Elmore Leonard's "Mr. Paradise"
March 20, 2008 10:04am CST
Elmore Leonard's "Mr. Paradise" is a gritty crime novel, that leaves you completely satisfied. With crisp narration and delicious dark dialog, the story told is highly entertaining. Leonard always tells stories that have multidimensional bad guys, morally conflicted good guys, and shady plots that steer away from the norm. Here in "Mr. Paradise" we find all these ingredients, plus a few extra goodies in the mix. Anthony Paradiso is Mr. Paradise. He is 84 yrs. of age, retired criminal attorney with enough money to pay for all his needs and then some. As a high profile attorney, he made millions. In his luxury he has, a big screen t.v. to view tapes of U of M games, where the Maize and Blue always emerge victorious, an in-house chef named Lloyd, a do it all (servant) named Montez, and a five-thousand-dollar-a-week girlfriend named Chloe. Chloe's duties include (but are by no means limited to) dressing up as a University of Michigan cheerleader and cheering in an unconventional way. One that (if done on T.V.) the FCC would surely have a problem with. Chloe at one point, recruits Kelly her room mate, to assist her in spicing up the routine. Kelly, is a Victoria Secret model. She reluctantly agrees. On one interesting night to say the least, things go wildly wrong. Here is where we encounter Frank Delsa in a murder investigation, that takes us into the dirty gritty streets of Detroit Michigan. "A Pair of Ears that Define our Culture" When you view a great film, you find that in order for it to be considered that, it is essential that it have proper pacing and solid dialog. When it comes to a novel these two things are entirely necessary. The lack of them, can be ultimately detrimental to the whole experience. When reading "Mr. Paradise" however, you can see that the thing that gives it life... is Elmore Leonard perfectly infusing these two aforementioned aspects. In doing that, he created a vivid crime novel that is not only spellbinding and a page turner, but also a journey with a completely satisfying ending. Also, this crime novel is proof of how keen and concise Elmore Leonard's ears are. From audible police interaction to pop culture references, his characters mirror conversations of actual people in our present time. When reading the villainous criminal jargon, we find grim and shady dialog, that is right on target. All while still not going over the edge. That, is the reason why as you delve deeper inside of the novel, it becomes more and more difficult to put the book down. With dialog like his, its no wonder why his films become such hits. You can fully see his craft at work, in film adaptations, of his books "Get Shorty" and "Out of Sight". The characters in "Mr. Paradise" are perfectly crafted. In just a few paragraphs of description, you are captivated and your curiosity is awakened. Through the whole book, you become unsure of certain things that are occurring. This makes you want even more to keep on reading and finding out how things will change and end. The characters in the plot are painted with such precision, that they seem almost real. You can imagine Kelly as an actual hot blond vixen and Mr. Paradise as an old sleaze geezer. The realism makes the story come alive and makes you care about the events occurring in their lives. Frank Delsa is also very interesting. His moral dilemma in the story makes him easy to relate to. In a whole the well created characters, drive our curiosity into a pleasant page turning activity. Makes You Hit The Book Store "Mr. Paradise" is a suspense thriller, that entirely leaves you satisfied. It will make you search our more Elmore Leonard books. If you are searching for a solid read, with unmatched dark humor, and a satisfying finish... then this is the book for you. ZeN