Re: RARA-AVIS: hb list

James Rogers (
Thu, 30 Dec 1999 09:25:45 -0600

At 08:34 AM 12/30/99 -0600, you wrote:

>I had Leonard on my list, and I think he's one of the most important hb
>writers, following the steps of the usual big 3 or 4. But you raise an
>interesting question as to why he doesn't come up more often. The only
>thing I can think of is that he's so much with us, still writing, and his
>body of work and output is much larger than the "classic" writers of 60
>years ago. Chandler and Hammett and Cain? Not all that much, really. Ross
>Macdonald? A lot of books, but most of them in one series. Elmore Leonard?
>Almost yearly, no continuing series (just recurring characters) for nearly
>thirty years (excluding the westerns, which take you back to the 50s). He
>has affected contemporary hardboiled language so much, that perhaps his
>impact will be seen as greater once there's no more new work and it's time
>to evaluate the influence.
    I don't wanna fight about it either, but I cannot recall even the title of a Leonard book I've read (except for a couple of westerns) and I have read plenty. I enjoyed them, but they didn't stick with me. Whereas I'll never be able to forget something like _High Priest Of California_. I gotta lotta respeck for the guy, but I haven't yet found a book that insisted on a spot on my A list.


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