Elmore Leonard, whose gift for penning memorable crime novels and pulpy Westerns, stories which became a sort of endless reservoir for Hollywood to make many adaptations of on the silver screen, has died at the age of 87 from complications of a stroke he recently suffered.
Leonard penned Get Shorty, which was made into a feature film starring John Travolta. The same with 3:10 to Yuma, the dark, noirish Western. He also wrote Rum Punch, which was adapted by Quentin Tarantino into his homage to blaxploitation films Jackie Brown. A most recent tie in to Leonard’s work is the FX program Justified, based on the American author’s short story, entitled Fire in the Hole.
Leonard’s style had an urgent sense of sharpness, danger, shades of light and dark, intrigue, suspense, realism, and fleshed-out characterizations all done in a sly wink, sometimes tongue in cheek manner which made reading many of his tomes a joy to behold.
He summed it up best by once exclaiming that his purpose was “to entertain and please myself. I feel that I am entertained, then there will be enough other readers who will be entertained too.”
No truer words could have ever been spoken as the world today laments the passing of one of its great scribes, whose powerful and insightful impact for fictionalization will still be felt for generations to come.
RIP Elmore Leonard
October 11, 1925 – August 20, 2013