The Best of Elmore Leonard: Books, Film, Television

08/20/2013 12:13 PM |


This morning on the subway, with a selfie-taking woman sporting a bicep tattoo of Porky Pig anally penetrating a regular pig on one side of me and a man with a George Hamilton tan who wore loafers with no socks on the other side, I found out that Elmore Leonard had died. Leonard, 87, had suffered a stroke three weeks ago, and died at his home in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Leonard’s career spanned more than four decades and he left an indelible imprint on the popular crime genre of novels, sure, but also film, and most lately, television. His pared down style was admired by acclaimed writers as stylistically different from him as Martin Amis, who once said of Leonard, “[he possesses] gifts—of ear and eye, of timing and phrasing—that even the most indolent and snobbish masters of the mainstream must vigorously covet.” In honor of the great writer, here’s a look back at the best of his work in three different media: books, film, and television.