Sunday, July 22, 2018

The Dickens of Detroit …

… The Humane Vision of Elmore Leonard | The Russell Kirk Center. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

… unlike the novels of hard-boiled fiction master Raymond Chandler, Leonard’s novels aren’t (ultimately) about the moral ambiguities of crime detection or the pleasures of solving a puzzle. Nor are they (ultimately) about beach bum expertise or access to friends in high places, as in John D. MacDonald’s wonderful private investigator series starring Travis McGee. Trained as Leonard was by writing for pulps like Dime Western, Leonard tends to focus instead on moments of truth that people either rise to or flee from, according to varying degrees of valor, imagination, and moral probity.

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