No one is more evocative of the dusty, gutsy hey-day of the American West than Elmore Leonard. And no story about a young writer struggling to launch his career ever matched its subject matter better than the tale behind Leonard's Western oeuvre.
In 1950, fresh out of college — having written two "pointless" stories, as he describes them — Leonard decided he needed to pick a market, a big one, which would give him a better chance to be published while he learned to write. In choosing between crime and Westerns, the latter had an irresistible pull — Leonard loved movies set in the West. As he researched deeper into settings, Arizona in the 1880s captured his imagination: the Spanish influence, the standoffs and shootouts between Apache Indians and the U.S. cavalry …
His first dozen stories sold for 2 cents a word, for $100 each. The rest is history.
This first-ever complete collection of Leonard's thirty Western tales will thrill lovers of the genre, his die-hard fans, and everyone in between — and makes a terrific study of the launch of a phenomenal career.
From his very first story ever published — "The Trail of the Apache" — through five decades of classic Western tales, The Complete Western Stories of Elmore Leonard demonstrates again and again the superb talent for language and gripping narrative that has made Leonard one of the most acclaimed and influential writers of our time.