Tuesday, May 25, 2010

More El More

I just read Elmore Leonard's Be Cool which is a sequel to the fabulous Get Shorty.  Near the beginning Chili Palmer, talking about the movie sequel to Get Leo (Get Lost) says that the sequels are never as good as the original.  Unfortunately, it sets the tone for this book, which is a meandering novel about using and manipulating life to make a movie (kind of like writing a novel about using life and manipulating life to make a movie).  Along the way we meet US mobsters, bad-assed rappers, a gay Samoan body guard, Russian mobsters, star-starved women, and any number of LA entertainment industry characters.  It's a fun romp, if not a bit depressing, because the realization that talent doesn't really matter all that much is probably true. (A top music business CEO tells Chili that most of the women who do toothpaste ads can sing better than the stars.)  Anyway, the end result is that Chili hands the whole thing to a screenwriter and hopes that he/she can turn it into something.  Elmore Leonard did not.  He published it as is.  But of course because it's Elmore, and he's even cooler than Chili Palmer, it's worth the time.

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