Critical Essays on Elmore Leonard
Author: Charles J. Rzepka
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Genre: Literary Criticism
Book Summary: A scholarly exploration of Elmore Leonard—provides original essays and fresh insights on the author’s works and influence Labelled as “the closest thing America has to a national novelist,” Elmore Leonard’s clean and direct writing, engaging bad guys, and deadpan humor resonate with readers around the nation and throughout the world. Popular films based on his books continue to introduce new audiences to Leonard’s unique way of engaging with complex themes of American culture and pop-culture history. Yet surprisingly, academic treatments of his writing are almost nonexistent. Critical Essays on Elmore Leonard is an original anthology that covers the topics, themes, literary and narrative style, and enduring influences of one of the finest crime writers in the history of the genre. This unique collection of essays explores the ways in which Leonard’s work reflects America’s dynamic, ever-changing culture. Divided into two parts, the book first examines major themes and topics in Leonard’s works, followed by detailed case studies of five individual works including Get Shorty and Out of Sight. Essays discuss topics such as Leonard’s skill at conveying sense of place, his use of dress and appearance in his crime fiction, the influence of romantic comedies and westerns on his writing, and the concepts of moral luck, determinism, and existentialism found in his novels. Unique and thoroughly original, this book: Covers Leonard’s entire career, including his early Western novels and his work in visual media Illustrates Leonard’s genius at handling free indirect discourse Discusses the author’s influence, legacy, and contemporary relevance in various contexts Explores Leonard’s success at making himself “invisible” in his own writing Includes an insightful introduction from the book’s editor Critical Essays on Elmore Leonard is an ideal resource for academics and students in the field of genre studies, especially crime fiction, and general readers with interest in the subject.