"Well, I've been knocked down, blown up, lied to, shit on, and shot at, so nothing suprises me much anymore except the things people do to each other. I'm not a virgin except in my heart. I'm a licensed pilot, everything from Jennies through jets. I've taught karate in Tokyo and lectured on economics at Wharton. I can memorize the front page of The New York Times in five minutes and repeat it back to you in five weeks. I can follow anyone anywhere from in front or behind. I can go forty-eight hours without sleep or a drop in efficiency. I can bench-press four hundred and fifty pounds ten times without a break and was national Golden Gloves champion three years in a row. I speak four languages fluently and can wrestle with a menu in five more."
     "Jesus--" from Cyrus Kinick.
     "--and don't interrupt me, I wasn't done, there's more!"
     "Yeah. I lie a lot."

-Nick Escalante on his qualifications to a client
Heat is a novel by William Goldman. Most people will recognize Goldman's name as the writer of the novel and script for The Princess Bride. However, this is quite different from the fairy tale story of The Princess Bride however.

Heat is a fiction novel following the main character Nick Escalante, also known as The Mex. In a magazine article he was announced as the deadliest man within 30 feet where guns were not involved, but that's not all he is. Sure, he offers his services out as a bodyguard in Las Vegas, but he is much more complicated than that. What he wants most of all is to get enough money so that he can escape the neon lights and bodyguarding. He studies up on amazing places in the world to be, and he travels to them in his head. But to actually be there, that is his dream.

On the day of his five thousandth day in Las Vegas, some strange occurences occur. An old childhood friend enlists his help in getting revenge on a crime boss who raped her, an old client starts getting strange ransom notes, a rich client lies to him for the reasons that he wants a bodyguard, and he gets oh so close to getting the money he needs to escape Las Vegas.

Heat is a wonderful William Goldman novel, it carries the action, drama, and humour in a classic Goldman style. The way Goldman describes the action is perfect, and the character of Escalante is quite amusing. This is one of my favorite novels to read, and I recommend it to anyone.

Heat was also made into a movie in 1987, which was directed by Jerry Jameson and Dick Richards. The screenplay was also adapted by William Goldman. The movie is sorely lacking, and horribly done. The casting of Burt Reynolds as The Mex seems to be just wrong. This just isn't that worthwhile of a film, and you're better off reading the book.

Burt Reynolds - Nick Escalente, The Mex
Karen Young - Holly
Peter MacNicol - Cyrus Kinnick
Howard Hesseman - Pinchus Zion
Neill Barry - Danny DeMarco
Diana Scarwid - Cassie
Joseph Mascolo - Baby
Alfie Wise - Felix
Deborah Rush - D.D.
Wendell Burton - Osgood
Joanne Jackson - Millicent
Joe Klecko - Kinlaw
Peter Koch - Tiel
Joseph Bernard - Pit Boss
Barry Polkowitz - Hot Shot Dealer
Chris O'Rourke - Katherine
Reno Nichols - Bartender
Ron Tombaugh - Parking Lot Man
Mone Swann - Lounge Singer
Robert Drake - Mean-eyed Dealer
Robert Vento - Bartender
Joey Villa - Himself
Michael Lovell Farris - Bouncer

IMDB - http://www.imdb.com.