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Raylan: A Novel [Kindle Edition]

Elmore Leonard
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (489 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.99
Kindle Price: $9.78
You Save: $5.21 (35%)
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers

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Book Description

“Elmore Leonard can write circles around almost anybody active in the crime novel today.”
New York Times Book Review

With more than forty novels to his credit and still going strong, the legendary Elmore Leonard has well earned the title, “America’s greatest crime writer” (Newsweek). And U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens (Pronto, Riding the Rap, Fire in the Hole) is one of Leonard’s most popular creations, thanks in part to the phenomenal success of the hit TV series “Justified.” Leonard’s Raylan shines a spotlight once again on the dedicated, if somewhat trigger-happy lawman, this time in his familiar but not particularly cozy milieu of Harlan County, Kentucky, where the drug dealing Crowe brothers are branching out into the human body parts business. Suspenseful, darkly wry and riveting, and crackling with Leonard’s trademark electric dialogue, Raylan is prime Grand Master Leonard as you have always loved him and always will.


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Editorial Reviews

Review

“A punchy mix of crime and Kentucky coal-mine sociology . . . It’s one of Leonard’s best thrillers in years.” (Entertainment Weekly)

“With a practised ease and the craft of more than half a century of novelistic composition, Leonard works like the Picasso of crime fiction . . . Raylan is as close as it gets to creating the complete illusion of unmediated entertainment on the page.” (San Francisco Chronicle)

“In addition to kinetic storytelling and spot-on dialogue, Leonard has a cool wit. . . . Characters roll from scene to scene, urged on by self-interest and greed, bumping against one another and building up steam until they’re smashing together in orgies of violence.” (New York Times Book Review)

Raylan is Leonard’s best of the 21st century—good stuff from first page to last.” (Los Angeles Times Book Review)

“The smarter crooks give Raylan grudging respect; his fellow lawmen grant him their highest praise: ‘You’re doin’ a job the way we like to see it done.’ The same can be said of the 86-year-old Elmore Leonard.” (Wall Street Journal)

“[Leonard’s] finely honed sentences can sound as flinty/poetic as Hemingway or as hard-boiled as Raymond Chandler. His ear for the way people talk—or should—is peerless.” (Detroit News)

“There is no greater writer of crime fiction than Elmore Leonard, and no one who has more resplendent energy. . . . Like pretty well every Leonard novel, Raylan is a delight.” (The Guardian (UK))

Review

“A punchy mix of crime and Kentucky coal-mine sociology . . . It’s one of Leonard’s best thrillers in years.” (Entertainment Weekly )

“With a practised ease and the craft of more than half a century of novelistic composition, Leonard works like the Picasso of crime fiction . . . Raylan is as close as it gets to creating the complete illusion of unmediated entertainment on the page.” (San Francisco Chronicle )

“In addition to kinetic storytelling and spot-on dialogue, Leonard has a cool wit. . . . Characters roll from scene to scene, urged on by self-interest and greed, bumping against one another and building up steam until they’re smashing together in orgies of violence.” (New York Times Book Review )

Raylan is Leonard’s best of the 21st century—good stuff from first page to last.” (Los Angeles Times Book Review )

“The smarter crooks give Raylan grudging respect; his fellow lawmen grant him their highest praise: ‘You’re doin’ a job the way we like to see it done.’ The same can be said of the 86-year-old Elmore Leonard.” (Wall Street Journal )

“[Leonard’s] finely honed sentences can sound as flinty/poetic as Hemingway or as hard-boiled as Raymond Chandler. His ear for the way people talk—or should—is peerless.” (Detroit News )

“There is no greater writer of crime fiction than Elmore Leonard, and no one who has more resplendent energy. . . . Like pretty well every Leonard novel, Raylan is a delight.” (The Guardian (UK) )

Product Details

  • File Size: 504 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; Reprint edition (January 17, 2012)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005GFQ0IK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,765 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
152 of 165 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Back on Track November 30, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
In the eternal argument about the chicken and the egg, the crux is on which came first. Similarly, those who read Elmore Leonard's new novel, Raylan, may wonder which came first, the novel or the second season of the TV show Justified (also featuring recurring Leonard protagonist, U.S. Marshall Raylan Givens). There are clear similarities between the two, enough to make you wonder whether the TV show inspired the novel or vice versa. But there are also significant difference, making the book its own experience. It's as if a duck came out of the chicken's egg: you'd still have a bird, but you wouldn't mistake one for the other.

As the book kicks off, Raylan must contend with low-level (and low-intelligence) dope dealers Dickie and Coover Crowe (the equivalent of the Bennett brothers in the show). The two have expanded into stealing kidneys from people and then selling them back to the victims, a plot that obviously has others with more brains involved. The Crowe patriarch, meanwhile, owns a mountain that a coal company wants (bringing up more parallels with the TV show. Assisting a beautiful executive is Boyd Crowder, who is no longer dead as in the Leonard story Fire in the Hole, but (like the TV series) is alive and semi-reformed. Added to the mix is Jackie Nevada, a college girl and brilliant poker place who is a minor fugitive. Raylan will get involved with her while pursuing a trio of stoned strippers who rob banks.

These plot lines are not so much intertwined as consecutive, giving Raylan (the book) the feel of three related novellas. This episodic feel may annoy some but it works for me: after all, this is a book that's more about a character than one overall plot.

