- File Size: 2384 KB
- Print Length: 675 pages
- Publisher: William Morrow (February 14, 2012)
- Publication Date: February 14, 2012
- Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
- Language: English
- ASIN: B007679K8S
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #118,504 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Elmore Leonard Raylan Givens 3-Book Collection: Pronto, Riding the Rap, Fire in the Hole Kindle Edition
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The first book, Pronto, begins by introducing us to Harry Arno, a 65-year-old World War II veteran and longtime Miami bookie. The feds, in an attempt to nail Arno's mobster boss, spread the rumor that Harry is stealing from his employers. Raylan is assigned to protect Harry, but when Harry flees for his life, thus becoming a fugitive, it's Raylan's job to apprehend him. Over the course of the book, much is revealed about Raylan's past in Harlan County, the Glynco Academy, and elsewhere. Riding the Rap picks up where Pronto left off. While Pronto was very much a character driven novel, in Riding the Rap the characters are already established and Leonard does little to develop them further. It is the least successful of the three books here, and not much is revealed about Raylan that we didn't already learn from the first book. Despite all the twists and turns in the plot, there are few surprises, as Raylan spends the entire book working to find out things that Leonard has already revealed to the reader. "Fire in the Hole," the novella that's included here as part of the third book of the same name, is better than either of the previous novels. Raylan, who has served the U.S. Marshal Service in Miami for several years, is sent back to Harlan County, Kentucky, where he was born and raised, to take part in a task force aiming to take down Raylan's former friend Boyd Crowder, a white supremacist who robs banks and blows up churches. The story will be familiar to those who watch Justified, as the first few episodes of season one were quite faithful to Leonard's original narrative. The Fire in the Hole collection also contains several excellent short stories that have nothing to do with Raylan. (You can click on my name to read more detailed reviews of the three books included in this Kindle collection.)
Whether you're a fan of the Justified TV show or not, Leonard's skillfully crafted prose is a joy to read. He has a talent for elegant understatement and a brilliant knack for writing clever, snappy dialogue. These books have a lighthearted tone overall, with a wry sense of humor, yet the life-and-death confrontations in the book are still intensely suspenseful.
This Kindle file is well constructed, with a convenient table of contents that links to every chapter. There are about a dozen typographical errors in the entire three-book file, mostly in Pronto. From the nature of the typos, it seems optical character recognition was used to construct the file, but the errors are not annoying enough to hinder your enjoyment of the work. If you're going to buy one of these books, you might as well buy all three, and in terms of convenience and price, this three-book collection is hard to beat.
Potential Spoiler below:
In the books, Raylan's Dad died from Black Lung when he was younger. I found that the quirky character, Harry, reminded me of Arlo from the show.
There is no Wynn Duffy (sp?) in the books, but I Chip Ganz reminded me of him.
Overall I recommend both novels and the short story.
And honestly, the TV show is better. Better character development. More entertaining interactions between characters. More fun.
Not that these tales by Elmore Leonard are bad. Not at all. But there isn't anything especially great or novel to be found here. It seems some writers were inspired by the characters Leonard had created, and they were allowed to run with that inspiration and create what came to mind.
They did a wonderful job adding life and personality to what are, frankly, some cookie-cutter characters from a rather dry and lifeless series of stories.