Raylan

Raylan

Book - 2012
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When Federal Marshall Raylan Givens squares off against a known offender, he will warn the man, "If I have to pull my gun I'll shoot to kill." Except this time he finds the offender naked in a bathtub, doped up and missing his kidneys. Raylan knows there's big money in body parts, but by the time he finds out who is making the cuts, he is lying naked in a bathtub himself, Layla, the cool transplant nurse, about to go for his kidneys. It turns out all the bad guys Raylan is after are girls this time: the nurse who collects kidneys and sells them for ten grand apiece. Carol Conlan, the mine company executive who comes to Harlan County to sell mountaintop removal, shoots a miner who wastes her time, then meets the miner's widow in a scene you won't forget. The third girl's only offense is missing a court date. Jackie Nevada plays high-stakes poker for a living and is last seen in the shower with Raylan.
Publisher: New York : William Morrow, c2012
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780062132321
0062132326
9780062119476
0062119478
9780062119469
006211946X
Branch Call Number: FICTION LEONARD ELMORE
Characteristics: 263 p. ; 24 cm

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j
jimg2000
May 01, 2017

Watched all the Justified DVDs and always curious about the book that bears the protagonist's name. While the opening chapter with character Layla (S.3 E.5 "Thick as Mud") was very familiar but not so much for the other major characters as Carol Johnson (S.2 E.various) and Jackie Nevada (S.4 E.7.) Definitively not in the TV series was the novel's satisfying finale. With recent President Trump's repeal of Obama's "Office of Surface Mining's Stream Protection Rule," a regulation to protect waterways from coal mining waste, Leonard's last book (October 11, 1925 to August 20, 2013,) was full of warning on the adverse environmental impact of surface mining. Glad I read it.

p
PearlyBaker
Apr 27, 2016

Like Forest Gump, I may not be a smart man. I am not even bright enough to know what genre Elmore Leonard writes, but I personally consider it Hardcore Country Punk. In my estimation this genre covers some of my favorite topics like drugs, guns, crime, feds, cops, and pure country criminals with Tarantino like dialogue. However, I just realized when I finished this piece that it is actually number four in the series. I did not even know there were others let alone that I started four deep. I still loved it and think Elmore is one of the best in the business and as a bonus I now can add at least three more books to the ever expanding queue.

c
CMLibrary_gjd_0
Jan 06, 2016

You can NEVER go wrong picking up an Elmore Leonard novel. At turns, hillarious, profane and gritty. Pick up any Elmore Leonard book today and get to know this icon.

l
lukasevansherman
Mar 24, 2014

Like a lot of readers, I picked this up because I'm a fan of the show "Justified," now in its fifth season. It was based on the story "Fire in the Hole," which appeared in the collection, "When the Women Come Out to Dance." Marshal Raylan Givens also appears in the novels "Pronto" and "Riding the Rap." This was Leonard's final novel before his death in 2013 and it's a little disappointing.

s
sheojuk
Sep 16, 2013

I agree with some of the other comments. There is zero suspense here; Rivens only has to approach a crime scene and he knows who did it, why, when, where he's hanging out, and that Givens will shoot him. And, like most of Leonard's later work, there is the inevitable hookup between an older man and a young woman. Great writer, but he should have retired ten years ago.

p
PTDBD
Sep 18, 2012

Elmore has an attitude. It's not the plot so much that's interesting, but rather the atmosphere. Great read!

bdemian Jun 23, 2012

The three episodes are awkwardly meshed; they would've worked better as distinct short stories. The dialogues is snappy but the dialect gets annoying.

SB2000 Apr 26, 2012

Effortlessly cool - this novel is nonchalant in its violence, quirky, engrossing. Elmore Leonard conjures up his lead character and his villains in so fresh a way, with speech patterns and minimal description, that you'd swear you'd known them forever.

hagar1643 Apr 19, 2012

A great story by Mr. Leonard about Deputy Federal Marshal Raylan Gibbens and his return to West Virginia. Watch the series " Justified" and then read Mr. Leonards novels featuring this wonderful character. Or do it the other way around.

boonerator Apr 01, 2012

Sort of an odd format, looks like a novel but has 3 different plot sections that do not really interact. The Leonard dialog is here though, always worth the price of a page turn.

