local district attorney — a devout Catholic — into dismissing all charges. In the process, Terry meets — and falls in love with — a former legal investigator named Debbie Dewey, whose own career is at least as colorful as Terry's.

When we first encounter her, Debbie is working as a stand-up comic in an entry-level Detroit comedy club. She is hungry — even desperate — for success and recognition, having just served a three-year prison term for aggravated assault. Debbie's assault conviction — which forms the basis for one of her more colorful comic monologues — was the result of a spontaneous attempt to run down the lowlife former boyfriend who lied his way into her life, then cleaned out her savings account before moving on to his next victim. When, shortly after her release, Debbie discovers that this larcenous ex-boyfriend (Randy Agley) is now a wealthy and successful restaurateur, she devises a scheme to divest Randy of a large portion of his newly acquired money. At this point, she enlists the assistance of her newfound friend and lover, Terry Dunn.

Initially, the scheme involves a staged "slip and fall" designed to net an out-of-court settlement of $250,000, to be divided equally between Debbie and Terry, who is acting on behalf of the orphaned children of Rwanda. However, since Pagan Babies is an Elmore Leonard novel, nothing goes off exactly as planned. Complications inevitably arise as a large cast of secondary characters interpose themselves between Debbie, Terry, and their projected payoff. Included among them are a number of figures from Terry's days as a part-time cigarette smuggler, an aging Mafia don with medical and legal problems, and a dimwitted hit man named Searcy J. Bragg, a.k.a. Mutt.

Pagan Babies is pure, high-grade Elmore Leonard, a first-rate entertainment that is alternately horrifying and hilarious, touching and grotesque. Leonard's cool, laid-back narrative voice, his pitch-perfect ear for dialogue, and his characteristic ability to populate his stories with a varied and convincing assortment of characters are on full display throughout, from the opening sequences in war-torn Rwanda to the surprisingly moving conclusion. Like the best of Leonard's earlier fiction — Glitz, Get Shorty, Freaky Deaky, City PrimevalPagan Babies is hip, smart, and artfully composed, the unmistakable product of a modern master of the form.

—Bill Sheehan

Bill Sheehan reviews horror, suspense, and science fiction for Cemetery Dance, The New York Review of Science Fiction, and other publications. His book-length critical study of the fiction ofPeter Straub, At the Foot of the Story Tree, has just been published by Subterranean Press (www.subterraneanpress.com).

