Swag

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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 ...

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Swag

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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)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780440084495
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/28/1976
  • Pages: 240

Meet the Author

Elmore Leonard

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.

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.

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    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:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 81 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(65)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 81 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 22, 2010

    Loved it

    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.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 7, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    We're so used to Elmore Leonard being an icon of modern crime fi

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2013

    Swaggy

    Thiz
    Book
    So
    Cray
    Its
    Swagcray
    I LOVE IT:)

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2013

    Madi

    Jesse?

    1 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted July 30, 2014

    STUFF WE ALL GET

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

    Posted June 25, 2014

    SARCRETLY WE ARE GAYYY

    Swagfag

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2014

    Penis

    ==========>
    7ft!!!!!!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2014

    Is this swag result 3?

    Is it?

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2014

    Penis

    P
    Balz

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted May 7, 2014

    Jusy like me

    Ive got mad swag

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2014

    Destiny to misty

    Mist misty i yell i got a kill its at the warriors den!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2014

    Misty

    Walks in looking for destiny meet me at pink result two

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2014

    Silver

    What do i do

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2014

    Hazelfur

    Giggles and carries the kits back to camp

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted April 1, 2014

    APRIL FOOLS

    FROM GRIMMMCLAW

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2014

    Swag

    Swag uh yeah swag swag uh swag yeah SKYDOESMINECRAFT

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 31, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    great!

    great!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2013

    .

    .

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2013

    Sam

    Im slim shady yes imthe real shady all u other slim shady are just imatateing si will the reall slim shady plz stand up plz stand up plz stand up

    0 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2013

    Bw to john

    Omg heyy!! Lol. And im eh...hbu?

    0 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 81 Customer Reviews

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