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August 20, 2013

Elmore Leonard, Legendary Crime Writer, Dies at 87

Most folks would know him as the mind behind Get Shorty and FX's Justified.

I've only read one of his many, many books. I know that's a character flaw.

"The post I dreaded to write, and you dreaded to read. 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," Sutter posted on Facebook.

...

His millions of fans, from bellhops to Saul Bellow, made all his books since "Glitz" (1985) best-sellers.

His more than 40 novels were populated by pathetic schemers, clever conmen and casual killers. Each was characterized by moral ambivalence about crime, black humor and wickedly acute depictions of human nature: the greedy dreams of Armand Degas in "Killshot," the wisecracking cool of Chili Palmer in "Get Shorty," Jack Belmont's lust for notoriety in "The Hot Kid."

This is a neat fact: He was an overnight sensation. Well, at age 60, and after having written dozens of books.

One remarkable thing about Leonard's talent is how long it took the world to notice. He didn't have a best-seller until his 60th year, and few critics took him seriously before the 1990s.

So that's... well that's somehow both interesting and hopeful, I guess.


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