Hi folks, hoping that Elmore Leonard fans will recommend which of his books I should start out with. I've heard great things about Leonard but I'm sorry to say I have not ready any of them. There are so many... I don't know a good place to start, or which ones are the most popular. Thanks in advance, Chris
some of the lesser novels I have read lapse into romantic narrative interludes that are totally unconvincing and plot stopping.Unknown Man #89 was my first and this one is crisp and fast moving and no false steps.
Some are better than others.If you start at the beginning of his crime novels there are some(imo) that do not quite measure up to some the later ones.if i had to recommend one more beside Unkown man #89 I would say say Get Shorty which will not disappoint and not discourage someone from going further.What you say is right i think for someone like Hemingway or Faulkner but with a writer like Leonard i think you should start with one good one as an introduction .Leonard has respect in his genre but he is no Conrad or Tolstoy nor does he pretend to be.
Like Mike, when I find an author I like, I usually try to read the books in order of writing. I discovered Leonard in the early 80's, and he's been my favorite pop fiction writer, though I think his writing has declined in quality over the last few years. I've never been a fan of westerns, but his were so good that they're at the top of my list, especially Hombre and Valdez is Coming.
I have read all of his works and agree with some of the other posts that you should read them as he wrote them. Do not forget the Westerns and the collections. I started with Freaky Deaky when it first came out and then starting reading from the beginning for the detective/mystery/crime style. Mixed in westerns for a change of pace, but also read those in order of writing. I love me some Elmore Leonard.
I'll add my vote to Get Shorty and Be Cool. Tishomingo Blues also struck a chord with me, offbeat as it was I really liked the characters.
I was trying to describe Leonard to a friend and couldn't pin down his genre, just couldn't find the words to describe his work. Anyone have a good description of his genre style? Pop and urban culture didn't quite capture it.
Seriocomic crime novels.Also I agree with your Get Shorty vote but Valdez is Coming is outstanding imo, and thats a western.i also think though that not all of his books are home runs and not that it matters;whose are.
All of Leonard's books are well written, but his characters are often unpleasant people -- even the "heroes" are such only by default, because the villains are so despicable. And a feature of Leonard's stories that seems to be pretty consistent is one or more women being beaten, or worse -- sometimes much worse. If that sort of thing is to your taste, here it is.