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When the Women Come Out to Dance (Unabridged Stories) | [Elmore Leonard]

When the Women Come Out to Dance (Unabridged Stories)

In this collection of new and recently published short fiction, Elmore Leonard demonstrates the superb characterizations, dead-on dialogue, vivid atmosphere, and driving plotting that have made him a household name. And once more this master of crime illustrates that the line between the law and the lawbreakers is not as firm as we might think.
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Publisher's Summary

In this collection of new and recently published short fiction, Elmore Leonard demonstrates the superb characterizations, dead-on dialogue, vivid atmosphere, and driving plotting that have made him a household name. And once more this master of crime illustrates that the line between the law and the lawbreakers is not as firm as we might think.

Federal marshal Karen Sisco, from the best-selling novel Out of Sight, returns in "Karen Makes Out," once again inadvertently mixing pleasure with business. In "Fire in the Hole," Raylan Givens, last seen in Riding the Rap and Pronto, meets up with an old friend, but they're now on different sides of the law. In the title story, "When the Women Come Out to Dance," Mrs. Mahmood gets more than she bargains for when she conspires with her maid to end her unhappy marriage. In all nine stories, each unique in their own right, reluctant heroes and laid-back lowlifes struggle for power, survival, and their fifteen minutes of fame.

Vivid, hilarious, and unfailingly human, these stories ring true with Elmore Leonard's signature deadpan social observations and diabolical eye for the foibles of the good guys and the bad.

©2002 Elmore Leonard, Inc.; (P)2002 HarperCollinsPublishers, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"The razor-edged dialogue and brisk storytelling won't disappoint." (Publishers Weekly)
"These clever, perceptive, ironic short stories by the author of Get Shorty and other crime classics boast stylistic verve and strong characterizations. Narrator Taye Diggs has a pleasant, calming sound that brings out the smoothness of the writing." (AudioFile)
"Especially noteworthy are the women in these tales, uniformly strong, funny, and complex. But perhaps Leonard's greatest accomplishment is in transforming a notoriously underread form, the short story, into something with mass appeal." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (87 )
5 star
 (23)
4 star
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3.9 (56 )
5 star
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1 star
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Story
3.8 (56 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Richard Delman San Francisco 07-30-12
    Richard Delman San Francisco 07-30-12 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1828
    ratings
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    "Mixed Elmore Leonard stories; great Taye Diggs."

    This is a collection of stories by Elmore Leonard. Several of the stories have recurring Leonard characters: Ben Webster, Karen Cisco, and the best story in the book, which is called Fire in the Hole, is the basis for the TV series, "Justified." Taye Diggs does an excellent job of narration. His voice is comfortable and friendly. There are a number of regional American accents, particularly Kentucky and West Virginia, black and white, redneck and sophisticated urban. Diggs does them all well. He is a movie actor, and I'd be happy to hear him read more books. Fire in the Hole forms the entire basis of Justified. The story covers several episodes and many of the characters in the series. Much of the TV show, of which Leonard is the executive producer, is lifted directly from the story. Who writes better dialogue than Elmore Leonard? The main characters in Fire in the Hole are Raylan Givens, also a recurring character in a number of other books, Boyd Crowder, a guy that Raylan once worked in coal mines with, and Eva Crowder, the widow of Boyd's late brother Bowman. He is late because Eva killed him at their dinner table after suffering years of abuse at his hands. Fire in the Hole is worth the price of the book, even if you haven't seen Justified (Timothy Olyphant plays Raylan, which might motivate some of you to watch it, as he is both a great actor and incredibly handsome). I would start with the books by Leonard rather than this collection, but for many of us, any Elmore Leonard is good Elmore Leonard.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Mertus Rumford, RI USA 01-21-04
    John Mertus Rumford, RI USA 01-21-04 Member Since 2001

    Radical Skeptic

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Typical Elmore"

    Once again, Elmore's wonderful prose makes you feel the places and the people with a stunning reality. Alas, third person descriptive style, although great for novels, is not best for short stories.