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Buscemi offers a standard, dry reading of Leonard's sly new tale, which is appropriate (though his attempt at producing African accents is unconvincing) for the opening scene: Rwanda after its rabid interethnic violence. Unordained priest "Father" Terry Dunn ministers to the local congregants (47 of whom were slashed to death) and shacks up with his housekeeper until he decides to take matters of justice into his own hands. Having arrived in Africa on the lam from a criminal charge in the U.S., Terry returns home to Detroit under similar circumstances. But Buscemi's tone never becomes as lithe as Leonard's tale does in Detroit; his best effort at atmosphere is the smart-alecky tone he gives to Terry's confederate Debbie Dewey, an aspiring stand-up comic just released from prison for having tried to run over the ex-boyfriend who scammed her out of thousands of dollars. Debbie intends to scam him back and joins up with Terry, who has his own shady operation. Debbie's ex fronts for the mob and is in cahoots with a witless hit man called Mutt, who in turn allies himself with an ex-smuggling partner of Terry's. Everyone tries to protect his or her own interest in the rapidly circulating money. One can't help feeling that the abridgement has cut out some vital material before Terry's final return to Rwanda. All in all, though, this is a hugely entertaining story by Leonard--albeit one conveyed only moderately well by Buscemi. Simultaneous release with the Dell hardcover (Forecasts, July 3). (Sept.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Coming on the heels of his second Chili Palmer novel (Be Cool), Leonard's latest effort seems to have some pretty straight-laced characters. However, a well-developed story and Leonard's trademark dry wit compensate for the lack of a force like Chili. Father Terry Dunn, an American priest working in Rwanda, is forced to return to the United States after exacting penance from a group of local Hutu murderers. Upon returning to Detroit, ostensibly to raise money for African orphans, he becomes involved with Debbie, a recently released ex-convict hoping to strike it rich as a stand-up comedian. A plan for both Terry and Debbie to attain the riches they desire soon gives way to a mix of deceit and false loyalties. Once again, Leonard proves his mastery at creating likable if very flawed characters, and nobody presents the running of the con game better than he does. His fans will enjoy his latest, making it essential for all public libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/1/00.]--Craig L. Shufelt, Gladwin Cty. Lib., MI Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
Internet Book Watch
Father Terry Dunn knows it is time to leave the Rwanda massacre. His church contains forty-seven corpses turning to "leather". Although Terry is hiding as a priest, he cannot take any more of the killing fields. He kills several of the culprits but flees home to Detroit. He originally fled to avoid jail time. Debbie Dewey has just left prison after three years for trying to run her former husband over with a car. Debbie wants to become a stand-up comic until she meets Terry still masquerading as a priest. They are immediately attracted to one another and he brings her into his current con, bilking wealthy patrons in a save the Rwandan children cause which is another name for his wallet. She ups the ante by persuading him that her ex and the mob boss he is tied to is the perfect pigeon. Pagan Babies is more than vintage Leonard. This novel is classic Leonard wildly destroying moral barriers. The story line is entertaining, never eases up, and contains Mr. Leonard's graphic but picturesque prose that shows he is quite a talent. The characters are typical of Mr. Leonard's novel as they run the full spectrum of sleaze, in other words likable to detestable parasites. This tale is superb reading for those fans that enjoy something different along the lines of a fabulously written crime drama heavily spiced with the absurd.
—Internet Book Watch
Bruce DeSilva
Pagan Babies has the same fast pace, crackling dialogue and dark ironies we've come to expect from every Elmore Leonard novel for the last 20 years...the book as a whole is a sharp exploration of loyalty and disloyalty, trust and betrayal.
New York Times Book Review
Bruce Fretts
God bless Elmore Leonard...In his wildly entertaining new novel, Leonard proves that he's still a criminal mastermind...You can't help but feel a visceral thrill...
Entertainment Weekly
Janet Maslin
… the pieces of this crime tale begin falling into place so handily that Mr. Leonard might as well have hung a "Virtuoso at Work" shingle on his door...As it moves entertainingly up the gangland food chain, escalating from tax-free cigarettes to mob hits and a scam to extort damages from Randy's restaurant, the story trots out an irresistible array of lowlifes.
The New York Times
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062266019
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/25/2013
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 333,564
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Elmore Leonard

Elmore Leonard has written more than forty books during his highly successful writing career, including the bestsellers Road Dogs, Up in Honey's Room, The Hot Kid, Mr. Paradise, Tishomingo Blues, and the critically acclaimed collection of short stories When the Women Come Out to Dance. Many of his books have been made into movies, including Get Shorty, Out of Sight, and Be Cool. Justified, the hit series from FX, is based on Leonard's character Raylan Givens, who appears in Riding the Rap, Pronto, the short story "Fire in the Hole," and Raylan. Leonard is the recipient of the National Book Foundation's Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, the Lifetime Achievement Award from PEN USA, and the Grand Master Award of the Mystery Writers of America. He lives in Bloomfield Village, Michigan.

Biography

Elmore Leonard has written more than three dozen books during his highly successful writing career, including the bestsellers Be Cool, Get Shorty and Rum Punch. Many of his books have been made into movies, including Get Shorty and Out of Sight. He is the recipient of the Grand Master Award of the Mystery Writers of America. He lives with his wife in Bloomfield Village, Michigan.

Author biography courtesy of HarperCollins.