After Leonard's one misfire of a novel, Djibouti, Raylan shows that Leonard still can deliver the goods. Even if you're new to Elmore Leonard, this is a book worth reading.
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70 of 78 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The further adventures of Raylan Givens December 12, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
One of the best known characters created by Elmore Leonard is undoubtedly federal marshal Raylan Givens. Raylan's fame, however, rests less on the role he plays in Leonard's writings, than as the star of the brilliant F/X television series JUSTIFIED, easily one of the most critically acclaimed series on television. To the best of my knowledge (based on my own perhaps flawed reading) Raylan appears in three of Leonard's novels and one of his short stories. He was initially in the novel PRONTO, in which he intervenes to save the life of a Miami bookie and then later in RIDING THE RAP, in which he once again tries to save the life of the same bookie. Both are very good novels, though I would not rate either among his very best books, like SWAG or LaBRAVA. Raylan reappeared later in the short story "Fire in the Hole," which I have in his great short story collection WHEN THE WOMEN COME OUT TO DANCE, which is going to be reprinted shortly as FIRE IN THE HOLE. Clearly the publisher is trying to take advantage of the free publicity offered by the TV series.

The Raylan Givens of the books occupies a slightly different universe than the Raylan Givens of the television series. While Leonard has been enthusiastic about the series (although he is listed as an executive producer, he actually does no work on the show at all, the title undoubtedly being a part of the agreement for the producers of the show using his character), saying that Timothy Olyphant delivers his lines precisely the way he envisioned when writing them, he does insist that they didn't get the hat right. This is not a bad thing, in my opinion. Think of the photos you saw of Lyndon Johnson wearing his hat in the sixties. That is precisely the kind of hat that Leonard had in mind.
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92 of 108 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars For me, not a page turner December 2, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Very hard, even intimidating, to be writing a review of a book by the master of crime fiction, long one of my favorite writers. If I could gush, this would be an easier assignment.

This book is basically two separate novellas, though the second one kind of diverges and can be counted as two stories also (for a total of three; such a deal!).

Raylan makes a great character in a TV series, especially portrayed by an excellent actor. But this book barely glances at Raylan as a character. In fact, in RAYLAN, the title character is sketchily formed, completely flat, relying entirely on the readers to use the TV character as a stand in.

Narrative is minimal, as the story is told almost 100% by dialog, some zesty, but not enough to make this a compelling read.

The topics, organ theft, strip mining of mountain tops, and a talented youth becoming a pro poker player, are reasonably current, but the villains are portrayed too cartoonishly, too insanely to regard the stories as social commentary.

Mr. Leonard has written a characteristically zany, loosely plotted book comprised of several Raylan stories that might make good episodes, but as components of a novel don't hold together well. Readers who have not seen the series or read other books by Mr. Leonard probably shouldn't trespass here.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Really bad June 18, 2013
Format:Paperback
This will be imponderable to those who have not watched Justified, & disappointing to those who have.
As others have said, this is Leonard merely milking the cash cow. Some of these short stories - and that is ALL this book is, 3 short stories - have a basis in the series (but not exactly).
One of the most infuriating things, to me, is how all the character talk in the exact same voice, the exact same diction. A 14 year old white girl who has never left the hills of Eastern KY talks with the identical voice as a black Cuban dude, or a couple of gun thugs, or a 60-something year old man. Or, a 30 something Marshall who went from E KY to Miami back to E KY.
Leonard has written many entertaining books. This just isn't one of them, on its own merits.
I will give this 2 stars, just because I enjoy the character of Raylan enough that I am glad to see his continuing adventures (even if some are pretty well adventures I've already seen). But otherwise, this book pretty well stinks. NOT recommended.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars This is one of the best of a really good writer
This is one of the best of a really good writer. I'm going to best the bushes for more in this series.
Published 14 hours ago by Robb Grace
5.0 out of 5 stars It made the book really fun to read
I watch "Justified" and the TV Raylan and the book Raylan are exactly alike. It made the book really fun to read.
Published 1 day ago by Timber
4.0 out of 5 stars Raylan is just as fast as the tv show.
Good fast read,I am a fan of Elmore Leonard and the FX tv show Justified.
Published 2 days ago by michael armstrong
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Not at all what I expected - oh it's okay but not up to Elmore's standards
Published 3 days ago by Hertzel Grotch
5.0 out of 5 stars Leonard At His Best
What can one say about Elmore Leonard's books? This is just another in a long line of novels written by this master of the written word. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Eric B. Burres
4.0 out of 5 stars very entertaining
Loved the way each story line showed up in the subsequent story line. Good read I highly recommend it to adult readers.
Published 7 days ago by colonel227
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Good
Published 8 days ago by A .w.
1.0 out of 5 stars Too slow
Was not for me. The book developed too slow and I could not get into it. I am a James Paterson or Lee Child fan. I did not finish this book.
Published 8 days ago by james wettlaufer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I fell in love with the TV series,"Justified." So I had to read "Raylan." Loved it!
Published 9 days ago by KY Rye
5.0 out of 5 stars "Justified" was such a success as it attemted to bring ...
"Justified" was such a success as it attempted to bring Elmore Leonard's writing to life through dialogue and credible characters.
Published 10 days ago by John E. Deans
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More About the Author

Elmore Leonard wrote forty-five novels and nearly as many western and crime short stories across his highly successful career that spanned more than six decades. Some of his bestsellers include Road Dogs, Up in Honey's Room, The Hot Kid, Mr. Paradise, Tishomingo Blues, and the critically acclaimed collection of short stories Fire in the Hole. Many of his books have been made into movies, including Get Shorty, Out of Sight, and Rum Punch, which became Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown. Justified, the hit series from FX, is based on Leonard's character Raylan Givens, who appears in Riding the Rap, Pronto, Raylan and the short story "Fire in the Hole". He was a recipient of the National Book Foundation's Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, the Lifetime Achievement Award from PEN USA, and the Grand Master Award of the Mystery Writers of America. He was known to many as the 'Dickens of Detroit' and was a long-time resident of the Detroit area.

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