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Elmore Leonard wrote more than forty books during his phenomenal career. Many have been made into successful movies, including Get Shorty with John Travolta, Out of Sight with George Clooney and Rum Punch, which became Tarantino's Jackie Brown. He died in August 2013.
Click here, or the picture to download and read about Elmore Leonard's 10 rules for writing.
Below is a tribute to Elmore Leonard from Sophie Buchan, Commissioning Editor for Weidenfeld & Nicolson...
"Reading Elmore Leonard is the closest you can get to watching a movie without going to the cinema. He could sum up a character in a sentence, wrote some of the smartest dialogue ever committed to the pages of a novel and, to paraphrase his own 10 Rules of Writing, left out the bits that readers tend to skip. He famously once wrote ‘if it sounds like writing, rewrite it’. And you don’t read an Elmore Leonard novel; you live it.
Leonard’s novels will pick up you from your living room or train carriage and plonk you down in a smoke-filled backroom full of the slick-talking charlatans, plotting femmes fatales, and some of the wittiest baddies you’re likely to meet.
Publishing his novels was a joy not only because he was consistently brilliant but also because he was tremendously good fun, both on the page and in person. He surprised us constantly. At the age of 84, he delivered a novel that not only dealt with the – then – very topical Somali pirate crisis but also referenced Lady Gaga’s meat dress. I’d be lying if I said I’d expected that.
What has been unusual about the response to his death isn’t just the sheer depth of feeling but the range of people who have spoken of their admiration for this work. As tributes pour in authors including Ian Rankin, Martin Amis and Jackie Collins, I’d advise you – whatever you usually read – to discover Elmore Leonard."
Largely written during his years as a copywriter at a Detroit advertising agency, these stories find Leonard exploring far-flung locations, from the bars of small-town New Mexico to a military base in Kuala Lumpur. They also introduce us to unforgettable Leonard characters, some of whom - like ageing lawman Charlie Martz and former matador Eladio Montoya - star in his other works but were born in these pages.
The legendary 85 year old American Crime writer has created an absolute stand out novel with this tale of documentary film maker Dara Barr, Somalian pirates and the race to stop a tanker being blown up by any number of extraordinary characters.
The sequel to Chili Palmer's hit movie tanked and now Chili's itching for a comeback. So when a power lunch with record-label executive and former associate Tommy Athens ends in a mob hit, he soon finds himself in an unlikely alliance with organized-crime detective Darryl Holmes and the likely next target of Russian gangsters. But where others see danger, Chili Palmer sees story possibilities. Enter Linda Moon, a singer with aspirations that go further than her current gig in a Spice Girls cover band. Chili takes over as Linda's manager, entering the world of rock stars, pop divas, and hip-hop gangstas. As he wings his way to success in the music business with his trademark cool, Chili manipulates his adversaries and advances his friends, all the while basing the plot of his new film on the action that results.
Daredevil Dennis Lenahan has brought his act to the Tishomingo Lodge & Casino in Tunica, Mississippi - diving off an eighty-foot ladder into nine feet of water for the amusement of gamblers, gangsters, and luscious belles. His riskiest feat, however, was witnessing a Dixie-style mob execution while atop his diving platform. Robert Taylor saw the hit also. A blues-loving Detroit hustler touring the Southland, Taylor's got his own secret agenda and he wants Dennis in on the game. And high-diver Dennis could be about to take a long, fatal fall - right into a mess of hoop skirts, Civil War play-acting...and more trouble than he ever dreamed possible.
Collecting money for the Mob isn't too different from any other job, reckons Miami loan shark Chili Palmer. He soon finds himself ordered to collect on a bad debt from Leo Devoe, a guy who died in a plane crash. But it turns out Leo isn't dead - he's living it up in Las Vegas on the compensation money. So Chili follows him to Vegas and then on to Hollywood, where he gets drawn into the world of movies...
