Forty Lashes Less One is another Elmore oater. I said I was off these for a while, but when a buddy drops this on the front porch–well, why put the friendship in danger? I’ve read a number of novels set in Yuma prison, back in them days. All of them pretty grim, of course. I’ve read a good deal of Elmore, much of it pretty humorous. Forty Lashes has the distinction of being not only set in one of the grimmest settings in history, but probably the funniest Leonard novel I’ve ever read.
The black guy and the Mexican get shoved in the snake pit together with the idea that they’ll kill each other. At least that’s what the head jailer thinks. However, the new, interim, warden–a do-good preacher–decides he’s going not only going to reform the two of them but make them friends. And he’s going to do it by taking them back to their origins–Zulu and Aztec. Not only is that process itself hilarious, but the way the other jailers and prisoners take it will put you on the floor. Along with the antics of the all-male staff around the two–pretty, of course–female convicts.
Carve out a little time. It’s not a long book, but once you start you won’t stop.