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And Leonard's done this before, getting inspired by Steven Soderbergh's adaptation of Out of Sight to bring back bank-robber Jack Foley for the novel, Road Dogs (which I wrote about here).
But Raylan, as a novel, is something of a disappointment. Its plot is baggy & episodic, involving 3 major arcs: an organ-napping/extortion arc, a coal-mining/extortion arc, and a bank-robbery arc that includes a sexy young female poker player. And the lead character, Raylan himself, saunters through it all, barely breaking a sweat.
Maybe I was expecting too much. After all, Raylan still features the same wry dialog & lean, muscular writing that has made Elmore Leonard a living legend of American fiction. And I don't want to give the impression that I didn't enjoy reading Raylan. I really did. Elmore Leonard could write a book-length grocery list, and I'd probably enjoy it.
But up against Leonard's best (like, say, Freaky Deaky or Glitz or Bandits or Rum Punch) Raylan just doesn't stand up.
I give it a C+.
written by Elmore Leonard