Killshot

Killshot

Book - 1989
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Publisher: New York : Arbor House, 1989.
ISBN: 0557100411
Branch Call Number: LEO
Characteristics: 287 p. ; 25 cm.

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j
jimg2000
Jan 10, 2017

Armand drank Canadian Club, doubles, good ones. He told himself it was to keep his mind alive, thoughts coming, as he had a conversation with himself and made some decisions.
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His ambition was to rob a bank in every state of the union— or maybe just forty-nine, fxck Alaska— which he believed would be some kind of record, get him in that book as the All-American Bank Robber. He had thirty-seven states to go but was young.
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“I know how to walk out. How do I get in?”
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The Blackbird knew what this guy and his people thought of him. Half-breed tough guy one time from Montreal, maybe a little crazy, they gave the dirty jobs to. If you took the jobs, you took the way they spoke to you. You spoke back if you could get away with it, if they needed you. It wasn’t social, it was business.

j
jimg2000
Jan 10, 2017

Wayne told her there was no difference between being up forty feet or four hundred; go off from either height it would kill you. If you had to fall, he told her, try to do it inside the structure, because they decked in every other floor as they bolted up. But either way, falling inside or out, it was called “going in the hole.”
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“I shoot people,” the Blackbird said. “Sometimes for money, sometimes for nothing.” Without moving his head or even his eyes, staring at that wad of cash, Richie Nix said, “Can I tell you something?” “What?” “You’re just the guy I’m looking for.”
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Donna told him to stay out of the bar at Sans Souci, Indians from Walpole Island drank there and got ugly. Oh, was that right? Richie dropped by one evening and glared for an hour at different ones and nobody made a move. Shit, Indians weren’t nothing to handle. Go in a colored joint and glare you’d bleed all the way to the hospital.

j
jimg2000
Jan 10, 2017

“Let me tell you something. You don’t ever leave things undone. You don’t ever think somebody’s not gonna remember you..."
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“What’re you mad at?” “I’m not mad.” “What are you, then?” “I don’t know,” Carmen said. “If I find out I’ll tell you.”
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" ...I read that deer eat white-oak acorns like potato chips. They can’t stop eating them. I know there’s plenty of red oak.”
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“I don’t see them as little Walt Disney creatures,” Wayne said, rolling up the cab window. “That’s the difference. You shoot some in the fall or they starve in the winter. Look at it that way.”
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“Isn’t there something we can do together?” Wayne said, “Outside of visit your mom and pretend we’re as dumb as she is?” “I mean some kind of work or business we could both get into,” Carmen said, “and be together more.” “Wear matching outfits,” Wayne said, “and enter ballroom-dancing contests. Tell me what you want.”

j
jimg2000
Jan 10, 2017

“You said, ‘My wife’s a winner. That’s why I married her.’ “ “Yeah? What’s wrong with that?” “It’s like you’re taking credit, because you picked me.” “I was complimenting you, for Christ sake.”
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“Hon, what are two adjacent states, one’s a Spanish word, the other’s Indian and they both mean red, the color?”
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Matthew says, ‘The steam pressure it takes to catapult a thirty-ton aircraft off the flight deck would send a pickup truck five miles out over the ocean.’ Now something like that I can picture. Then he talks about steam building up in the ‘below-deck accumulators.’ How’s a kid like Matthew know that? He’s nineteen years old.”
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Armand said they went to Port Huron, to fool around, and his friend cut himself trying to open a beer bottle with his mouth. The customs officer said, “That’s kind of stupid, isn’t it?” Armand told him his friend was a stupid guy. It was the only thing he said that was true.

j
jimg2000
Jan 10, 2017

.... his expressions. Carmen believed he had three or four: deadpan, mouth open, this one and his gee-whiz grin.
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I think of it now, the only job I ever had in my life was in the repo business and what’s that but legal stealing.
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“A glass eye in a duck’s ass can see they don’t know what they’re doing,”
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“What I should’ve done was broke a few bones, put those guys in the hospital, in traction.” Now the FBI man was nodding. “That’s not a bad place to question suspects, when they’re in pain and can’t move.”
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“So you don’t trust her.” “Man, I just got done explaining it to you. I don’t have to worry do I trust her, long as she trusts me.”
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A woman won’t ever come at you, they got other ways. Put ground-up glass in your chow. Pour gasoline on you while you’re sleeping and set you afire. I know guys it’s happened to. The least thing they can do is tell on you, that’s too fxcking easy.

j
jimg2000
Jan 10, 2017

Wayne said, “What do you have?” getting some amazement in his tone. “Honey, you have me, don’t you?” The way she got up and grabbed the beer can from the night table, he knew she was going to throw it at him.
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“You want me to talk to this moron, this asshole marshal? I will, I plan to, don’t worry. He ever walks in this house again I’ll wrap a sleever bar around his head. How’s that?” Carmen stood there long enough to say, “That’s what you’ll do for him. What will you do for me?”
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" ... Tell me what you want. You don’t tell me, how’m I suppose to know? You start crying, I don’t even know most of the time if you’re happy or somebody died or you got a pain, it doesn’t seem to make any fxcking difference. What I need is something like your Emotional Expression Chart, a big one I can lay over you and find out what’s going on.”