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Quotes

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j
jimg2000
May 01, 2017

Plenty of memorable witty quotes but focus on coal mining due to limited space, (only a single quote in goodreads):

The troopers got a kick out of this marshal, at one time a coal miner from Harlan County but sounded like a lawman, his attitude about his job. This morning they watched him enter a fugitive felon’s motel room without drawing his gun.
===
South of Barbourville Raylan turned off the four-lane and cut east to follow blacktops and gravel roads without names or numbers through these worn-out mountains of Knox County, the tops of the grades scalped, strip-mined of coal to leave waste heaps, the creeks down in the hollows tainted with mine acid. Raylan followed Stinking Creek to the fork where Buckeye came in and there it was, up past the cemetery,...

j
jimg2000
May 01, 2017

On one side, COAL KEEPS THE LIGHTS ON, and opposite them on the other side of the walk, was the same sign with words crossed out and one written in that said COAL KILLS.
===
They drilled holes in the rock above the veins, and blew charges to get the coal out. Otis’s house—still a thousand feet down the mountain—would shake and pictures of his dad and Marion’s kin would fall off the wall. He’d told her, “By the war, they was a hundred and thirty thousand miners diggin coal in Kentucky. Now they’s a few dozen up there scrapin it out with Cats. It ain’t like coal mining no more.
===
Otis came out of his house and crossed the yard to where Boyd Crowder and some coal company man in a suit of clothes were looking at Otis’s fishpond: the pond down to barely a foot of water, fish floating dead in a scum of coal dust.

j
jimg2000
May 01, 2017

“No jobs,” Raylan said, “and coal dust settling on everything you own.”
===
Carol said, “You know that old coal song? ‘We have to dig the coal from wherever mother nature puts it.’ That’s what coal mining is all about.”
===
“It don’t mention the mess,” Otis said, “strip-minin makes of your home. You ever live in coal country you know that.” “I was born and raised in Wise, West Virginia,” Carol said, “till I went away to law school.” “Was any soot on you,” Otis said, “it’s gone now. My wife’s never been belowground, but she’s dyin of black lung, sleepin next to me forty-seven years breathin my snores.”
===
The company builds a slurry pool gonna hold all the mess they make washing coal. The wall busts and poisons dump in the stream feeds my pond. I work for those people or ones like ’em forty years underground. They kill my fish and don’t think nothin of it.

j
jimg2000
May 01, 2017

“At one time,” Raylan said, “there ten thousand people living here. Population’s down to eight hundred, not much deep mining now. Towns change as the style of mining changes. M-T’s blasting away at the ridgeline, stripping the sides in layers down to what they dump over the side, the forest squattin below. I remember my buddies leaving high school, marrying a girl they knew all their life and going down in the mines. The boy can’t wait to have this little girl in bed with him every night, a cutie till she loses her teeth. Wears herself out raising kids while he’s out drinkin if he ain’t down a mine. He gets a hunk of shale fall on him, he’s laid up and can’t work, so they fire him,” Raylan said. “Remember Tennessee Ernie Ford diggin number nine coal, gettin older and deeper in debt?” “Owed his soul to the company store,” Art said.

j
jimg2000
May 01, 2017

Carol said, “Times change, don’t they? You’re drivin a car now stead of a team of mules. The blacksmith used to shoe your mules, what’s he doin? He’s gone, workin at something else now. Most coal mines are still underground, but you know it’s changing. There more and more surface operations workin today.” From the crowd: “You mean desecratin the mountains.” Carol said, “We restore the mountains, don’t we?” The same voice: “Wait a hunnert years for the trees to grow? I doubt we’ll be around.”
===
One of them holding a GOT ELECTRICITY? THANK A MINER sign said, “Raylan, I hear you’re on the company’s side this time.” “Till tomorrow,” Raylan said. Another coal lover in his sport shirt and M-T company hat said to Raylan, “I’ll meet you out here after, you want. Teach you respect for the company.” “You don’t see me right away,” Raylan said, “practice falling down till I get here.”

