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RIP Elmore Leonard

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Legendary Crime Novelist Elmore Leonard Dies at 87

I live a few blocks away from Mr. Leonard and, only knowing him from writing Rum Punch (although I knew it as "the book Jackie Brown was based on") decided to go see him at a reading of Djibouti at our local library a few years ago and was instantly hooked on his writing.

About a week after the reading I ran into him at the grocery store and he recognized my face and said hello. Over the past few years I probably saw him at the grocery store or the Starbucks near our house on average twice a month or so and he always seemed to recognize me, was very personable, and always had time for this young fan.

Besides being a true modern master and maybe the greatest crime/pulp author of all time he was a genuine gentleman and that just made me even more of a fan.

I don't recall ever being so sad about the death of a author - I'm sure it has more to do with meeting him a few times than anything, but it still hurts.

:(

He will definitely be missed.
 

Harold falcon

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Sad. Great novelist.
 

munchausen

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Yeah the guy has like 100 books and I never read one that I didn't enjoy. He wasn't James Joyce or anything (thank god) but he knew how to put a story together.
 

Nil

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I've seen movies based on his books and Justified, all of which I enjoyed thoroughly, but I've never read anything by him. Seems like it's time to remedy that. Suggestions for some titles to start with?
 

munchausen

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I've seen movies based on his books and Justified, all of which I enjoyed thoroughly, but I've never read anything by him. Seems like it's time to remedy that. Suggestions for some titles to start with?

Haven't read even close to all of them, but my favorites are The Big Bounce and Rum Punch (which Jackie Brown was based on). Both are quick reads and thoroughly entertaining.
 

Michigan Planner

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Haven't read even close to all of them, but my favorites are The Big Bounce and Rum Punch (which Jackie Brown was based on). Both are quick reads and thoroughly entertaining.

I agree with those recommendations. If somebody is a fan of the movies from his books, I usually recommend they use Rum Punch as a starting point for Leonard. The movie was great but the book was tremendous. It's a great intro to how snappy his dialogue is and it is such a fast read that if you decide you don't like the style, you haven't wasted much time.
 

Stu

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Elmore Leonard's rules for good writing:

1. Never open a book with weather.
2. Avoid prologues.
3. Never use a verb other than "said" to carry dialogue.
4. Never use an adverb to modify the verb "said”…he admonished gravely.
5. Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose.
6. Never use the words "suddenly" or "all hell broke loose."
7. Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly.
8. Avoid detailed descriptions of characters.
9. Don't go into great detail describing places and things.
10. Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.

"My most important rule is one that sums up the 10. If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it."

The guy didn't get as much respect as he should have because the crime thriller genre is not the highest brow genre. But he was a great stylist, just a great American writer.
 

clockwise

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In no particular order I think Swag, Glitz, Get Shorty and Mr Majestyk are mandatory reading. I have read and enjoyed most of Elmore Leonard's books. Sad to hear about his death.
 

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