Road Dogs

Road Dogs

Large Print - 2009
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"Road Dogs is terrific, and Elmore Leonard is in a class of one."
--Dennis Lehane, author of Shutter Island and Mystic River

"You know from the first sentence that you're in the hands of the original Daddy Cool....This one'll kill you."
--Stephen King

Elmore Leonard is eternal. In Road Dogs, the PEN USA Lifetime Achievement Award winner and "America's greatest crime master" (Newsweek ) brings back three of his favorite characters--Jack Foley from Out of Sight, Cundo Rey from La Brava, and Dawn Navarro from Riding the Rap-- for a twisting, explosive, always surprising masterwork of crime fiction the San Francisco Chronicle calls, "a sly, violent, funny and superbly written story of friendship, greed, and betrayal."
Publisher: New York : Harper Luxe, c2009
Edition: Large print ed
ISBN: 9780061774706
Branch Call Number: LGP FIC Leon
Characteristics: 353p

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j
jimg2000
Feb 08, 2017

The main men and their women:

They were returning Jack Foley to do his thirty years after busting out for a week, Foley’s mind on a woman who made intense love to him one night in Detroit, pulled a Sig Sauer .38 the next night, shot him and sent him back to Florida. The Cuban, a little guy about fifty with dyed hair pulled back in a ponytail, was being transferred to Glades from the state prison at Starke, five years down, two and a half to go of a second-degree murder conviction. The Cuban was thinking about a woman he believed he loved, this woman who could read minds.

j
jimg2000
Feb 08, 2017

He believed Miss Megan could have her pick of guys; he couldn’t see her spending time with a little Cuban who’d come eye-level with her neckline and try his best to look in.
===
The white-power convicts accepted Foley because he was as white as they were, but they never showed they were impressed by his all-time-high number of banks.
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“This fella’s down from Starke. You understand? I’m showing him around the hotel. He wants to visit with his Savior I point him to the chapel. He wants a near-death-experience hangover, I tell him to see one of you fellas for some pruno. But you got this stranger wrong. He ain’t colored, he’s a hundred percent greaseball from down La Cucaracha way,” Foley looking at the three hard-ons and saying, “Cha cha, cha.”
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I respect how justice wears a blindfold, like a fxcking hostage.”

j
jimg2000
Feb 08, 2017

“There’s something about bank robbers, the way the general public imagines them as cool guys. Why is that? When nine out of ten are bums, deadbeats, owe car payments or need a fix. Guys who’ll never in their life get ahead of the game.”
===
“you leave here, the first thing you going to do?” “Rob a bank.” “See? Is already on your mind.” “It’s on your mind, not mine.”
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Willie Sutton became famous for saying he robbed banks because that’s where the money was. It didn’t matter Willie Sutton never in his fucking life said it. Once the general public believes he did and thought it was a cool thing to say, Willie Sutton’s famous.
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“You all have heard of Dillinger, Jack Foley and Willie Sutton. Now let’s see you name three agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation who are as well known.”

The good guys fade from memory while the bad dudes catch the public eye and become celebrities.”

j
jimg2000
Feb 08, 2017

I have to stay loyal to him always.” “What if you don’t?” “He says something will happen to me. I could be run over by a truck.”
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You can’t tell Cundo anything, you put it out there and it becomes his idea.”
===
He liked the way her hair came close to her eyes in a free fall to bare shoulders, this slim girl who could be a fashion model but told fortunes instead.
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We road dogs, man, we do for each other no matter what.”
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“I’m talking about the principle of it, of being road dogs. We road dogs as long as we together, here or outside.” Like being on call, Foley thought.
===
He was thinking, staring at the painting of Dawn in the giant bed, that lust could be part of love, or it just meant you were horny.

j
jimg2000
Feb 08, 2017

In case you didn’t know it, guys in Costa Rica are called Tico and the women Tica. You might be able to use it when you’re being psychic.’”
===
“… You can call me Reverend Dawn, if you’d like. I’m an ordained minister of the Spiritualist Assembly of Waco, Texas, though I started out doing nails.”
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“I don’t know him as well as you do?” “You don’t think the way he does. He has a gift too, he makes crime pay, a lot. How to go down but stay on top. How to win friends and influence convicts.”
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“Usually,” Deneweth said, “you see some of those muscle freaks from Gold’s Gym in here. They sit at the bar sipping Red Bull looking at themselves in the mirror, every so often popping a bicep.”
===
“I don’t know why you come to me,” Deneweth said, “all the federal programs you have. S.T.E.P. Street Terrorism Enforcement and Prevention. You have C.L.E.A.R. Community Law Enforcement and Recovery. ...

j
jimg2000
Feb 08, 2017

Never complain, never explain. Words of wisdom from Henry Ford II.
===
It was Ricky limp, Ricardo when it had grown to its playing size.
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“You ever have one walk out on you?” “One time, yes,” Cundo said, “when I was fifteen years old. But I think it was her old man made her stop seeing me.” “Her father,” Foley said. “No, man, her husband.”
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It left Foley with the feeling, What you see isn’t what you think it is.
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… the truck’s dual pipes rumbling when they slowed down, Nesi said, “That’s my three-forty-five Hemi clearing its throat.”
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“You don’t want your eyes swole shut, watch how you talk to me.” “You want my respect,” Cundo said to this ignorant piece of shit, “or five bills a day? I don’t have to give you both.”
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“‘The only thing different between sinners and saints’—you know that one?” Foley said, “Ole Possum,” without having to think. “‘One is forgiven,’” Nesi said, “‘and the other one ain’t.’