Read More Show Less
    1. Also Known As:
      Elmore John Leonard Jr.
      Elmore Leonard
    2. Hometown:
      Bloomfield Village, Michigan
    1. Date of Birth:
      October 11, 1925
    2. Place of Birth:
      New Orleans, Louisiana
    1. Education:
      B.Ph., University of Detroit, 1950
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

THE CHURCH HAD BECOME a tomb where forty-seven bodies turned to leather and stains had been lying on the concrete floor the past five years, though not lying where they had been shot with Kalashnikovs or hacked to death with machetes. The benches had been removed and the bodies reassembled: men, women and small children laid in rows of skulls and spines, femurs, fragments of cloth stuck to mummified remains, many of the adults missing feet, all missing bones that had been carried off by scavenging dogs.

Since the living would no longer enter the church, Fr. Terry Dunn heard confessions in the yard of the rectory, in the shade of old pines and silver eucalyptus trees.

"Bless me, Fatha, for I have sin. It has been two months from the last time I come to Confession. Since then I am fornicating with a woman from Gisenyi three times only and this is all I have done.

They would seem to fill their mouths with the English words, pronounc-ing each one carefully, with an accent Terry believed was heard only in Africa. He gave fornicators ten Our Fathers and ten Hail Marys, murmured what passed for an absolution while the penitent said the Act of Contrition, and dismissed them with a reminder to love God and sin no more.

"Bless me, Fatha, for I have sin. Is a long time since I come here but is not my fault, you don't have Confession always when you say. The sin I did, I stole a goat from close by Nyundo for my family to eat. My wife cook it en brochette and also in a stew with potatoes and peppers."

"Last night at supper," Terry said, "I told my housekeeper I'd enjoy goat stew a lot more if it wasn't so goddamnbony."

The goat thief said, "Excuse me, Fatha?"

"Those little sharp bones you get in your mouth," Terry said, and gave the man ten Our Fathers and ten Hail Marys. He gave just about everyone ten Our Fathers and ten Hail Marys to say as their penance.

Some came seeking advice.

"Bless me, Fatha, I have not sin yet but I think of it. I see one of the men kill my family has come back. One of the Hutu Interahamwe militia, he come back from the Goma refugee camp and I like to kill him, but I don't want to go to prison and I don't want to go to Hell. Can you have God forgive me before I kill him?"

Terry said, "I don't think He'll go for it. The best you can do, report the guy to the conseiller at the sector office and promise to testify at the trial."

The man who hadn't killed anyone yet said, "Fatha, when is that happen? I read in Imvaho they have one hundred twenty-four thousand in prisons waiting for trials. In how many years will it be for this man that kill my family? Imvaho say two hundred years to try all of them."

Terry said, "Is the guy bigger than you are?"

"No, he's Hutu."

"Walk up to the guy," Terry said, "and hit him in the mouth as hard as you can, with a rock. You'll feel better. Now make a good Act of Contrition for anything you might've done and forgot about." Terry could offer temporary relief but nothing that would change their lives.

Penitents would kneel on a prie-dieu and see his profile through a framed square of cheesecloth mounted on the kneeler: Fr. Terry Dunn, a bearded young man in a white cassock, sitting in a wicker chair. Sideways to the screen he looked at the front yard full of brush and weeds and the road that came up past the church from the village of Arisimbi. He heard Confession usually once a week but said Mass, in the school, only a few times a year: Christmas Day, Easter Sunday and when someone died. The Rwandese Bishop of Nyundo, nine miles up the road, sent word for Fr. Dunn to come and give an account of himself.

He drove there in the yellow Volvo station wagon that had belonged to the priest before him and sat in the bishop's office among African sculptures and decorative baskets, antimacassars in bold star designs on the leather sofa and chairs, on the wall a print of the Last Supper and a photograph of the bishop taken with the pope. Terry had worn his cassock. The bishop, in a white sweater, asked him if he was attempting to start a new sect within the Church. Terry said no, he had a personal reason for not acting as a full-time priest, but would not say what it was. He did tell the bishop, "You can contact the order that runs the mission, the Missionary Fathers of St. Martin de Porres in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, and ask to have me replaced; but if you do, good luck. Young guys today are not breaking down the door to get in the seminary." This was several years ago. Terry left the bishop shaking his head and was still here on his own.

