Tuesday, April 12, 2011

#15: Djibouti by Elmore Leonard

A documentary film crew get involved with Somalian pirates and, by association, an emerging terrorist plot in Elmore Leonard's Djibouti.

In the 50s and 60s Elmore Leonard solid but today underrated Westerns, then was best known for a very admirable string of crime novels up through the 90s, many with a strong Detroit Rock City flavor.  In the 21st Century he has sampled all over the place with various genres and time periods, with some pretty good novels (Tishomingo Blues, The Hot Kid) and some okay ones (Pagan Babies, Road Dogs). 

This one has an interesting premise, and Leonard also does some neat things with nonlinear storytelling to change it up a bit.  As usual, the novel is populated by Leonard's trademark quirky characters. 

But unfortunately it's all talk, talk, talk until a (literally) explosive conclusion.  And some of the dialogue clanks a bit (including the young lead character calling movies "pictures," which seems dated).

Although this one is a bit of a mixed bag, Elmore Leonard is still worth reading, well into his 80s.

I listened to a good audiobook version of this, read by Tim Cain, on loan from the Morrison-Reeves Public Library in Richmond, Indiana, most of it on a drive back and forth from Chicago.

No comments:

Post a Comment