Bandits (Magill's Literary Annual 1988)
Elmore Leonard wrote more than twenty novels over almost thirty years before he was discovered by critics and the mass public, making the transition from pulp entertainer to literary stylist. Leonard wrote Westerns in the 1950’s and early 1960’s, and when that genre became no longer fashionable or profitable, he switched to the crime novel, a form in which, his proponents claim, he has been unmatched by any other American writer in the 1970’s and 1980’s.
Leonard does not write about the same kinds of characters, settings, and situations in each book. His protagonists are policemen, criminals, and businessmen in Detroit, Miami Beach, and New Orleans. They are men living on the edge of society who find themselves caught up in situations out of their element. In responding to the pressure of these circumstances, they find that they are not the people they had seem themselves as being. In presenting such characters, Leonard, according to Jonathan Yardley, “raises the hard-boiled suspense novel beyond the limits of genre and into social commentary.”
Jack Delaney lives his life by chance. While working in a New Orleans department store, he is led by chance to a brief career modeling men’s clothing. While working on a modeling assignment, he encounters a jewel thief who is in the process of robbing the hotel room in which Jack and his...
(The entire section is 2225 words.)
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 1988)
The Christian Science Monitor. LXXIX, January 28, 1987, p. 19.
Macleans. C, January 19, 1987, p. 61.
The New York Times. CXXXVI, January 8, 1987, p. 21.
The New York Times Book Review. XCII, January 4, 1987, p. 7.
The New Yorker. LXII, January 19, 1987, p. 94.
Newsweek. CIX, January 5, 1987, p. 58.
The Observer. April 5, 1987, p. 25.
Publishers Weekly. CCXXX, December 12, 1986, p. 40.
Time. CXXIX, January 12, 1987, p. 72.
The Times Literary Supplement. January 9, 1987, p. 36.
USA Today. V, January 2, 1987, p. 50.
The Village Voice. XXXII, February 24, 1987, p. 41.
The Wall Street Journal. CCIX, January 19, 1987, p. 16.
The Washington Post Book World. XVI, December 28, 1986, p. 5.
(The entire section is 82 words.)