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Publisher's Summary

Grand master Elmore Leonard is justifiably acknowledged as "the best writer of crime fiction alive" (Newsweek) - and, in fact, one of the very best ever, alongside other all-time greats like John D. MacDonald, Dashiell Hammett, James M. Cain, and Robert Parker. But he has also many acclaimed masterworks of American Western fiction to his credit - including Hombre, the basis for the classic Hollywood motion picture starring Paul Newman.

Set in Arizona mining country, Hombre is the tale of a white man raised by Indians, who must come to the aid of people who hate him when their stagecoach is attacked by outlaws. As thrilling as his contemporary novels of crime, double-cross, and murder in Detroit and Miami, Hombre is Elmore Leonard at his riveting best - no less than one would expect from the creator of US Marshal Raylan Givens (Justified).

©1961 Elmore Leonard (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

"Narrator Richard Poe's steady, resonant tone; subtle accents; and superb timing bring out the sagebrush and tumbleweeds in this Western classic...the combination of Leonard's naturalistic writing style and Poe's baritone voice makes this a gripping listen." ( AudioFile)

What listeners say about Hombre

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

MAN

A WEAK SISTER THING TO SAY
I just could not get into this story. This is like the poster child for Telling, but not Showing. It is not bad, just not as good as many other western books. Poe is the brightest part of this whole thing. He does his usual great job of reading,

75 people found this helpful

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You can look at something for a long time...

"You can look at something for a long time and not see it until it has moved or run off."
- Elmore Leonard, Hombre

Book two in Library of America's: Westerns: Last Stand at Saber River / Hombre / Valdez Is Coming / Forty Lashes Less One / Stories. Hombre, published in 1961, has the feel almost of a locked-room mystery. Except instead of a room, it is a mud coach (think a lighter version of a stage coach). The hero is John Russell, an Apache-raised white man. The story is narrated by a young, innocent man whose vision of Russell changes (along with the rest of the coach passengers) after the coach is held-up and the passengers are left for dead.

One of Leonard's big themes in this book is predudice and our expectations of others based on class and background. Like many of Leonard's novels, this one was made into a movie (starring Paul Newman) in 1967.

7 people found this helpful

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Classic Leonard!

One penny all time favorite Leonard western tales. John Russell is such a unique character.

4 people found this helpful

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Early Elmore Leonard starts slow, gets really good

What made the experience of listening to Hombre the most enjoyable?

Suspenseful, surprising.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Actually listened to it all in 2 sittings

Any additional comments?

Early work by Leonard very different from his later books but still really good.

4 people found this helpful

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A classic Elmore Leonard western story

A not quite fully satisfying story -- unusual for Leonard -- but a well told tale. And a superlative performance by narrator Richard Poe.

3 people found this helpful

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Elmore Leonard’s finest western.

“Hombre” is a finely crafted, complex character study. It’s about a man named John Russell, some bits Mexican, some bits European descent, what the people of the time
Would call “white.” Russell though is Apache raised. He is a riddle the narrator really wants to figure out.

Russell becomes the unlikely hero of a band of people who don’t much like him after a stagecoach robbery leaves them stranded and on the run. The group must turn to Russell because he is the only one who can lead them out of the Arizona desert to safety.

From the description above it sounds like this should be a standard western action adventure. Leonard however has done something far more subtle. “Hombre” leaves almost everything to the reader to decide. You get a sense that Leonard has his own thoughts about Russell and his charges, but he never forces those on us. In this way he is like the hero, is that the right word, at the heart of “Hombre.” John Russell never tried to make people share his thoughts or convince you. That is your business.

1 person found this helpful

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Short, concise and fantastic

I loved it after the first 15 min. The book leaves a lot unsaid and it’s up to your own imagination to feel the undercurrent of emotion. For me, it was intense.

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terrific

I defy any reader to put this book down. great audio book. all characters are memorable.

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intense, cool, and to the point

extremely refreshing to read a story with such brevity, great story about identity with some awesome action and very tense situations. In a very short story it brings up a lot of interesting moral questions and ideas. Also makes you think about the kind of thoughts and ideas a US citizen mightve had at the time, and the biases that existed.

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Boring debates about doing what's right

I got this book because I was told it's one of the classic pulp books of yesteryear. Unfortunately it's extremely slow. The performance is amazing and it's written really well. I just wish something happened. it's people on the trial debating the differences of good and bad people. It's the wild west for fucks sake, somebody shoot somebody! Preferably about the face or titty area. You know, surprise me, and keep it sexy for the love of god.

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