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Friday, January 11, 2013

TLC Book Tour Stop and Review: Raylan by Elmore Leonard

My Rating: 97/100
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Paperback, 288 pages
Book Source: TLC Book Tours

From the Tour homepage:

When Dickie and Coover Crowe, dope-dealing brothers known for sampling their own supply, decide to branch out into the body business, it’s up to U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens to stop them. But Raylan isn’t your average marshal; he’s the laconic, Stetson-wearing, fast-drawing lawman who juggles dozens of cases at a time and always shoots to kill. But by the time Raylan finds out who’s making the cuts, he’s lying naked in a bathtub, with Layla, the cool transplant nurse, about to go for his kidneys.

DISCLAIMER: I have been watching Justified, the show which stars Raylan Givens, since Season 1.  And I LOVE it!  I do not miss an episode and am sad when the season is over.  So this review is definitely biased. 

Now that  that’s out of the way, let’s get to the review of Raylan.  The title character made his debut as a secondary character in Pronto,  so this book, Raylan is the third full length book to feature Raylan Givens.  Although the character is well established, it doesn’t take away from the story at all.  Raylan is like a day in the life of Raylan Givens, US Marshall.  And what a life it is, filled with criminals, and people who are interesting in their own right.  There isn't much background or delving into the characters themselves.  That gets picked up by reading between the lines, or interpreting their actions.  I also know them already from Justified.  Comparing the book and the show, the transition is seamless.

This story contains three mini-events: organ thieves, the protection of a coal company woman, and a criminal from Raylan’s past seeking to right wrongs.  The characters in each event are richly drawn and easy to imagine.  Everyone in this book is quite the character and memorable.  The dialogue in this book is also unique.  The story takes place in Eastern Kentucky so the characters have a regional accent, but it’s not what you may think.  It’s a bit Southern but their sentences are clipped or shortened.  This also adds to the richness of the story, and it’s another seamless transition between the book and the show.  It’s one of the reasons I enjoy the show so much, the dialogue.  The book continues that flavor.

I apologize for comparing the book and the show so much, but for me it’s unavoidable.  Aspects of the events in Raylan were used for Justified, but they were definitely changed quite a bit.  Both versions have their merits.  Overall Raylan was an enjoyable, easy reading book, and it’s a wonderful introduction into either Justified or Elmore Leonard’s other works.  Leonard has written over 45 books, and has quite a following, so the man is doing something right.  I know I will definitely be reading his back list , and not just those featuring Raylan Givens.

For more information about Elmore Leonard and his other works, please visit his website.

Thanks to TLC Book Tours for asking me to join the tour.  Please visit the other tour stops to see what others thought of Raylan.

Elmore’s Tour Stops

Wednesday, December 26th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Friday, December 28th: Book Addict Katie
Thursday, January 3rd: Helen’s Book Blog
Monday, January 7th: My Life in Not So Many Words
Tuesday, January 8th: Chaotic Compendiums
Thursday, January 10th: Jenny Loves to Read
Wednesday, January 16th: Jenn’s Bookshelves
Monday, January 28th: Luxury Reading
TBD: EmSun

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