Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Recently Read: Raylan, by Elmore Leonard

Despite the predigree of Raylan (this is the first work I've read by Elmore Leonard) I can't say I enjoyed this novel nearly as much as the TV show Justified inspired by Leonard's work.

In fact, Raylan isn't really a novel, but three short stories loosely intertwined and packaged. Many scenes in the book, including entire paragraphs of excellent dialogue, were used verbatim in seasons one and two of the show. As funny, sharp and profane as Leonard's dialogue can be, it's stylized to the point of abstraction in many places. It also greatly suffers from characters saying things unnaturally and illogically for the sake of exposition.

In addition, several of the characters in the book, including Raylan himself, have been given much more depth and individuality on the show, making for a book wherein the characters are somewhat like the people we associate with their names, but not quite. Ironically, Raylan's boss, Art Mullen, sounds the most like the Mullen we know from the show.

For longtime Elmore Leonard fans and Justified completists only.
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