Monday, March 06, 2006

Novel Sndtrck: The Hot Kid

Play it: Novel Sndtrck - The Hot Kid

Elmore Leonard rarely does period pieces anymore (this being his first since Cuba Libre, '98,) but when he does, he does 'em right. The Hot Kid actually feels like a continuation of Cuba Libre, w/ many references to the prior books' setting, the Spanish/American war (main character Carl Webster's father was on the USS Maine.)

Much of The Hot Kid takes place in Tulsa and Kansas City in the early 1930s, intertwining the oil boom with the prohibition era to the depression and the rise of organized crime. Many real life characters are woven into the fabric of the story, like "Pretty Boy" Floyd, John Dillinger, Bonnie & Clyde, and even Tulsa and KC jazz pianist Jay McShann.

The music/soundtrack reflects both the era, and the change of setting from Tulsa (the folk/country-blues of Jimmie Rodgers and Maybelle Carter) to Kansas City (the jazz of Count Basie and Jay McShann.) Secretly, though, I think the mention of music in the novel's just an excuse to name-drop Gid Tanner's Skillet Lickers.

Those looking for the cool Leonard of his more popular crime novels (ie, Out of Sight, Rum Punch, Get Shorty, Be Cool,) need not stop here, but those that appreciated his early pulp novel work (and Cuba Libre, for that matter) will have a lot to love.

Novel Sndtrck: Glass Soup
Novel Sndtrck: White Apples
Novel Sndtrck: Kafka On The Shore (Ribaldry and Schmaltz's J Shifty)
Novel Sndtrck: Killing Yourself To Live (Drive Like Hell's Dallas Hudgens)
Novel Sndtrck: Drive Like Hell
Novel Sndtrck: Fortress of Solitude
James Frey's My Friend Leonard
Jonathon Lethem's The Disappointment Artist

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1 comment:

drake leLane said...

Novel Sndtrcks: The Hot Kid

* "Dixie" - Gid Tanner's Skillet Lickers
* "My Mammy" - Al Jolson
* "Blue Yodel (T For Texas)" - Jimmie Rodgers (Country)
* "Come All Ye Fair And Tender Ladies" - Maybelle Carter
* "One O'Clock Boogie" - Count Basie And His Orchestra
* "Confessin' The Blues" - Jay McShann/Walter Brown
* "All The Jive Is Gone" - Andy Kirk and His Twelve Clouds Of Joy