I had a big entry written about this WashPost piece on the popular/literary divide, but Alan logged me out and the whole thing went down the memory hole, dammit.
Anyway, read and respond. I have to go; more later, but this now: If Stephen King wants to lump Elmore Leonard and Tom Clancy in the same sentence, he’s a stone jive-ass and I take back every good thing I said about “Misery.” If not, we can talk.
Also, Elmore Leonard should get a National Book Award before he dies. But y’all go read.
Ashley said on January 7, 2004 at 12:08 pm
I like the quote about the ever-popular “No-style style”. I swear, Clancy could just have 20 grad students mill out a book a month, and there would be no discernable difference.
Leonard, OTOH, is a friggin’ artist. I love Hiaasen, but I think he’s a bit more pulpish than Leonard.
Nance, I would personally take more offense with King grouping John Grisham with Elmore Leonard than Clancy.
Nance said on January 7, 2004 at 1:19 pm
Well, sure, there are lots of people incompetent to wipe E.L.’s boots in that lineup. The guy’s a stone genius, and he has enough of his fellow geniuses saying so that he probably doesn’t lose any sleep worrying about his literary reputation. (Martin Amis has a great essay in his “The War on Cliche” on E.L.) My main problem with some of King’s comments is, he makes the same mistake the literary folks do — he assumes we all have to read certain books the way we take vitamins. One side advocates it for artistic health, the other for pop-cultural vigor. Boolsheet.
Also, why isn’t Martin Cruz Smith considered a literary writer? The man’s a poet. A poet, I say.
Craig said on January 8, 2004 at 12:17 am
Elmore Leonard not only deserves a National Book Award, he deserves to have a life-size statue of himself in the middle of the Detroit airport, right where nobody passing through could possibly miss it. Stephen King, on the other hand… feh.