Posts Tagged ‘crime fiction’

Elmore LeonardLike naming my favorite movie or favorite song, naming my favorite author is a tricky and ultimately futile proposition. It depends on what mood I’m in, and varies by the hour. But Elmore Leonard, whose death at the age of 87 was announced today, would always be on my short list of all-time favorites. It’s been that way ever since I picked up “Freaky Deaky” on a whim about 20 years ago, and got hooked. He was a game-changer for me as a reader, and I like to think he was a major influence on me as a writer.

So it pains me to say this. But I think he’s kind of a victim of a condition I call Led Zeppelin Syndrome. That doesn’t reflect badly on him, though. Quite the opposite.

See, Led Zeppelin was a great band. But through no fault of their own, they inspired a lot of crap from would-be imitators who totally missed the point. Just about every godawful ’80s hair band who thought that a screechy vocalist, noodling guitar solo, and glam fashion sense would buy them rock immortality is an indirect result of Led Zeppelin’s greatness.

So it is with Elmore Leonard, in a sense. (more…)

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