This afternoon the prie-dieu was placed beneath a roof of palm fronds and thatch that extended from the rectory into the yard. A voice raised against the hissing sound of the rain said, "Bless me, Fatha, for I have sin," and started right in. "I kill seven people that time I'm still a boy and we kill the inyenzi, the cockroaches. I kill four persons in the church the time you saying the Mass there and you see it happen. You know we kill five hundred in Nyundo before we come here and kill I think one hundred in this village before everybody run away."

Terry continued to stare at the yard that sloped down to the road, the clay hardpack turned dark in the rain.

"And we kill some more where we have the roadblock and stop all the drivers and look at the identity cards. The ones we want we take in the bush and kill them."

The man paused and Terry waited. The guy wasn't confessing his sins, he was bragging about what he did.

"You hear me, Fatha?"

Terry said, "Keep talking," wondering where the guy was going with it.

"I can tell you more will die very soon. How do I know this? I am a visionary, Fatha. I am told in visions of the Blessed Virgin saying to do it, to kill the inyenzi. I tell you this and you don't say nothing, do you?"

Terry didn't answer. The man's voice, at times shrill, sounded familiar.

"No, you can't," the voice said. "Oh, you can tell me not to do it, but you can't tell no other person, the RPA, the conseiller, nobody, because I tell you this in Confession and you have the rule say you can't talk about what you hear. You listen to me? We going to cut the feet off before we kill them. You know why we do it? You are here that time, so you understand. But you have no power, so you don't stop us. Listen, if we see you when we come, a tall one like you, we cut your feet off, too."

Terry sat in his wicker chair staring out at the rain, the pale sky, mist covering the far hills. The thing was, these guys could do it. They already had, so it wasn't just talk, the guy mouthing off.

He said, "You going to give me my penance to say?"

Terry didn't answer.

"All right, I finished."

The man rose from the kneeler and in a moment Terry watched him walking away, barefoot, skinny bare legs, a stick figure wearing a checkered green shirt and today in the rain a raggedy straw hat with the brim turned down. Terry didn't need to see the guy's face. He knew him the way he knew people in the village by the clothes they wore, the same clothes they put on every morning, if they didn't sleep in them. He had seen that green shirt recently, only a few days ago . . .
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 15 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(6)

4 Star

(6)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 – 16 of 15 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2013

    The Master!

    Still one of the best at what he does.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 23, 2010

    Pagan Babies...A Good Read

    Typical Elmore Leonard, in that here is an author that ALWAYS gives you a good, witty, enjoyable read. Love him!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2002

    Interesting Shift In Detail

    This book was interesting as I read through the pages of moral abuse. One will begin to think this is horrible as he reads on because the story does such a good job of setting up the main character then explaining the twist. I recommend this book for someone who wishes to read a book from a prospective not many have thought about. Enjoy!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2002

    Not quite what I had wished for in a book .

    This is the first by this author , in my long list of recently read books , and I did not care for it. I thought it would be interesting but found it to be both slow moving , boring , and a real job to finish. Normally I would have looked forward to enjoying a new author. Better luck next time !

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2001

    Good, good, good, ehh so-so.

    This one is I believe true Elmore Leonard form. Most impotantly it has a terrific caste of extremely interesting characters. The beginning gives you a good shock and the middle keeps you enthralled, but the ending lets you down just a bit. I enjoyed the book very much, but the usual Elmore Leonard pizazz wasn't there.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2001

    Brutal and Sympathetic

    I read the book in two days, so right there it had some characteristics of a bonafied page turner, but having read several other Leonard novels, the book didn't seem to be up to its potential. The characters are classic Leonard, and their bizarre backgrounds help make the story playful. Leonard's dialogue is as crisp as ever, street smart, and to the point. Most of all I enjoyed the bizarre characters: an ex-con aspiring to be a stand up comedian, and a booze hound priest taking confessions in the wake of a massacre in Africa. A good book, but definitely not Elmore Leonard's best.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2000

    Was Not All That Impressed

    Have been a big Leonard fan for years, but was not really impressed with his latest venture. I struggled to finish it. Enough said. To each his own, read it and reach your own decision.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2000

    yes!!

    finally, Leonard pumps out a new book!! I can't say enough good things about this book, so i'll keep it short. I love this book, if you like Elmore Leonard, buy it!! that's it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2000

    LEONARD JUST KEPPS GETTING BETTER AND BETTER!

