I really enjoy the F/X show Justified, and I’m one of the (apparently) rare folks who actually reads the credits for most of the shows I watch. Right there in the opening credits, it states that the show was based on a short story by Elmore Leonard. Sometime around season 3 I decided I liked the show enough to read the short story. And now I’ve finally gotten around to it. I had sort of the same reaction reading Fire in the Hole the story (inside Fire in the Hole the book – a collection of short stories) as I did watching the first season of Game of Thrones only in reverse. The shows and their source material are so close, it almost doesn’t make sense to invest time both reading the source and then watching the show. In the case of Game of Thrones, it’s way shorter to watch the show than to read the books, so definitely do that. In this case, I would also recommend watching the show rather than reading the story. Not because the story isn’t good, because it is. But because it isn’t any better than the show, and the story stops. The show is on its fourth of fifth season.
Aside from that, I don’t have that much to say about the book. I enjoyed the rest of the stories. Reading the books, it’s very easy to see why Elmore Leonard’s writing gets turned into so many movies and TV shows. The writing is not dumb, but it’s very easy to read. His writing never gets in its own way, which allows the reader to blow through it. I found that this helped me “see” the scene he’s describing. On the other hand, because of that, it never really grabbed me the way I want a good piece of fiction to. The Dresden Files books do this very well. These stories didn’t.