Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Leonard's influences and sleeping dogs

From: John Williams (
Date: 31 Mar 2003

Al quoted Newgate Callender as observing that
' The real influence on Leonard is George V. Higgins,' particularly "The Friends of Eddie Coyle" .

I think that is absolutely right and I remember Higgins telling me that Leonard had personally acknowledged the influence. Both Leonard and Higigns in turn cite the influences of Hemingway and, especially, John O'Hara. And I for one can seen little trace of an overt Chandler influence in the work of Higgins or Leonard. Surely the point here is that Leonard is not saying he doesn't like Chandler, or see Chandler as an important writer, simply that he doesn't see him as a stylistic influence.

I think the question of the Hammett influence is trickier. Leonard may not owe much to the Maltese Falcon, but The Glass Key is another matter...

BTW, as 80s month looms, I think I'll start by re-reading Dick Lochte's wonderful - and unarguably Chandler influenced - Sleeping Dog.


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