Discussion in 'Books & Literature' started by BIV, Aug 20, 2013.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.