j
jimg2000
Feb 08, 2017

“But you believe in ghosts?” “You look for them you find them.”
==
“I don’t think this grift idea, shaking down some old lady, is the kind of work I want to do.”
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“You know what will happen”—Dawn shaking her head—“we start taking chances. Once we think we can get away with it we get caught.”
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I’m hoping Mrs. Karmanos can tell me whether or not we’re looking at hypnogogia here, and I want to be absolutely sure about it.”
===
she’s afraid that the state Peter is in now, he’s become an incubus, an evil spirit.” And the female evil spirit—Foley getting them straight in his mind—was a succubus?
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Hi, I’m Dr. Foley, but you can call me Doc. In his own way a conservative ghost hunter.
===
If you walk over, Foley thought, he’ll think you’re wondering what he’s up to. Well, he was, so he walked over.
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“That’s right,” Lou said, “as the most notorious bank robber in the history of our country, put away for good.”

j
jimg2000
Feb 08, 2017

… Eight years inside I dream about her. I come out, she acts like she’s my wife.”
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“… I don’t walk out of a bank with at lease five grand, I feel like a failure.”
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“You believe in heaven?” “As my reward,” Foley said, “for changing my life in time.”
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“Can I ask you one?” Foley said. “How did you get the rocking chair to rock?” “I didn’t get it to rock, you did…didn’t you?”
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I believe is some of the planets up there we can’t see, off beyond the stars. It’s so they don’t have to look at the Earth and think oh, man, am I glad to get out of that place.”
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“Walking the yard like a couple of road dogs,” Foley said, “in our blues you had tailored for us—best-dressed prisoners in that dump, couple of old-time convicts. I don’t think we ever had a serious argument.”

j
jimg2000
Feb 08, 2017

‘Now look at the Coen brothers screenplay of No Country for Old Men. It’s spare but it’s all there, without one extra word.’
===
She was a true psychic, she engaged in bunco schemes once in a while or she’d be living in a one-room apartment on La Cienega above her storefront shop.
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But Danny doesn’t care. Do you know why?” “She’s taking a chance on love?” Foley said.
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He’s no con artist, he’s a fxcking stand-up bank robber. Leave him alone.”
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The boys-will-be-boys were beginning to gang up on her, still convicts with their buddy system and the guy-thing: guys were bigger than girls—in its usual application—so they were the boss and the boss was always right.
===
“That was you,” the Dawns said to each other, and thought, If you were pharaoh and a couple of hieroglyph rock chiselers were giving you a hard time…What would you do?

j
jimg2000
Feb 08, 2017

Why can’t you get it in your head I’m out of the bank business?” “See, if I accept that,” Lou Adams said, “I’d have to believe we’re getting closer to something else going down. Jack, you live with felons you’re gonna get dirty.”
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“You’re saying you have relations with men.”
“Almost all my life.” “Did you ever tell it in confession?” “No, I didn’t think I was committing a sin. The dude was always willing. You know, a single guy. We fool around, we not hurting anybody.” “Possibly not, but it is a mortal sin.” “Why? They don’t say in the Bible don’t do it.”
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“What do you do for penance, flagellate yourself?” “Don’t be disgusting. I say ten Our Fathers and ten Hail Marys,” Little Jimmy said, “and anything I did to get God pissed at me is forgiven.”
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He always referred to those bits of cloth the girls wore, ones you could ball up in one hand, as swimsuits.

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j
jimg2000
Feb 08, 2017

Jack Foley found himself locked up again soon after his brief romance with the FBI agent Karen Sisco in "Out of Sight 1996." In prison, he and a Cuban killer became road dogs watching each others' backs. But the story really only began once they were released after three years as best friends and joined the Cuban's common-law wife in Venice CA. One wild crime thriller and easily can imagine Foley as delicious as George Clooney in the film "Out of Sight 1998" which is on my watch-list.

a
achanson
Aug 12, 2012

As someone who loves many Elmore Leonard books and, especially, Out of Sight, I was really disappointed by Road Dogs. It was not his best writing or plotting.

s
shadowwalker
Jul 28, 2012

This is trash

d
derekwolfgram
Nov 29, 2010

A nice little bit of escapism, but nowhere near Leonard's best. While to a certain extent noir writing always depends on stereotypes for shortcuts to paint pictures of the protagonists, the descriptions in Road Dogs crossed over into caricature. From the African-American gangsta teen with the sideways baseball hat and the low hanging pants to the sympthetic tough guy criminal hero to the wealthy blonde Hollywood actress, the whole thing felt like a rote caper story where the reader is left wondering until the last page who will make the Big Score. If I were a cynic, I might suggest Road Dogs was simply written to bring George Clooney back to reprise the role of Jack Foley he played so well in Out of Sight. Which would probably make Leonard scads of money. Oh wait, I get it now! Guess who really makes out in the end? Well played, Mr. Leonard.

b
bahdabingh
May 24, 2009

Classic Dutch. I've been reading Mr. Leonard for more than 30 years and he hasn't lost a step.

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