Elmore Leonard's THE HUNTED gives us an education in being the prey of some killers bent on destruction and revenge. We learn a lot from protagonist Al Rosen's philosophy of life, his new philosophy of just accepting whatever happens. We learn to reject his naive philosophy as Detroit hit men track Rosy through the desert in Israel and pin him down in a house. Lucky for Rosy, he's got a Marine on his side. And from him we learn the most. Come fully armed to any confrontation with killers. Concentrate on a plan of attack. Don't philosophize. Instead, pick your targets carefully and kill them immediately. Or else, you will lose any advantage. Finally, Leonard's tale repeats a lesson found in many westerns. Women are useless in a crisis. They either break down in tears or they cop out immediately and leave us all alone. Of course, Leonard admits they can offer some pleasure in our idle moments, but he urges it's best to rent them and not buy them. Wonder what my wife would think of that lesson. by Larry Rochelle, author of the thrillers BLUE ICE, GULF GHOST and DANCE WITH THE PONY
No Good Deed...
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 14 years ago
Al Rosen stuck his neck out to help the government put some goons in prison, only it didn't go according to plan. Now Rosen is in hiding for his life. Life was still good until Rosen helped some old timers get out of a burning hotel, and wound up getting his face in the papers. Now he's on the run in Israel with three killers on his tail and a U.S. Marine for company. The Marine wants to help. Maybe he should ask Rosen what happens to do-gooders. Elmore Leonard in 1977 was still years away from being embraced for marrying suspense stories with witty dialogue, quirky characters, and off-center humor, but he was well on his way toward perfecting that approach when he wrote "The Hunted." In some ways echoing Leonard's past as a writer of westerns, with Mexican standoffs by dry wadis, "The Hunted" isn't exactly scintillating by Leonard's later standards, but it more than holds its own. You can almost see Quentin Tarantino adapting it for the screen, with Rosen's way of wooing 40-something women to bed and characters who digress about God while waiting for the guns to start blazing. The bad guys are not without their enjoyable qualities, and there's Mel Bandy, a fat lawyer of no discernable morals whose idea of wooing an attractive assistant involves walking around her in a towel and inviting her to bed with him by telling her she can close her eyes and pretend it's someone else. Leonard throws some nice philosophy here, too, though it doesn't get in the way of the terse narrative: "Don't let people scare you; because nine times out of ten they don't know any more than you do," Rosen explains to the Marine. "Or even less. They got there pushing and shoving, acting, conning...If they had to get by on basic intelligence - most of the people I've done business with - they'd be on the street selling Good Humors and probably ------- up the change." "The Hunted" didn't amuse me like great comic Leonard novels such as "Maximum Bob" and "Freaky Deaky." It didn't thrill like "Rum Punch" or "Bandits." The plot is actually kind of threadbare, and a little nonsensical, when you think about Rosen's unresolved financial situation and how it's supposed to be resolved by a visit from the untrustworthy Bandy. But "The Hunted" manages to keep you reading, and surprises you more than a little at the end. You'll enjoy the amiable company of both the good guys and bad guys while appreciating Leonard's mastery of his craft. He hadn't entirely moved out of the Western idiom even as he left the American West, but considering that he was the author of westerns like "Hombre," why should he have been in any rush?
Evolution of a Marine
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 15 years ago
I was a little skeptical of an Elmore Leonard novel set in Israel. However, 'The Hunted' pleasantly surprised me.Al Rosen is hiding out in Israel, living off the checks sent his way by the company he helped found. He spends his days hanging out in hotel lobbies, getting sun, and just simply staying out of sight. Before he knows it, he finds himself on the run after his picture appeared in the daily newspapers in the States--the result of having helped a dozen senior citizens escape a hotel fire.Sgt. David Davis is about to finish his tour with the marines. The big problem is that he has no idea what to do with himself once he is out. On the side, he has helped deliver packages for Rosen, without really knowing who Rosen is. Before he knows it, his future plans are of no real concern as he attempts to help Rosen out of his mess.I'll give Elmore credit, he took what I thought would be an uninteresting setting, and really turned it into something. There isn't a lot, but Leonard makes some interesting observations about Israel and Americans there. Most of it comes from the ignorance of some of the American characters as they interact with the Israelis.The dialogue is classic Leonard. Some of the best conversations come between Rosen and Davis as Rosen attempts to give Davis advice on what to do when he finally gets out of the marines. Nearly every scene involving Mel Bandy, Rosen's sleazy lawyer (and he is sleazy), involve some comical dialogue. Rosen's assistant, Tali, has some decent remarks as she deals with Bandy and translates for others.The only disappointment is the end. To some degree, it seems like Leonard just ran out of things to write about and came up with whatever plausible ending occurred to him. Still, its a good read and will be appreciated by Leonard fans.
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 17 years ago
This is my first Elmore Leonard book, and I loved it, loved his characterization and dialogue. The book was intense, but at the same time didn't seem to take itself too seriously. And as a female reader who loves the late 20th/early 21st century romance genre, I have to say that Davis--the hunky marine--was quite the treat.
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 18 years ago
OK, so if you read lots of Elmore Leonard, you'll know that this isn't perhaps his finest piece. It might not have as many plot twists and turns that some of his other tales have, but here's the catch, he's still the best. He draws characters more vividly and economically than anyone I've ever read. You never know what's coming next, even when you do know what's coming next. This is fun stuff to read.
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