'Raylan' by Elmore Leonard (2012)

Raylan  - Elmore Leonard

Elmore Leonard, Raylan (London: Phoenix, 2013), 263pp

 

I came to this book as a fan of the TV series Justified. I wanted to read some of the Elmore Leonard source material, and this seemed like a logical place to start. Unfortunately, I was already familiar with the vast majority of it; many of the plots (scene-for-scene) and dialogue (word-for-word) are identical to those already shown in the series. Reading Raylan, I understand why Leonard is praised for his dialogue, but the best lines in the book have already been used in the show (and sound better in the Kentucky drawl of the actors than they do on the page). The pacing is good and the book is a quick, entertaining read. But since about 90% of the content has already been used on the show, it seemed a bit like a waste of time. I think most people, like me, will pick up this book due to being fans of the series. I'm torn over whether to recommend it, as it is a good introduction to Elmore Leonard's style, but the fact that I was already familiar with a lot of it makes me wish I had started elsewhere in his canon.