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Get Shorty

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The surface level of this is funny enough with its core idea of a gangster trying to get into the movie business, but where it achieves greatness is the twist it takes once Chili meets Michael. There were times I was engaged with it, then I would grow bored and skim pages, only to get to a better section that would again hold my attention. Get Shorty is a 1990 novel about “Chili” Palmer - a Miami shylock –who was “tired of showing respect to people he thought were assholes. To mark Folio’s 75th anniversary, Michael Ende’s The Neverending Story is published as a magical new edition, beautifully illustrated by award-winning artist Marie-Alice Harel and bursting with exquisite design details.

Chili is a big movie buff who thinks he might give up loan sharking for producing, and he sets out to help Harry get a deal with the help of Karen Flores, a former actress known for screaming in Harry’s horror movies who just so happens to be Michael’s ex. Elmore Leonard wrote the book based on his experiences with Hollywood, and there are some good jokes made about actors and producers. Something that was peppered throughout the text, that readers will piece together in bits slowly, was turned into a final reveal at the end of the movie.The airline awarded Fay a three-hundred thousand dollar settlement, which Leo disappeared with, most likely to Las Vegas, his dream travel destination.

Despite the shortcomings I felt the book had, it will be one I remember, if for nothing else, for the fantastic characters, of which I only mentioned Chili but just about all of them were iconic. Elmore Leonard had a bad Hollywood experience in the mid-‘80s of working on a film adaptation of LaBrava with Dustin Hoffman. Published in 1990, Get Shorty might be the book to turn the man on the street from asking, "Elmore who? I sometimes think that a novel of this weight (not heavy) might as well just be seen as a film and reading time better spent on something more substantial, but that isn't the case here.

This story was a refreshing breath of fresh air in the sense that the writing and storytelling are so tremendous.

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