Elmore Leonard is bringing back Jack Foley.

Two blog posts praising favorite books in a row. Have a heapin’ helpin’ of our literary praise, Uncle Jed.

There’s a new (brief, unfortunately) interview with Elmore Leonard posted at his website which has a bit of good news for me: his next book features one of my favorite Leonard characters, Jack Foley. That’s Jack Foley from Out of Sight, that’s Jack Foley as played by George Clooney in the film adapation (the one-two combo of Scott Frank’s writing and Steven Soderbergh’s directing is delicious).

What makes Out of Sight work for me is characterization, a strength for which Leonard consistently receives high marks. Jack Foley is a thief looking never to go back to prison, Karen Sisco is a federal marshal looking to gain respect in the bureau, and they fall in love. While Sisco pursues Foley for love and law, Foley pursues her right back. For as much as Foley doesn’t want to end up in the slammer, he’s a danger fiend and falling in love with the very woman trying to arrest him is consistent with his character’s wise-ass attitude. Meanwhile, Karen comes to question her own values, and wrestles with her conflict of interest. And if characterization doesn’t grab you, how about the cross-genre appeal: it’s a crime novel, a comedy, and a romance all in one. Give this one a shot.

I’ve put off far too many books-for-pleasure in favor of books-for-learnding* so I intend to make this one a priority when it hits shelves. Here’s hoping a re-teaming of Clooney, Frank, and Soderbergh is in the pipeline. As for other Leonard film adaptations, 3:10 to Yuma hits theaters tomorrow and I’ll definitely be in a local cinema at some point this weekend.

*Ralph Wiggum: “I’m learnding!”

[tags]Elmore Leonard, Scott Frank, Steven Soderbergh, Out of Sight, Jack Foley[/tags]

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