j
jimg2000
Jan 10, 2017

Ferris serious was annoying as Ferris grinning.
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Dumb enough to be a TV star, he had the hair, the build, the fake boyish grin. . . . The only trouble was he was real.
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“The only thing that was good about it, I met my present wife, Roseanne. If we get along half the time it’s better than nothing."
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Richie wondered if smoking weed all his life except for the past month or so had fucked up his head. Then wondered if it made any difference.
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(This exchange proved deadly)
Richie said, “You ever talk to me like that again . . .” Armand said, “Yeah, what?” because he wanted to hear how this punk would say it. “It’ll be the last time you do.” Nothing original about that, the guy remained a punk.

j
jimg2000
Jan 10, 2017

No more spud wrenches and beaters. Now it was cowtails and hula hoops, chain slings, ratchets, the jewelry they used to tie barges up for a tow— three wide and five long on the Upper Miss on account of they have to pass through locks. But did she know what the record was on the Lower Miss? No, what? Seventy-two barges, a world-record tow the Miss Kae-D hauled from Mile 304 near Baton Rouge to Hickman, Kentucky, in May of ‘81. A fleet more than a quarter of a mile long, with a load capacity of 113,400 net tons. How did he remember that? Moved by rail it would’ve taken 1,152 boxcars, a freight train 13 miles long. By truck, shit, it would’ve taken 4,300 18-wheelers in a convoy, legally spaced, that would stretch 173 miles on the interstate.

j
jimg2000
Jan 10, 2017

“You and her back together?” “Everything’s fine.” “Gee, I’m surprised,” Ferris said. “From the way she acted I thought, well, she either had enough of you or she wasn’t getting enough from you, one.”
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“Your dad says, ‘You understand, all those years of marriage we’re using the rhythm method of birth control. It gives you about a week a month when it’s safe to do it. So it became known as Love Week with us and among some of our friends, all the micks. The problem was, the wife could hold it over your head. Say you’re at a party and she wants to go home and you don’t, you’re having a good time. She whispers in your ear, “We go home right now, buddy, or you don’t get any.” You have to decide quick. You want to get smashed, have a good time? You do, you’re gonna have to wait a month to get laid. This goes on for years of marriage. ...

j
jimg2000
Jan 10, 2017

“And I’ll tell you where we’re at. You’re gonna quit mouthing off, okay? You don’t, I’ll pound that glass eye into you so hard you’ll be using it to peek out your asshole.”
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He could actually see a line where the two rivers met, the muddy Mississippi running past hard, the beautiful Ohio settling in a pool to keep out of its way.
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“He’s interviewing couples who live together and engaged couples who say they aren’t going to, you know, have relations till they get married. They show one of the girls real close and the word virgin comes on the screen telling that’s what she is, a virgin, like she’s some kind of rare bird. Can you imagine? It’s like they’re saying, ‘Look at this virgin, everybody.’ You didn’t see it?”

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j
jimg2000
Jan 10, 2017

The Kirkus reviews just about gave up the details of the novel. The "padding" mentioned by others, were admirable accounts on occupations of the main quartet of characters: an iron worker who tried his hands to run tug boats on the mighty Mississippi hauling coal and crushed rocks, a cold Canadian mob hit man with half Indian blood, a smart real estate agent MILF who no one took seriously, and one young impulsive killer with his older "comfort woman". I would leave out the personality analysis on hand writing and keep the rest, including the smothering mom and the LEOs in the "Witness Security Program.” So, just add some memorable quotes and plan to watch the 2008 film.

l
lukasevansherman
Sep 27, 2014

I like Elmore Leonard, but I feel he gets more praise than he deserves and overshadows who I think are the real titans of contemporary crime fiction, James Ellroy and James Lee Burke. This is a lesser effort. Made into a film with Diane Lane and Mickey "What happened to his face?" Rourke.

b
BertBailey
Oct 26, 2012

I'm almost through this novel, and can say that despite some very well-written pages of interactions between his characters, there are far too many digressions of the *padding* kind to convince me that this is anywhere near Leonard's best. Passages, I mean, that don't even help enrich the characters, let alone advance the story; padding that suggests this might’ve been far better as a novella than a novel. In short, not among his best - although, as indicated, plenty of material shows there's a master holding the pen. While eminently readable, I'd recommend this only to aspiring writers who dig deep in the weeds to explore just what's working, and why and how, and what doesn't. There are probably much sharper thrillers of Leonard's you'll find in the OPL's collection.

m
Michael
Aug 13, 2009

...you've got 4 copies of this 2009 version of the book on order... plus you already have one copy of the 1989 edition of the same book... why not even one copy of the dvd movie adaptation of the same title - starring Thomas Jane, Mickey Rourke, Diane Lane and Rosario Dawson???

- "Film is the literature of this Generation"!

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