Saturday, November 2, 2013

Being Cool: Recalling Elmore Leonard, A Master Of Crime Fiction

John O'Rourke at Boston University's Bu Today offers an interview with Charles J. Rzepka, the author of Being Cool: The Work of Elmore Leonard.  

When novelist Elmore Leonard died in August at 87, he was hailed by the New York Times as “a modern master of American genre writing” and by the Washington Post as “a masterly crime novelist.” He left behind an unforgettable gallery of drug dealers, grifters, hookers, con artists, and crooks.

... Leonard was one of those rare crime novelists who enjoyed both mass-market popularity (his books have sold in the tens of millions) and critical plaudits. Many of his works were adapted into Hollywood films, including Get Shorty, with John Travolta, Hombre, starring Paul Newman, 3:10 to Yuma (two versions), and Jackie Brown, directed by Quentin Tarantino. His short story Fire in the Hole inspired the Emmy-winning television series Justified on FX. Leonard also received some of the literary world’s top honors, among them an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America and a National Book Award, given last year for his “distinguished contribution” to American literature.

Few people are as versed in Elmore Leonard’s world as Charles Rzepka, a College of Arts & Sciences professor of English. In his new book, Being Cool: The Work of Elmore Leonard (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013), Rzepka writes about Leonard’s distinct writing style, “immediately recognizable for its voice and rhythm,” his keen ear for dialogue, and what made his characters so cool.

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

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