Thursday, March 9, 2017

HOMBRE by Elmore Leonard

It's always a tricky thing reviewing an Elmore Leonard novel. His writing is usually so efficient and effortless that it doesn't seem like he's doing much but his stories sneak up on you anyway. I always struggle to go into detail about why I like the books, other than to say that I really enjoyed the story. He was able to buff and polish his style until the form became invisible and only story shined through. Donald Westlake was the same way in his work. Although there haven't been any Leonard books so far that have blown me away, I can definitely say I've enjoyed the five that I've read. Hombre, considered one of Leonard's classics, is no different. It's a simple plot, about a group of travelers in a mud wagon stagecoach who are stalked by road agents after a satchel of stolen money. Leonard's spare style and his use of first-person (his only novel to use that POV), is effective at lending the story it's mythic tone. It's deceptively uncomplicated and well-paced, right up to it's great final act.


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