Jack Foley was busting out of Florida's Glades Prison when he ran head-on into Karen Sisco with a shotgun. Suddenly the world-class gentleman felon was sharing a cramped car trunk with a disarmed federal marshal - whose Chanel suit cost more than the take from Foley's last bank job - and the chemistry was working overtime. Here's a lady Jack could fall for in a big way, if she weren't a dedicated representative of the law that he breaks for a living. And as soon as she escapes, he's already missing her. But there are some seriously bad men and a major score waiting for Jack in Motown. And there's a good chance that when his path crosses Karen's again, she's going to be there for business, not pleasure.
Ordell Robbie makes a fine living selling illegal high-powered weaponry to the wrong people. Jackie Burke couriers Ordell's profits from Freeport to Miami. But the feds are on to Jackie - and now the aging, but still hot, flight attendant will have to do prison time or play ball, which makes her a prime 'loose end' that Ordell needs to tie up...permanently. Jackie, however, has other plans. And with the help of Max Cherry - an honest but disgruntled bail bondsman looking to get out - she could even end up with a serious nest egg in the process.
From the bestselling author of GET SHORTY and JACKIE BROWN a thriller spiced with blackmail and revenge. Detroit businessman Harry Mitchell is a self-made man, happily married for over twenty-two years and a pillar of the community. But then he slips - he meets a young 'model' and begins an affair. One night he arrives at his girlfriend's apartment and finds more than he bargained for. Two masked men have caught his misdemeanours on camera and now they want a cool hundred grand. But they've picked the wrong man, because Harry Mitchell doesn't get mad - he gets even.
Get Shortys Chili Palmer is back in Be Cool, a classic novel of suspense from New York Times bestselling author Elmore Leonard. But this time its no more Mr. Nice Guy.After a smash hit and a flop, B-movie-producer Chili Palmer is looking for another score. Lunching with a record company executive, Chilis exploring a hot new ideauntil the exec, a former associate from Chilis Brooklyn days, gets whacked.Segue from real life to reel life. Chilis found his plot. Its a slam-bang opener: the rubout of a record company mogul. Cut to an ambitious wannabe singer named Linda Moon. She has attitude and a band. Shes perfect. Zoom in to reality. Lindas manager thinks Chilis poaching and hes out to get even, with the help of his switch-hitting Samoan bodyguard.But somebody else beat them to the punch, as Chili discovers when he gets home and finds a corpse at his desk. Somebody made a mistake...
Ordell Robbie and Louis Gara have lots in common - time in the same gaol, convictions for auto theft, and a grand plan. They're going to snatch the wife of a Detroit developer and collect some easy ransom money. At least that's what they think... What they haven't figured on is the fact that the husband has a secret mistress and has absolutely no desire to get his wife back. So now it's time for Plan B. With the help of one seriously ticked-off housewife they are going to take the scumbag for everything he's got... THE SWITCH has been adapted for the big screen as LIFE OF CRIME, starring Jennifer Aniston, Tim Robbins and Isla Fisher.
Elmore Leonard is 'the man other crime writers call the Boss' DAILY TELEGRAPH. There aren't any textbooks on armed robbery. The only way to learn is through experience, and small-time crooks Frank and Stick are determined to do as much learning on the job as possible. In 1970s' Detroit they embark on a crime spree, holding up liquor stores and supermarkets. They invent their 'Ten Golden Rules for Successful Armed Robbery' and for a short time the cash is rolling in. But then they bend their own rules, and it looks like trouble is heading their way...
The greatest crime writer of our time, perhaps ever!New York Times Book ReviewWhen the all-time greats of mystery/noir/crime fiction are mentioned (John D. MacDonald, Dashiell Hammett, James M. Cain, Robert Parker, etc.), Elmore Leonards name invariably tops the list. A true Leonard classic, The Big Bounce showcases all of the Grand Masters acclaimed skillstwisty plotting, unforgettable characters, dialogue so razor sharp it could draw bloodas he chronicles the misadventures of a larcenous young man in a Michigan resort town whos irresistibly drawn to a dangerous femme fatale, a rich mans plaything, and the nasty little caper they plan to pull off togetherif they can somehow manage to survive each other. The acclaimed creator of Raylan (aka U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, lately of TVs smash hit Justified), Leonard has never lost the mojo that makes him the King Daddy of crime writers (Seattle Times).