The Dickens of Detroit. R.I.P.

August 20, 2013 at 6:15 pm (Uncategorized) (, )

Have you seen any of the following movies/TV Shows ?

  • Get Shorty
  • Justified
  • 3:10 to Yuma
  • Out of Sight
  • Jackie Brown

Well, then you watched and likely enjoyed a film that came from a novel or short story written by the great American story-teller Elmore Leonard who passed away today at 87.

Along with the list above (which is by no means complete), Leonard wrote over 40 novels and countless short stories and screen plays.

I first came across Leonard’s work while working in a used book store in Toronto. In the mass market paperback racks were always a few copies of his books. Eventually, I succumbed to the beautifully garish covers and read a couple (I think Rum Punch was the first).

What was great about Leonard’s work was not just the way the stories flowed and drew you along, but the memorable characters and the dialogue. In the best adaptations Leonard’s work such as Get Shorty, the film wisely chose to use large sections of Leonard’s words as they appeared in the novels.

They’ll be any number of better tributes to Leonard that these few words, but I can really think of no better tribute than to go and read one of his crime novels.


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