Books: Tough Talk and Local Color Bandits

Talk and Local Color Bandits by Elmore Leonard; Arbor House; 345 pages; $17.95

Legend will someday have it that Author Elmore Leonard became an overnight success with his 23rd novel. Such is not quite the case. True, Glitz (1985) rocketed toward the top of hardback best-seller lists, a feat that earlier Leonard books had not accomplished. Credit for this commercial breakthrough has been given to the huge promotional campaign waged on behalf of Glitz by its publisher. All those ads certainly did not hurt. But Leonard's triumph may have a somewhat less expensive explanation: the devoted readers who enjoyed and passed along the writer's early westerns (Hombre) and those who discovered somewhere along the...

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