nybooks.com – Elmore Leonard
Elmore Leonard, who died two summers ago, aged eighty-seven, became famous as a crime novelist, but he didn’t like being grouped with most of the big names in that genre, people such as Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett or, indeed, any of the noir writers. He disapproved of their melodrama, their pessimism, their psychos and nymphos and fancy writing. He saw in crime no glamour or sexiness but, on the contrary, long hours and sore feet. His criminals didn’t become what they were out of any fondness for vice. They just needed work, and that’s what was available. They are not serial killers (or only one is), but bank robbers, loan sharks, bookies.