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Books > Literature & Fiction > United States > B009R55IFG
  1. Swag: A Novel
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  2. Swag: A Novel

    Delivery: 10-20 Working Days
    Customer Ratings (120 reviews)
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Elmore Leonard
Kindle Edition
Kindle eBook
William Morrow Paperbacks
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

In 1992 the Mystery Writers of America made Elmore Leonard a Grand Master; the award "is presented only to individuals who, by a lifetime of achievement, have proved themselves preeminent in the craft of the mystery and dedicated to the advancement of the genre." Perhaps none of his novels better exemplifies why he won this honor than Ryan's Rules (which was later renamed Swag).
Frank Ryan is a mildly honest used car salesman, but he thinks he's come up with a surefire way to get rich quick. So when Ernest Stickley, Jr. tries brazening his way out of the lot after Ryan catches him boosting a car, Frank decides to play dumb at the trial and Stick skips. Ryan explains his plan:
Stick...I'm talking about simple everyday armed robbery. Supermarkets, bars, liquor stores, gas stations, that kind of place. Statistics show--man, I'm not just saying it, the statistics show--armed robbery pays the most for the least amount of risk. Now, you ready for this? I... Read more
My brother-in-law recommended Leonard to me and I started with 3 novels in 'Dutch Treat'--Swag, The Hunted and Mr. Majestyk--and since we share a love of mystery series I figured I'd love him. My problem with Leonard is I love his writing but I can't stand his characters. I mean how many lowlife thugs and their ditzy women who crave abuse of one sort or another can I warm up to or be amused by? His painful depictions of how men view women are hard to bear. It's true his flawless writing and plotlines keep me glued to the end but after it's over I just don't care what happened to any of the dumbheads I've just finished reading about. Maybe I'm just inured by professional liability to the charms of damaged men whose early life tragedies led them to self destructive behavior.

Wish I knew what percentage of all 5-star Leonard reviews were by males. I'll keep reading 'till I can't take it anymore as the pleasure of his prose and curiosity about what's going to happen are... Read more
I read this many years ago in the Dutch Treat omnibus edition and re-read it recently. It tells the story of two small time Detroit criminals, Ernest Stickley and Frank Ryan, who embark on a spree of armed robberies. They make a partnership in which they agree to follow "Ryan's Rules" (which has been an alternate title for this novel). They soon break these rules and come to have several misadventures involving botched armed robberies (their own and others they are victims of) double-crosses and department store holdups gone wrong. The action follows non-stop much like a violent video game. There is Leonard's characteristic wry humour: An incompetent stick-up man is relieved of the proceeds of his robbery. He's locked in a storage room with his victims, who proceed to beat him unconscious. Stick and Frank walk away with the money and are in turn robbed in a parking lot. Stick and Frank rob a liquor store where the stubborn senior citizen behind the cash register is willing... Read more
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