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Which Elmore Leonard novel should I read first?


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Showing 1-16 of 16 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 19, 2010 6:50:14 AM PDT
chris says:
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

Posted on Aug 30, 2010 12:14:02 PM PDT
CRITTER says:
Start with the collection of short stories, "When the Women Come out to Dance"

Posted on Dec 2, 2010 3:27:46 AM PST
Claxon,Bill says:
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.

Posted on Feb 20, 2011 9:06:33 AM PST
Mike Hurley says:
I always believe in reading them chronologically as the writer wrote them/ you are lucky that you have not read Leonard/ start at the beginning and you will see why he has the respect he deserves

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2011 1:30:50 PM PST
Claxon,Bill says:
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.

Posted on Mar 11, 2011 5:21:18 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 11, 2011 5:23:36 PM PST
John Davis says:
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.

Posted on Apr 21, 2011 7:05:31 PM PDT
J. Popovich says:
I would read City Primeval, High Noon in Detroit, early 80's great Detroit based novel featuring Homicide detective Raymond Cruz. Started me on my Elmore Leonard journey.

Posted on Jun 8, 2011 11:14:15 AM PDT
Gary Ponzo says:
I'd start with Get Shorty. then move on to Be Cool. Be Cool is probably my favorite. It's what got my writing career going.A Touch of Deceit (Nick Bracco Series #1)

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 14, 2011 12:43:26 PM PDT
Asilverguy says:
I totally agree...a great collection to "warm you up" for EL...then go directly to "Pronto", followed by "Riding the rap"

Posted on Oct 18, 2011 9:18:51 AM PDT
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.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 15, 2011 9:30:41 AM PST
Stick is the first one I read - and it hooked me on E.L. for life.

Posted on Dec 15, 2011 5:48:51 PM PST
NDeG says:
Freaky Deaky is great, Get Shorty, Be Cool, The Hot Kid, Cuba Libre.

Posted on Jan 8, 2012 7:35:21 PM PST
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.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 8, 2012 9:34:02 PM PST
Claxon,Bill says:
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.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 9, 2012 9:02:14 AM PST
Thanks Bill C., "Seriocomic", great term, fits perfectly.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 29, 2014 10:38:03 AM PST
Where can I find the chronological order of Leonard's books
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Discussion in:  Elmore Leonard forum
Participants:  13
Total posts:  16
Initial post:  Jul 19, 2010
Latest post:  Jan 29, 2014

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