Library of America presents a definitive collection of classic Westerns by America's master modern crime writer.
Terrence Rafferty is the author of The Thing Happens- Ten Years of Writing about the Movies (1993). His writing on books, film, and popular culture has appeared in many publications, including The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and The New York Times. He has taught comparative literature at Cornell, film criticism at Columbia, and writing and American studies at Princeton.
For Westerns, a new volume in the Library of America, Terrence Rafferty has collected four of Leonard's finest novels from this period alongside a handful of stories, including "Three-Ten to Yuma" (1953), whose 15 pages are so thick with tension that they spawned a pair of full-length movies. . . . . The West was the proving ground where he honed his pared-back technique. . . You finish each of these perfectly told books in a single breathless sitting and you want only to flip back the pages and read them again. --Sam Sacks, Wall Street Journal
His best Western work. . . . For Leonard, like his
creation Raylan Givens, the West was serious business, a habit of
mind, no matter where or when you were born. . . . Even if cowboy
literature, with its creaking leather and ringing spurs, is not
your usual thing, these novels and stories herald the crime-writer
he became. --Nathan Ward, CrimeReads "For the first half of
his life Elmore Leonard mostly wrote Western novels and stories,
almost all of them set in the Southwest. All could be called genre
pieces -- Leonard certainly didn't shrink from the label -- and the
best of them, including the novels Hombre and Valdez Is Coming and
stories such as 3:10 to Yuma are now collected in one handsome
volume from the Library of America. What's gratifying is how well
they hold up on paper even to those familiar with the movies made
from them. There's terrific crackling dialogue at which even
Hemingway would have nodded."
--The Dallas Morning News "Elmore Leonard: Westerns' celebrates Leonard's mastery of the genre. This collection of four shoot-em-up novels and eight short stories beautifully demonstrates Leonard's gift for crisp dialogue, swift plotting, and flab-free storytelling." --Christian Science Monitor If we're serious about getting a firm grasp on Elmore Leonard's stupendous accomplishments we should by all means acquire the four handsome volumes of Leonard novels now gracing Library of America's list. -- Will Hoyt, University Bookman