Justified Book Review: ‘Raylan’ Borrows from Season 2… and Season 3

Raylan Givens is back in two ways on January 17. He’s back on the small screen in the third season premiere of FX’s Justified. But he’s also back as the star of the book Raylan, a new novel by famed writer Elmore Leonard, who created the character back in 1993.

Raylan is the victim of its own interesting conundrum. Leonard created Givens initially, but here ends up borrowing heavily from the FX series’ second season (either that, or they borrowed from his unpublished manuscript). Characters like Dickie, Coover, and Loretta are re-created for the page. Some, like Loretta, are faithfully transitioned (Loretta introduces herself to Raylan with the exact same line she did in the series), while others, like Dickie, aren’t too similar at all (in Raylan, Dickie’s an Elvis memorabilia enthusiast). This leaves a strange feeling of deja vu permeating throughout the entire book, though in the end, it’s more interesting than exhausting to see how Leonard reimagines the show’s characters.

The book is essentially a collection of short stories put together as a novel. Raylan deals with three bad guys: two kidney thieves who dress up like Barack and Michelle Obama; Carol Conlan, the coal-mine executive from season 2; and a poker-playing college student. It’s a little disjointed at times, but essentially it’s just like watching three episodes in a row.

Leonard’s writing style has a large disregard for grammar and punctuation, though not necessarily to the extent of, say, Cormac McCarthy. Raylan is written conversationally (sentence fragments and run-on sentences are liberally used), but it only adds to the rustic nature of the book. It’s tough to get a hang of Elmore’s style if you’re unused to it, but soon it begins to feel entirely natural.

And, finally, here’s the real reason a lot of you will want to buy the book: there are plenty of clues as to what’s coming up in season 3 of Justified scattered throughout Raylan. An entire conversation from the book is played out, word-for-word, in an episode of season 3. There’s also another major element that makes the jump from book to screen, but you’ll just have to figure out which one that is on your own.

Raylan hits bookshelves on January 17. Check out the season three premiere of Justified on FX that same night.

Baseball TV episodes
Our Favorite Baseball-Themed TV Episodes Of All-Time
lgbt tv show characters
Our Favorite LGBT TV Show Characters Of All-Time
Saved-by-the-Bell-Dancing-to-the-Max-1-01-saved-by-the-bell-13792600-1067-800
Saved By the Bell Themed Pop-up Diner and Bar Coming to Chicago
Disney Channel
Our 10 Favorite Disney Channel Starlets All Grown Up
arnold-schwarzenegger-body-and-physique-in-conan-the-barbarian
The 15 Most Ripped Actors of Past and Present
Christopher-Walken-Lion-Tamer
Eight of the Strangest Looking Actors in Hollywood
"The Master" Premiere - The 69th Venice Film Festival
12 Things You Never Knew about Philip Seymour Hoffman
'Andrew Lincoln and Robert Kirkman Attend 'The Walking Dead' Premiere in Madrid
12 Things You Didn’t Know About Andrew Lincoln
Dustin Hoffman - Straw Dogs (1971) 3
Five Incredible Revenge Movies Not Enough People Have Seen
Coach Finstock
Coach Bobby Finstock from Teen Wolf Gives the Best Advice Ever
Time to Kill
10 Incredibly Powerful Movies That Center Around Racism
13th-warrior-800-75
A List of Movies with Numbers in the Title, From 1 to 25
U2
Seven Live Performances By U2 That Absolutely Rocked
fall on stage
It Happens to Everyone: When Famous Musicians Fall on Stage
Lady Pank
Obscure 80s Music Videos That Are Extremely 80s
The Clash
International Clash Day: Seattle Honors London Band with Holiday
nascar_daytona_nationwide_auto_racing_15301727
Seven Incredibly Dangerous Car Accidents in NASCAR History
Omaha
Ever Wonder Why Peyton Manning Says Omaha All The Time?
100514-NFL-Cardinals-Carson-Palmer-PI-CH.vresize.1200.675.high.2
Don’t Forget to Watch The NFL Honors 2016 Show
Josh Norman
When Is the Official Super Bowl Kick Off of 2016?

Get more stuff like this
in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.