“I’m Raylan Givens, deputy United States marshal.”
“You mind telling me who you are?”
Who’s Raylan Givens you may ask? . . . He’s the main character in the FX series Justified, now in its second season. Developed by Graham Yost (Boomtown, Speed) and starring Timothy Olyphant (Damages, Deadwood), Justified is based on the works of crime novelist Elmore Leonard, including Leonard’s short story Fire in the Hole.
For U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, the lead character in FX’s outstanding drama “Justified,” the line between friend and foe has never been easy to figure out. That’s because Raylan’s story comes from the mind of the dean of gritty crime novelists.
“Elmore’s world is always less about good guys and bad guys and people who respect each other and people who don’t,” said Timothy Olyphant, who perfectly captures modern-day cowboy Raylan. “It comes down to who’s cool and who’s an a**hole.”
I grabbed a copy from our shelves and Virginia and I read the story aloud. I became an immediate Raylan Givens fan, and starting reading Riding The Rap, one of two Leonard novels (the other being Pronto) featuring the eastern Kentucky marshall. The word on the street is that with the response the characters are getting that Leonard is considering bringing them back in his future books.
Elmore Leonard’s novels offer street-smart dialogue and fast-moving action in a world where you can’t always tell the good guys from the bad, although you know the bad are going to be in the majority (and may very likely win in the end). Leonard manages to mix serious crime with mindless mayhem, geared to his cynical yet somehow moral view of the world.
If you haven’t read Elmore Leonard, please add him to your reading list. I took a break from my regular reading to re-discover Leonard and am pleased that we have a good selection to choose from. Check one out, the action will be Justified!