Friday, August 03, 2012

Elmore Leonard's "Raylan: A (non-) Novel"

Elmore Leonard's novel Raylan: A Novel is no novel, at least through its first two thirds, and I’ll eat my hat if it turns out to be one in the end.

Rather, it’s a collection of loosely linked stories, and a good one.  At least through the first two stories, it's as good as Pronto, the first Raylan Givens novel, and better than Riding the Rap. Characters in the second story will occasionally mention events in the first, but that’s as strong as the connection gets. I felt a bit cheated when I reached the first story’s satisfying end, only to find a new story beginning.

I wonder whether Leonard and his publishers really do regard the book as a loosely organized novel, or whether going out of their way to insist in the title that the book is a novel is strictly market-driven, a recognition that novels are an easier sell than short-story collections.

Any thoughts from Leonard fans and others?

© Peter Rozovsky 2012

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Blogger Dana King said...

I was a bit put off by RAYLAN, though I'm a big fan of both Elmore Leonard and JUSTIFIED. I thought the coincidental alternate universes the book and TV show occupied detracted a little from both. I like the concept of stringing more than one shorter story into a "novel," but didn't care for how it drew some things from the show and went different directions for others.

August 03, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I haven't seen Justified, but I'd like to. As for stringing stories together into a novel, I'll withhold judgment until I've finished the book. So far, though, I like the stories, but I wish the publisher, author, or both called them that: stories.

By "coincidental alternative universes," do you mean multiple story lines

August 03, 2012  

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