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If you could sum up Raylan in three words, what would they be?
Backstory Details Explanation
What other book might you compare Raylan to and why?
I don't read this genre much.
Have you listened to any of Brian D'Arcy James’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?
For those who want to follow a modern day Lawman saga
Any additional comments?
I'm a big fan of the cable TV show "Justified." This book filled in some details that made me better understand the series--sometimes the series cuts scenes and doesn't call sufficient attention to small details and you miss elements of motivation. I enjoyed listening to Raylan for that reason...
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
It's fun to see Raylan Givens again and as I'm a big fan of "Justified" it's nice to see him in a familiar context. Namely, Harlan County, Kentucky. In fact, most of the characters in this book come right out of seasons 2 and 3 of the series, but with some significant changes. Characters that died on the show are alive, and sometimes with slightly altered names that fit Elmore Leonard's greater continuity.
That's part of what's fun here: the melding of the two universes, and it works just fine. My problem with the book is that it seems fairly lightweight for Elmore Leonard. He's such an entertaining writer with a mind that shoots sparks out like a catherine wheel, but this one seemed a little... tired, maybe. I don't think he wrote it just to make a buck, but maybe Raylan and Elmore are slowing down a bit.
It's not that the book isn't fun- it is. Lots of fun. But it it's not FREAKY DEAKY fun, or PRONTO fun (the story that introduced Raylan Givens to us). Raylan seems to be a hybrid of the character from the earlier books and the television character, which is fine- I saw Timothy Olyphant as I listened to this book- but I was taken out of the story a couple times while I tried to figure out the continuity differences.
That said, it's always nice to read some good Elmore Leonard characters- and this book has a lot of 'em. Some we kind of know, and some we're introduced to here for the first time. And nobody writes dialogue like Elmore Leonard. And there is some nice growth for Raylan as well and an ending that will make fans of the television show stop and go, "whuh?!!"
The narrator does a nice job with the book too. He reads the offbeat dialogue with a clear understanding of the inflections and rhythms, something I often screw up the first time I read a sentence. Very well done in that department.
RAYLAN is not the best Elmore Leonard book I've read/heard, though I know opinions vary and there's no accounting for taste (most people liked TISHOMINGO BLUES more than me too...). It's prettygood though, and like I said in the headline: Good Elmore Leonard is better than many writers at the top of their game. Give it a try.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful