Leonard’s many crime novels will find a lasting place in history because he knew how to make words sing”Fuckin’ endings, man,” Get Shorty concludes. “They weren’t as easy as they looked.” When Elmore Leonard died this week, the Mozart of profanity, the Cole Porter of the word “motherfucker”, he left the world as easily secure of a lasting reputation as any novelist in history. What makes a novelist last is the music they make – not their social concern, not the importance of their subjects, not the utterances they make. PG Wodehouse has lasted where AJ Cronin faded. Silliness, absurdity and the utmost triviality are no barriers; novels about nothing more than the squire’s daughter marrying the squire’s neighbour last forever, if they sing.Or a novel about drug dealers butchering their way through their rivals, if they apparently know how to say “motherfucker” with the sharpest timing. Fans of rival crime novelists to Leonard mention their profundity and depth of analysis. That’s all very well, but it overlooks one thing: they can’t write as well. Next to the exquisite prestissimo of Freaky Deaky, even James Ellroy seems to be wearing mittens as he sits at the piano keyboard.Leonard half observed …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books