Library of America presents a definitive collection of classic Westerns by America’s master modern crime writer
One of the great storytellers of our time, Elmore Leonard perfected his craft writing Westerns, a genre he loved. These tales–some adapted into such outstanding films as Hombre, Valdez Is Coming, and 3:10 to Yuma–are unexcelled for their wiry tautness, sharp characterizations, and jolts of unexpected humor. For sheer stripped-down narrative tension Leonard never did anything better, and the fresh twists he finds in resolving the genre’s classic confrontations reveal a master at work. Whether describing a Civil War veteran coming back to find his homestead stolen (Last Stand at Saber River), a man raised by Apaches treated with contempt by the white settlers who will ultimately depend on him for their survival (Hombre), a local constable, tricked into killing an innocent man, fighting back against the powerful man who duped him (Valdez Is Coming), or two convicts in a desert prison–one African American and the other half-Apache–plotting a near-impossible escape (Forty Lashes Less One), Leonard’s westerns are tough, suspenseful, convincing, and beautifully spare in style.