j
jimg2000
May 01, 2017

“What have future generations ever done for us?” Carol said. “I’m kiddin. You know who said that? Groucho Marx. Listen, I don’t think we should worry our heads about running out of coal. I know we’ve got enough in the ground for the next two hundred and fifty years.” A man’s voice piped up: “We can have windmill power right now, like in Holland. Clean wind, no soot blowin on us.” “If the wind lovers ever get it right,” Carol said. “The trouble is, wind turbines can cause health problems, headaches and sleep disorders, kids having nightmares.”
===
“You don’t live anywheres near a mine, do you? You know what it does for people livin below? It covers everything you own in coal dirt. It’s all over the house on every surface. Is that why they call it surface coal? It’s in your bathtub, your well—you can’t drink the water no more. Every mornin a coat of coal dirt coverin my car. I have to wash my car before I can go to work.”

j
jimg2000
May 01, 2017

“Except”—and nailed it in a few words—“there’s a big difference between my pay and a coal miner’s working for a company that shuts down when they feel like it,” ...
===
“You clear out,” a voice said, “without cleanin up the mess you always leave behind. A ’poundment breaks loose where you’re holdin three hundred million gallons of slurry, fulla poison, toxic chemicals, and it pours down in the holler and contaminates the water. You know what your boss, the CEO of M-T Mining, called it?”
===
“We work for a time, the company digs while the price of coal is high. The price dips, the coal company files bankruptcy, forfeits its bond, and slips away in the night.” “You know they’re always risks,” Carol said. “It costs a fortune to set up a mine operation. They don’t find as much coal as expected, they have to try again someplace else. Mister, it’s the price of coal on the market keeps us in business.”

j
jimg2000
May 01, 2017

“I’m surprised you did, your dad a miner.” “He died,” Carol said. “I was at Columbia and switched my major from English lit to mining management and joined the company.” “And save your love for your dog?” “I have a cat. That’s what I call her, Cat. ‘Hey, Cat, whatcha doin, huh?’ She never purrs.” “I don’t blame her.”

===
“Blasting causes damage to homes in the area, cracks the foundation—you have a house close to a mining operation—she can depreciate on you ninety percent. This home bein all the man’s got.” “Coal’s his life,” Carol said, “in his family for generations. I’ve already talked about more work. Give us the mountains and we’ll give you jobs.” “You don’t have enough to offer. Man’s out of work, falls behind in his payments, the bank takes his house. You gonna get health questions too,” Casper said. “More kids gettin asthma, all the coal dust in the air.” “But a lower incidence of black lung,” Carol said, “mining from the top?”

j
jimg2000
May 01, 2017

“They’re fired,” Carol said, and took a moment before saying, “you know I grew up in coal camps—” “You keep reminding us.” “To make the point,” Carol said, “I know hill people are a different breed, strange to outsiders. But you’ve been something of a new experience for me.” “Anything happens to Pervis,” Raylan said, “I’ll come lookin for you.” Carol said, “You promise?”
===
“It isn’t curious, it’s a look of curiosity. Wait a minute. Wasn’t it God put all that coal under the grandeur?” “It stops them in their tracks,” Casper said. “I say, ‘Heck, if God put it there . . .’ Or I might say, ‘Hell, is God tryin to hide it on us?’ I smile. ‘Playin a game on us?’ I tell them, ‘But gettin it out gives you men jobs and heats your homes,’ and I go through all the coal rewards.”

j
jimg2000
May 01, 2017

“No one’s perfect, Raylan. Not you or Otis or his buddies. Otis is in heaven, with his old pals from the deep mines. Coal miners get old and die from being coal miners.” “But while they’re alive,” Raylan said, “they have a right to be alive.”
===
Throw in Carol Johnson, just about the whole set of characters:

Boyd said, “Raylan . . . ?” “We’re through talking for now,” Raylan said, walking up to the porch. He looked at Pervis. “You ever see Carol again, call me, and I’ll get marshals on her.” “She don’t worry me none,” Pervis said. “I got Dewey here lookin out for me.” “I’m devotin my life to it,” Dewey said. Rita had come up by the porch. She said, “I told Pervis he ought to be ashamed of himself, Dewey has to wait till you pass. What if the mountain, it turns out, ain’t worth diddly, the coal Dewey’s been waitin for years already dug out?” Pervis said, “I always tried to be optimistic in life.” Dewey looked from one to the other. “But everybody says it’s full of coal. Ain’t it?”

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gdharron
Apr 22, 2014

gdharron thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

qsohk0621 Mar 07, 2012

qsohk0621 thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

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