Monday, April 9, 2012

Raylan by Elmore Leonard

Cover imageElmore Leonard’s Raylan is a fast paced, violent but often humorous novel about U.S. Deputy Marshal Raylan Givens. The novel has three somewhat separate plots. I was initially disoriented when the first part of the book, Raylan’s pursuit of a group who removes kidneys and then sells them back to their original owners, ended and switched to him guarding a not-well-liked coal company public relations representative. However, I later liked this shift in the story and wondered if Leonard was trying to give the book a day-to-day feel of what a marshal deals with. (Or it could be that he’s such a successful writer that he can get away with this sort of thing.) The book’s third part has Raylan pursuing a group of college girls on a wild bank robbing spree. This part of the novel in particular brings back characters from earlier in the book and at least partially ties things together.

Raylan is also the main character in the FX series Justified. The first episode of that series is based on Leonard’s short story “Fire in the Hole” from the collection When the Women Come Out to Dance:Stories.


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