By Brian Martin | Graphic/Novels Editor Published: 08/20/2013 10:56 am EST
Prolific crime and western novelist Elmore Leonard passed away Tuesday due to complications from a stroke he suffered last month. He was 87.
Leonard’s body of work spanned 60 years and included 45 novels. While he began his career writing westerns, Leonard became perhaps best known for his gritty crime stories. Many of his works, including Get Shorty, “3:10 to Yuma”, and Out of Sight, were turned into films. The Quentin Tarantino film Jackie Brown was based on Leonard’s novel Rum Punch, and the television series Justified is drawn from a number of Leonard’s stories.
One of the chief hallmarks of Leonard’s work was his knack for dialogue and breezy prose. He strove to achieve a level of storytelling that sounded fluid, organic, and never constructed. Regarding his craft, he once stated, “If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.” It is certainly due to this perspective that Leonard’s voice has been, and will likely remain, a truly unique contribution to fiction.
Brian L. Martin is an educator, writer, and amateur curmudgeon. An avid fan of novels, movies, and beer, he would much rather spend his time reading comics, a lifelong love since receiving a copy of The Amazing Spider-Man # 242 from Spider-Man himself in 1983. His favorite books include The Grapes of Wrath, Siddhartha, and The Complete Calvin and Hobbes, which is heavy enough to be considered the only real defense weapon he has in his home. He currently lives with his wife in Uppsala, Sweden.