    The stories are uneven: the best ones, such as Karen Makes Out, are great reads, but the bad ones, such as Ten Killer, just never reaches any level of excitement. I felt the Villains were too weak and the good guy lacking in motivation and style.

    If you normally enjoy Elmore's realism, you should enjoy these stories

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A+A North Carolina 01-06-05
    A+A North Carolina 01-06-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Leonard's leftovers"

    Elmore Leonard's tough, cool heroes and dialogue don't compensate for how one-dimensional his characters are, or how his plots limp to unsatisfying conclusions. Because his showdowns are always between brave, smart heroes and stupid, feckless villains, all suspense is drained from the stories.

    This collection feels tired and recycled, as though Leonard was trying to create a meal out of three-day-old leftovers. He drags in characters from his novels, but doesn't give them anything fresh to do.

    In two of the longer stories, the hero comes back to his home town, reconnects with the formerly-married woman whom he longed for but never slept with in high school, and winds up in the woman's kitchen facing down the leader of a group of moronic, white-trash criminals. Sure, one villain is eating fried chicken, and the other just wants a cup of coffee, but that difference hardly makes the plots distinct.

    In two other stories a woman commits a crime and is then blackmailed by a person who knows about it. Yep, that's supposed to be the clever denouement.

    For far more inventive plots, try "Twisted," Jeffrey Deaver's fun collection of crime/suspense stories. Deaver really knows how to surprise you.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Reeves Ridge Manor, FL, United States 03-22-14
    Richard Reeves Ridge Manor, FL, United States 03-22-14 Member Since 2010
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    "Elmore Leonad at his best about those wild women"
    What did you love best about When the Women Come Out to Dance (Unabridged Stories)?

    It's a great collection of short stories about women who just surprise you in the end. Elmore writes like it pure fact, it's a smooth action, even with a book. If you feel like your reading then it's not good.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of When the Women Come Out to Dance (Unabridged Stories)?

    I loved the Latin lady who came to clean the house but all she did was listen and keep the rich housewife company. The wife was a dancer and stripper and knew how to work her charms to get him. So now the pretty wife is really sick of her middle eastern husband who doesn't keep her happy, just loves to show her off. He stays at the strip clubs enjoying new ladies. She wants to get rid of him but only has twenty thousand she can get her hands on. Then she has a problem with that. But suddenly he gets killed, don't want to give up to much. Anyway she hasn't thought about it when the maid shows up with two men. Then she realizes that the maid went ahead and had it done. What do they expect, she ask? They just came to see you dance.
    There all good. That's just one. Fire in the hole was my favorite.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Fire in the hole. It's the first time we hear of Deputy Marshall Raylen Gibbens and Boyd Crowder. Most of you will know them from Justified.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Laughed a lot. Really enjoyed it.


    Any additional comments?

    Have enough time to enjoy it. I travel a lot, sometime long rides but mostly just half hour to a hour. It's better to be able to listen to one story in a sitting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim Pittsburgh, PA, United States 09-24-12
    Tim Pittsburgh, PA, United States 09-24-12 Member Since 2012
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    "wasn't impressed"
    What disappointed you about When the Women Come Out to Dance (Unabridged Stories)?

    the stories I didn't care for


    Has When the Women Come Out to Dance (Unabridged Stories) turned you off from other books in this genre?

    no


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    narrator was okay


    Any additional comments?

    I was hoping it was an other Raylin Givens novel

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    gayle Houston, Texas, United States 05-14-13
    gayle Houston, Texas, United States 05-14-13 Member Since 2007
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    "too short"
    What disappointed you about When the Women Come Out to Dance (Unabridged Stories)?

    Each story was too short and not worth the time or money. I always loved his books but i will be careful the next time before i order another one .


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    anything new from james lee burke


    Would you be willing to try another one of Taye Diggs’s performances?

    no


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    no


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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