Crime novelist Elmore Leonard, whose work inspired ‘Justified,’ ‘Jackie Brown,’ dies at 87

Aug 21, 2013 - 0 Comments

Aug. 21, 2013 Washington Post

The widely acclaimed and hugely successful crime novelist Elmore Leonard died at home Tuesday of complications from a stroke. He was 87. Leonard’s prose changed how the crime genre was perceived by readers and writers alike:

His early Western novels “Hombre” and “Valdez is Coming” carried all the hallmarks of his later crime fiction and reimagined the traditional idea of heroes and bad guys and how they interacted. A run of movies based on his Westerns and early crime novels kept his name out there, but it wasn’t until he turned his focus from Detroit to South Florida that his fortunes began to match his talent.

The run of novels from 1983’s Edgar Award-winning “La Brava” to 1996’s “Out of Sight” not only transformed the crime novel, it transformed how they were perceived. Instead of attracting fringe actors, his books “Get Shorty,” ‘’Rum Punch” and “Out of Sight,” among others, drew A-list stars such as Samuel L. Jackson, George Clooney and John Travolta. Top directors like Quentin Tarantino and Barry Sonnenfeld wanted in. And TV eventually came calling about a number of ideas, including “Justified,” which brought a favorite character, Marshall Raylan Givens, to a wide and adoring audience.

It was an incredible run that not only put Leonard permanently on the best-seller lists but transformed other writers and their writing. Read More

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