Anyway, I’d just like to add my voice to all those acclaiming Elmore Leonard as one of the greats. The first book of his I read was FREAKY DEAKY, and I’ve read pretty much all of his crime novels since. I’m partial to GET SHORTY, OUT OF SIGHT, THE BIG BOUNCE, THE SWITCH and 52 PICK-UP, although for some reason PRONTO is the one I love the best.
What I love about Elmore Leonard’s books is that they sound so natural, the way language and character and story all come together in such a seamless way. If it takes a hell of a lot of hard work to make something look effortless, Elmore Leonard was the hardest working writer in the game.
My favourite example is the opening to STICK, which goes like this:
Stick said he wasn’t going if they had to pick up anything. Rainy said no, there wasn’t any product in the deal; all they had to do was drop a bag. Stick said, “And the guy’s giving you five grand?”That’s beautiful.