Before Elmore Leonard’s 37th book “Pagan Babies” even hit the bookshelves, it was in production in Hollywood. Tinsel Town is in love with his rogues’ gallery and their hip, funny dialogue in movies like “Get Shorty” and “Out of Sight”. Leonard read Hemingway to learn how to leave things out and moved quickly from writing and copying to scratching out westerns for pulp magazines. When that genre dried up, he switched to thrillers populated by grifters and drifters on the fringes of society who are invariably involved in dizzying layers of scams and cons.
His double-crossing petty crooks and whores achieve a kind of seedy glory as they cruise the mean streets of Detroit or Miami Beach. They dwell in the moral murk of revenge and redemption that drives the plot and leaves you cheering for the bad guys. Elmore Leonard, who may just be the greatest living crime writer, is this hour on the Connection.
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)