Book Review: Raylan by Elmore Leonard

RaylanRaylan by Elmore Leonard
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Raylan: “What did he want to know?”
Art: “Whether you’d shot anybody this week.”

I remember reading Elmore’s rules of writing and fixing upon his rule “leave out the stuff people skip”. This novel is a testament to that rule; there is nothing you want to skip in it. This is one of those books that feels like you are immersed in a world, something that Elmore has been widely praised for.

This novel, Raylan, is not really a novel. Think of this work as three novellas held together with some overlap, like, say, a TV series. I think it is fair to say that you can see entire plot and character arcs from seasons two and three of Justified in this book. Clearly this isn’t a coincidence, with Elmore joining the writing team for Justified in the second season.

Far from being a criticism, the similarities between Raylan and Justified actually makes this book a cool compendium companion to the series. Just be warned, Boyd is not quite the devious and intelligent character you want to see succeed, as you do in Justified.

For fans of Justified, you will no doubt have your Morgan Freeman and Sean Connery moment, as you read all of the book with the character’s voices.

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Book Review: Along Came a Spider by James Patterson

Along Came a SpiderAlong Came a Spider by James Patterson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was my first Alex Cross novel and it was largely enjoyable. While it was entertaining enough I wasn’t really engrossed with the story or the characters. Although I did have Morgan Freeman’s voice running in my head as I read his character, so big plus there.

I do tend to poke fun at James Patterson since he has become a label for thrillers, rather than a writer of thrillers. I was hoping that his first Alex Cross novel – his signature work – would appease my thoughts on his later work. His early work is superior, but still left me wanting.

I should also note that James was up against it due to another reason. The Kindle edition I read was a very poorly done scan and transcribe. It made for a, at times, frustrating read. I wish the publishing houses would put more effort into these conversions as I have read several now and only a couple have been any good (Chris Ryan’s novels were very well transferred).

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