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Valdez is Coming

Narrated by: Keith Carradine
Length: 2 hrs and 22 mins

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Summary

They laughed at Roberto Valdez and then ignored him. But when a dark-skinned man was holed up in a shack with a gun, they sent the part-time town constable to deal with the problem, and made sure he had no choice but to gun the fugitive down. Trouble was, Valdez killed an innocent man. And when he asked for justice, and some money for the dead man's woman, they beat Valdez and tied him to a cross. They were still laughing when Valdez came back. And then they began to die.
©1993 Elmore Leonard (P)2003 HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Darwin8u
  • 20-01-19

No, that was your time.

"No, that was your time. You get one time, mister, to prove who you are."
- Elmore Leonard, Valdez is Coming

'Valdez is Coming', published in 1970, is the third book in Library of America's Westerns: Last Stand at Saber River / Hombre / Valdez Is Coming / Forty Lashes Less One / Stories. It is also one of my favorites. It is essentially a quest/revenge novel (quest if you think Valdez is coming for the widow, revenge if you think Valdez is coming for payback). The knight in this book is town constable Bob Valdez, who is put into an unfortunate situation where he shoots an innocent man (because of the misdeeds and racism of others). When he tries to put things right with the woman of the dead man, he sets the stage for a confrontation with Frank Tanner (a rich rancher/smuggler) who thinks he owns the town.

It wasn't a perfect novel, but it was great for what it was. You don't ride into a Elmore Leonard western not knowing basically what you WANT and what you are going to get. Leonard delivers both to you with more accuracy than you thought possible and quicker than you were expecting. LIke most of the novels (and some of the stories) in the Library of America collection, this one too was made into a move. I'm not sure I would have cast Burt Lancaster as Bob Valdez, but the movie came out in 1971. Hopefully, if this were remade today, it would star Brad Pitt.

You will notice I only gave this 1-star for performance and 2-stars for overall. That is PERFECTLY correlated to the fact that this was an abridged novel. It wasn't like it was some 40+hour Les Miserables or War and Peace. The original story is less than 200 pages. Why abridge that?

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Ed Frawley
  • 18-07-16

A TWO HOUR BOOK for ONE CREDIT???

What would have made Valdez is Coming better?

5 more hours of content. When I bought the book I missed the fact that it was only 2 hours loing. It is not a book, its a short story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Wavetrader
  • 19-06-07

Valdez is Coming

Fun recording! A little like watching the story on a vintage TV show but having your imagination fill in the blanks which is way better. I look forward to more stories to blank out the hassles of rush hour traffic.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Michele Farley
  • 10-07-15

Elmore Leonard at his best

Only thing wrong with this reading is that it's too short .., but that's the story, short, intense, exciting.