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Elmore Leonard’s Rules

One generally does well to avoid sweeping generalizations but one is safe in saying Elmore Leonard is the preeminent American crime fiction writer of the twentieth century.  One can praise Leonard’s prose for pretty much every angle and from pretty much every angle.  Around the time of his death in August of 2013 a number of journals and magazines republished his “10 Rules for Good Writing ,” which begins with “Never open a book with weather.” To add to this, a couple of weeks ago Atlantic Magazine published “Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules for (Criminal) Success and Happiness,” which features actor Timothy Olyphant reading from Leonard’s 1976 novel Swag, the part of the book where the character Frank Ryan recites his 10 rules for happiness.  It’s a great compliment to the “10 Rules for Good Writing” and a great way to think about life through the lens of Leonard’s fiction.  Elmore Leonard, Miami Bookfair International, 1989

~ by pdoty on September 8, 2014.

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