Swag

Swag

4.5 86
by Elmore Leonard
     
 

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The author of Get Shorty, Elmore Leonard writes of a world that is all-too-real, too frighteningly formidable. In Swag, he takes us down the streets of summertime Detroit where life is not so sweet - unless you're handy at crime.

His three "heroes" boast an expertise in things illegal. They conjure up a plan that will reap a tax-free $100,000. All it takes is an

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Overview

The author of Get Shorty, Elmore Leonard writes of a world that is all-too-real, too frighteningly formidable. In Swag, he takes us down the streets of summertime Detroit where life is not so sweet - unless you're handy at crime.

His three "heroes" boast an expertise in things illegal. They conjure up a plan that will reap a tax-free $100,000. All it takes is an armed robbery and the street-savvy to get away with it. It's a brilliant caper with a finely timed finale.

"Elmore Leonard can write circles around almost anybody active in the crime novel today." (The New York Times)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780440084495
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/28/1976
Pages:
240

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Elmore Leonard wrote forty-five novels and nearly as many western and crime short stories across his highly successful career that spanned more than six decades. Some of his bestsellers include Road Dogs, Up in Honey’s Room, The Hot Kid, Mr. Paradise, Tishomingo Blues, and the critically acclaimed collection of short stories Fire in the Hole. Many of his books have been made into movies, including Get Shorty, Out of Sight, and Rum Punch, which became Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie BrownJustified, the hit series from FX, is based on Leonard’s character Raylan Givens, who appears in Riding the Rap, Pronto, Raylan and the short story “Fire in the Hole”. He was a 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 was known to many as the ‘Dickens of Detroit’ and was a long-time resident of the Detroit area.

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Brief Biography

Hometown:
Bloomfield Village, Michigan
Date of Birth:
October 11, 1925
Place of Birth:
New Orleans, Louisiana
Education:
B.Ph., University of Detroit, 1950
Website:
http://www.elmoreleonard.com/

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Swag 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 73 reviews.
JessLucy More than 1 year ago
Very entertaining read; lots of action, dry humor and realistic characters. Loved the storyline and the ending as well! If you enjoy this author, you may also like Lee Child, the Trac McGee series by John D. MacDonald, the James Bond series by Ian Fleming, and anything by Ross McDonald.
Lance_Charnes More than 1 year ago
We're so used to Elmore Leonard being an icon of modern crime fiction that it's hard to remember that back in the 1960s and 1970s he was just another genre author, more known for his Westerns than the crime novels he began turning out in 1969. It's even harder to remember that he didn't spring out of the ground fully-formed; he had to learn how to be Elmore Leonard. Swag, the third of his Detroit-based crime stories, is an example of Leonard in progress but not yet the king. Ernest "Stick" Stickley is a career petty criminal from Kentucky eking out a living in pre-apocalyptic Detroit. When he's caught boosting a car and the victim -- scumbag used-car salesman Frank Ryan -- gets him off the hook, the two decide to launch into a life of armed robbery following a set of "rules for success" Frank has worked up in one bar or another. It turns out Frank doesn't have a clue and manages to get the two of them wrapped up with some real criminals. Things go downhill in a hurry. By the time this book came out, Leonard had developed his trademark spare prose, though it's not as arid here as it will be later on. He shows a feel for the low-life life, the rhythms of the chronically underemployed, their vices and their attitudes. And his dialog has that sense of being reported rather than invented, as if the author had simply recorded these characters talking among themselves and was transcribing their own words. This much is the Leonard we now take for granted, and is the best part of this novel. Unfortunately, there are significant chunks of the Elmore Leonard style missing from Swag.  For instance, we don't get the memorable characters. Stick, the closest thing to a protagonist in this tale, is a thin reed on which to hang this story; he's neither likable enough to be good company nor interesting enough to make up for it. While he's somewhat smarter than Frank, that's not much of an accomplishment, and he doesn't have an especially compelling backstory or set of goals for the future. Chili Palmer and Jack Foley, he ain't. There's not a whole lot to the plot, either. The whole middle of the book chronicles Stick's and Frank's adventures with armed robbery, which rapidly become repetitive. In that their favorite victims are grocery and liquor stores, and that it appears Detroit PD was no better in the '70s than it is today, the stakes are decidedly low. In between heists, they drink, toke, squabble and chase women. It's not until the last quarter that we get the kind of double-triple-crossing criminal stew we came to expect from Leonard, by which time it's almost beside the point. The novel is a product of its time. Nearly all the women are almost-interchangeable bed buddies for the stray men around Stick's and Frank's apartment complex, and all the white characters use more epithets for the black characters than many readers may have known existed (none of them complimentary). If you're younger than, say, me, you may not get the music and TV references. In many ways, reading Swag is like watching a 1970s cop movie, complete with low production values, faded colors and dust specks on the film. If you're new to Leonard, bypass this book and start with his post-Glitz products from the late 1980s and 1990s, when he was at the top of his game. If you've exhausted those and can't live without seeing the primordial Leonard, then come back here. If you never make it back to Swag, you'll not have missed much.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thiz Book So Cray Its Swagcray I LOVE IT:)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sup
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ok ill be there
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Only one rule: post on res 2. Post by jan 31st. I will post results afterward. No restriction, go as mature or young age as you want.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
O.O
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ugh me so sleepy
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Idk but hi r u a girl?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Swagfag
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
==========> 7ft!!!!!!!!
eliasos More than 1 year ago
great!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ugh so dam mad
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Go to empty res 5 look for kristy
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Whoo this party is awsome ........drank to much beer stand back blaaaaahhhhh sorry
fosdick More than 1 year ago
This, like Stick, is from Leonard's early forays into crime writing. He's a great story teller and none but Chandler create better characters.