Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Raylan by Elmore Leonard

Morning, all! I'm a stop on the TLC tour for Elmore Leonard's Raylan today.

If you haven't watched Justified (why haven't you watched Justified?!) then you may not be familiar with Leonard's popular leading man, US Marshall Raylan Givens. He's not afraid to do what it takes to get the bad guy, but more often than not he comes out on top. I love and adore the show! In fact, it's one that we never miss in our house. Seriously if you're not watching you are missing out! And of course I was going to be interested in reading Elmore Leonard's latest.

In Raylan, Givens is involved with three different cases of sorts. Coover and Dickie Crow have teamed up with some folks involved in an enterprise stealing human organs. Then, Raylan is stuck escorting an executive from M-T Mining as they try to convince the locals that their plan to strip mine a mountain top is a good plan. Finally, a group of bank robbing strippers has been hitting up local banks. 

The three cases do very strongly resemble three different episodes of the show. If you're a fan, you'll enjoy revisiting Raylan and these stories (they do differ some from the actual episodes). If you've not watched the show, it doesn't really matter. The book stands alone without depending on Justified.

While I enjoyed the book, the transition between cases was a bit odd: they read more like vignettes or novellas than one cohesive novel, but there are no breaks separating them. It was somewhat jarring just to jump into a completely new case without much warning.

Leonard, who I've not read until this particular release, has a very distinctive voice and style. His writing is very conversational and almost simplistic in its lack of non essential information. As such, the story (or stories) move very quickly.

Again, you don't have to watch the show or even have read the previous books with Raylan's character to enjoy this outing from Leonard. It pretty much stands on its own. Raylan does appear in other works by Leonard. I've not read those, but based on the appearance of Boyd in particular it would seem that this book stands more alongside the tv show than the actual previous books. Apparently Boyd is killed off in a previous Leonard story.

An interesting factoid about the show: Boyd was supposed to be killed off in the series premiere. Apparently viewers responded so well to the character, that he was saved and written into the show as a series regular.

Raylan is out in paperback now and season four of Justified starts up on Jan 8 on F/X. HarperCollins is reissuing four more Leonard classics this month as well: Swag, La Brava, Valdez is Coming, and Out of Sight.

To see more stops on the tour, visit the official tour page here.

For more on Leonard, Raylan, Justified, and Leonard's other work, visit his official website (linked above). You can also like him on Facebook and follow his official Twitter page here.

1 comment:

Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

How is it that I haven't even HEARD of "Justified"??? Sounds like I'm missing out on the show AND the book!

Thanks for being on the tour.