    In Elmore Leonard¿s newest novel, PAGAN BABIES, we have Father Terry Dunn who is a Catholic priest in the African country of Rwanda. Five years before, he was witness to a horrible massacre in his church. Men, women and children of the Tutsis tribe were shot with guns and hacked to death with machetes by members of the Hutu tribe. All Father Dunn could do was watch as his congregation was murdered before his eyes. Now, one of the participants in the massacre has informed the good Father that the Hutus will be coming back to kill again, and that Father Dunn, being a tall man, may very well end up with his feet chopped off. This isn¿t a warning. The guy is bragging about what he intends to do. A few days later, Father Dunn enters a local bar where the Hutu killer and his friends are. He sits down and politely asks the group of men if they would be willing to turn themselves in to the local police, as well as seek redemption from God for the murders they committed. They laugh in his face, and then he calmly shoots all four men. That¿s when the reader knows that Father Dunn is no ordinary priest. He quickly returns to Detroit where he meets ex-con, Debbie Dewey, who is trying to start a career as a stand-up comedian (only in a Leonard novel). They¿re both instantly attracted to each other, realizing that they also have a great deal in common. It isn¿t long before they decide to work a scam on Debbie¿s ex-husband, who now owns a 4-star restaurant and is in cahoots with the local Mafia. Does that scare Debbie and Father Dunn. Hell, no! If they can¿t get the money out of the ex-hubby, then they¿ll try to pull one over on the head honcho for the mob. PAGAN BABIES is a pure delight to read. As usual, all of Leonard¿s characters are quirky in nature and funny in their own way. Even when someone is being beaten up or shot, the dialogue between the characters will usually have you laughing out loud. Mr. Leonard has a unique talent in being able to make his characters come alive with just a few short sentences. You feel as though you¿ve known these people all of your life. His ear for dialogue surpasses every other writer working today, except for maybe Stephen King and Robert Parker, conveying total believability in the characters. Mr. Leonard is also the only writer I know of who is able to interject doses of humor into the most dangerous situations, making it seem perfectly natural. Here¿s a good example of what I mean. There¿s a scene in PAGAN BABIES where a contract killer has come to kill Father Dunn. The good Father knows that the man is there to kill him, but does he seem worried? No. He stays calm and is able to quickly turn the situation around by showing pictures of starving children in Africa to the killer and guess what, he even receives a $5,000.00 donation for the church fund before the killer leaves. Only Elmore Leonard could pull off a scene like that and make it utterly believable. Buy the book, then think of George Clooney playing the role of Father Terry Dunn in the movie version of PAGAN BABIES, and you¿ll have four-or-five hours of absolute entertainment in your hand.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Typical Leonard

    Father Terry Dunn knows it is time to leave the Rwanda massacre. His church contains forty-seven corpses turning to ¿leather¿. Although Terry is hiding as a priest, he cannot take any more of the killing fields. He kills several of the culprits but flees home to Detroit. He originally fled to avoid jail time. <P>Debbie Dewey has just left prison after three years for trying to run her former husband over with a car. Debbie wants to become a stand-up comic until she meets Terry still masquerading as a priest. They are immediately attracted to one another and he brings her into his current con, bilking wealthy patrons in a save the Rwandan children cause which is another name for his wallet. She ups the ante by persuading him that her ex and the mob boss he is tied to is the perfect pigeon. <P>PAGAN BABIES is more than vintage Leonard. This novel is classic Leonard wildly destroying moral barriers. The story line is entertaining, never eases up, and contains Mr. Leonard¿s graphic but picturesque prose that shows he is quite a talent. The characters are typical of Mr. Leonard¿s novel as they run the full spectrum of sleaze, in other words likable to detestable parasites. This tale is superb reading for those fans that enjoy something different along the lines of a fabulously written crime drama heavily spiced with the absurd. <P>Harriet Klausner

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 16 of 15 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)