Friday 6 May 2011

One haunting, defiant line from Elmore Leonard

I read Cat Chaser by Elmore Leonard back in 2007, I haven't read it again. I don't remember all that much about it. But there is a line, from the beginning of the novel, that got stuck in my head and that I reread from time to time. I just find it so brilliant for some reason. Here it is:

"Mario, there's a certain amount of shit you have to put up with in this business, but you just went over the limit."

Elmore Leonard is famous, and deservedly so, to give great dialogues ("dialogue like broken glass" says the back cover of the book), lines cut by razor, all vivid and bloody. The rest of what George Moran says is equally brilliant, but this first line got stuck in my head since 2007. I am not quite sure why. Actually, I do: because I wished I had said it, or something similar, to some people whose way to despise and stigmatise me I could not stand and that were really giving me a load of crap. This line just exposes hypocrisy, this social cowardice we often call diplomacy and is just brilliant. Sure, I would have got into trouble saying it. Still, I regret I did not.

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