Author Elmore Leonard dies

BIV

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Apr 22, 2002
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RNN) - Elmore Leonard, a distinguished crime fiction writer whose stories included Get Shorty, Out of Sight and the tale that inspired the TV show Justified, died Tuesday at the age of 87.

Leonard's researcher and webmaster, Gregg Sutter, posted the information on the author's Facebook page.

"The post I dreaded to write, and you dreaded to read," Sutter wrote. "Elmore passed away at 7:15 this morning from complications from his stroke. He was at home surrounded by his loving family. More to follow."

He had been attempting to recover from a stroke suffered July 29 at a hospital in his hometown of Detroit, according to the Detroit News. Sutter told the newspaper a week later that Leonard had been in the middle of writing his 46th novel.

Three of Leonard's works have been nominated for the Edgar Allan Poe Award by the Mystery Writers of American: The Switch, nominated for Best Original Paperback Novel of 1978; Split Images, for Best Novel of 1981; and LaBrava, which won for Best Novel in 1983.

Maximum Bob was also awarded the first annual International Association of Crime Writers North American Hammett Prize in 1991. In 1992, the Mystery Writers of America gave Leonard the Grand Master Award and in 2009, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from PEN USA.

Several of his stories have been turned into films, including 3:10 to Yuma, Hombre and Rum Punch, which was turned into the movie Jackie Brown.

Leonard was reportedly fond of the F/X series Justified, based on his short story Fire in the Hole. The success of the show inspired the author to revisit the main character, Raylan Givens, in the 2012 book Raylan.

Leonard joined the Navy in 1943 and served with a Seabee unite in the South Pacific. In 1946, he enrolled at the University of Detroit.

During college, Leonard worked for an advertising agency while turning to his love of writing. Trail of the Apache was his first short story published in 1951 in the magazine Argosy. According to his Facebook page, the author continued writing western short stories, which he had published in Zane Grey Western and The Saturday Evening Post.

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LilJimmyRbinson

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Nov 19, 2004
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I haven't read much of his stuff, but the few I have, I really liked. I read all the Raylan Givens stories, and whatever book 3:10 to Yuma was in.
 

mills

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The ones I read annoyed me because they were so polished for a potential screen adaptation. Anything with any depth that would need to be cut, was already cut. Or more likely never written in the first place. And the concepts and characters are kept extremely simple so any audience can grasp them with no snags. There's also a forced slickness added to everything that bugged me, and I don't think it's an homage to the noir style, or to any style. It's just crammed in there to hopefully (almost desperately) grab the attention of the average Hollywood producer whose time is extremely limited.
 

freddyfox

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The ones I read annoyed me because they were so polished for a potential screen adaptation. Anything with any depth that would need to be cut, was already cut. Or more likely never written in the first place. And the concepts and characters are kept extremely simple so any audience can grasp them with no snags. There's also a forced slickness added to everything that bugged me, and I don't think it's an homage to the noir style, or to any style. It's just crammed in there to hopefully (almost desperately) grab the attention of the average Hollywood producer whose time is extremely limited.
I agree 100%. I've read four or five Elmore Leonard books and found them all to be mediocre at best. Killshot is considered to be one of his best novels and I wasn't impressed with it. At times it seemed as if I was reading a made for tv movie. It was dull and formulaic. I couldn't understand the praise that novel received until I realized that Leonard's hardcore fans tend to be squares who easily have their minds blown by mediocre shit. Leonard is just kind of hacky. And yeah you're right, he wrote with hollywood in mind which explains his disingenuous, hacky style.
 
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mills

I'll give em a state, a state of unconsciousness
Jan 30, 2005
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Yup and you know where his mind was with the inclusion of the riverman bit. He's writing envisioning what the reviewers might say. "Leonard did his research too. He opens your eyes to a piece of Americana that's otherwise forgotten." Implying that he throws in a bit of education on top of his slick noir-y stories, just in case we were under the impression that that's all there was to him. A tiny hint of half-remembered academia couldn't hurt.
 

freddyfox

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Yup and you know where his mind was with the inclusion of the riverman bit. He's writing envisioning what the reviewers might say. "Leonard did his research too. He opens your eyes to a piece of Americana that's otherwise forgotten." Implying that he throws in a bit of education on top of his slick noir-y stories, just in case we were under the impression that that's all there was to him. A tiny hint of half-remembered academia couldn't hurt.
Yeah it's been fashionable to be an Elmore Leonard fan since Tarantino made Jackie Brown about 15 years ago. This article annoys me by crowning Leonard "the Best Crime Novelist Ever" and reinforces my opinion that the media embraces mediocrity:
http://www.vice.com/read/elmore-leonard-is-the-man-894-v16n6

From the article, Leonard says "Blood Meridian is one I still haven’t read and I don’t know why".

Wow! I gotta say that is a surprising, disappointing and telling statement. Perhaps Blood Meridian wasn't shallow enough for him.
 

DiggerNick

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Leonard's stuff was a bit too lightweight for me to really love. Especially since I was drawn to the really hard-boiled stuff like Ellroy and Vachss. Authors that wanted to kick your teeth in.

But by Christ, the guy wrote some entertaining books. I;ll read ten of his books before I read any of the bullshit James Patterson churns out.

I've been wanting to read FORTY LASHEs LESS ONE for a very long time. I'm still waiting for it to come out for Kindle. Maybe with Leonard's passing it finally will.