Now that his mom's gravy train has derailed, gambling, debt-ridden Palm Beach playboy Warren "Chip" Ganz has decided to take somebody rich hostage - with the help of a Bahamian ex-con, a psycho gardener/enforcer, and the beautiful, if underfed, psychic Reverend Dawn. The trouble is, they choose bookmaker Harry Arno as their victim, and Harry can scam with the best.
The BIG trouble is ace manhunter U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens is sleeping with Harry's ex-exotic dancer ex-girlfriend, and Joyce wants Harry found. And since nearly everyone has guns, locating and springing the captive bookie most probably can't happen without some measure of lethal difficulty.
©1995 Elmore Leonard, Inc. (P)1995 Recorded Books Inc.
Dept Q, Harry Hole... where are you?
I loved every character in this novel, or at least I loved getting to know each character. US Marshall Raylan is a great hero, a cool, smart lawman. The story revolves around three kidnappers, each from different backgrounds and different motivations.
Few writers develope charachters as fun to watch as Elmore Leonard. This one is not only worth a credit, its worth a second listen.
This is Leonard's second Raylan Givens novel, that the show 'Justified' is based on. Once again, Raylan seems to spend most of his time going off on his own, rather than sticking purely with his US Marshall services job.
Harry, from 'Pronto' , the first Raylan Givens' book, is a retired bookie who returns In this book. After running from the mob in book one, he is kidnapped by a trio of truly strange characters in this book. Raylan gets involved with a beautiful young psychic; an old woman whose memory has gone, and her druggie son who is selling everything out of her mansion; a brash you man who dreams of killing situations that make him look macho; and a truly crazy enforcer.
Raylan continues to be his own man. This quality makes him, and his stories, uniquely interesting. Sometimes I wish Elmore Leonard wasn't so stereotypically racist with every group one could possible think about in his books. The saving grace with this, I believe, is to show the stupidity of these attitudes. Gently macho is definitely in, as Raylan determines his own means of justice!!
I am a 65-year-old psychologist, married for 25 years, with two sons who are 25 and 22. I love reviewing the books and the feedback I get.
This book is one of the series of books, including Pronto, Raylan and others, which follow one of Leonard's most compelling characters. The character is the focus of the TV series Justified, and he is played by Timothy Olyphant. Once again the material sparkles, even though it may not be the absolute best of Leonard. Most other thriller writers would give an arm and a leg to be able to write something this good. The plot turns around and makes you guess something you can't possibly guess, other than the good bet that Raylan will still be standing at the end. Frank Muller continues to simply overwhelm me with his skills. His command of so many voices is dazzling. How does he manage to keep them all separated in his mind? There is a sequence of dialogue here in which he has to switch rapidly between two characters, a man and a woman, and it is hard to see how he does it. Lesser mortals can only listen in awe. The story involves the kidnapping of Harry Arno, another recurring character, a sports book writer in Miami, by an odd threesome: the Puerto Rican gunman Bobby Deograssio, the paroled convict Louis Louis, and the dessicated, stoned, babyish Chip Ganz, a guy who lives in his mother's $5 million estate, and who can't pay a single bill without her covering it. Also appearing is Dawn the spirit reader, fortune teller, palm reader, etc., and Joyce, a former stripper who has been Harry's lover, and who, in Pronto, becomes Raylan's lover. Don't try to keep track: Leonard and Muller will keep you listening and praying for more. I know that there is a finite amount of this stuff, but I wish that it just went on and on and on...
But I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - J.D. Salinger ^(;,;)^
"Huggers and fortune-tellers; you're into some weird sh!t aren't you?"
-- Elmore Leonard, Riding the Rap
Like Pronto, 'Riding the Rap' isn't top shelf Elmore Leonard, but even bottom shelf (which this is not) Elmore Leonard is usually worth the money/time. This is the second Elmore Leonard novel to feature Raylan Givens in it. The most interesting part of this whole novel is the dialogue and interaction between the Raylan Givens and the Reverend Dawn Navarro. Navarro is a psychic who appears to float pretty close to the astral plane. She most certainly is very observant, which means she is a good foil and a good counter-point to Raylan Givens who also seems to be able to read people in an almost uncanny way.
Like a lot of Leonard books, some of the side characters are the most fascinating and worthwhile parts of the book. Anyway, if you want to see nice crooks with well constructed plans ... you should just go watch Oceans 11, 12, 13, etc. If you want plans that fall apart because human nature is often filled with opportunistic, self-defeating, less than rational low lifes, who find working in groups difficult, well, hell, this is the book for you. Elmore Leonard is kinda working ground he's worked before (kidnappings gone wrong) and in someways this feels a bit like a retread of The Switch. Listen folks, kidnapping isn't something that should be attempted by amateurs and definitely should not be done by amateurs smoking pot.
Muller is a fabulous reader and Leonard is the master of dialogue. That combination means the audio version has to be better than the print.
It was just so much fun and I read in the car a lot and I kept finding reasons to go out driving to keep on listening!
Muller is one of my favorite readers always. I also loved his Great Gatsby.
Rev. Dawn: I see some very bad people in Harry's lfe.
Top 10 for enjoyment
Colorful characters with great back story description. I think all of Leonard's characters are interesting and believable.
Narrator is very important to me. Muller does great job with character voice and inflection. Very easy to listen to. I was absorbed by the way he translated Leonard's characters and he made it easy for me to picture them in my mind.
Yes, If I had been traveling I would have listened to the entire book.
I listen purely for entertainment. This story and the narration was just what I was looking for. I have long been a fan of Elmore Leonard and have read many of his books. I was not the least bit disappointed. I would recommend this audio book.
Yes, the reader had a nice cadence and did a great job with the regional accents.
The fortunetelling aspect and the touch-and-go relationship between Raylan and Dawn Navarro - very sexy.
nice cadence and did a great job with the regional accents.
No extreme reaction, but I really enjoy the TV series and I have a great mental picture of Givens making his way thru the Florida hoods and hoodlums.
You can judge a book by how long you want to stay in the car and keep listening - great story and I was sorry to see the story end.
Wasn't expecting much after already having Raylan etched in my mind from TV show JUSTIFIED. But the criminal characters were brilliantly flawed and entertainingly destined to screw up. Great dialog and some great detective work. Bravo!
Riding the Rap is classic Elmore Leonard, with the bad guys doing more damage to themselves than anyone else. And Frank Muller's performance is solid (although it is hard to hear anyone other than Timothy Olyphant as Raylan at this point).
But the recording is old, and hissy. Low quality, low volume recording made for a bad listening experience. I would have to turn the volume up very loud to be able to hear it, and then it was all hiss. I know it was the recording, and not my sound system because the hiss would go away between chapters - when there was just a blank pause between recorded chapters.
Fun book, bad audio quality. I would have passed and just read it as a book if I had known it was going to sound this bad.
This book is a nice little distraction, but overall, a disappointment. You gotta love Elmore Leanard's dialogue, and Frank Muller performed it to a tee. But why doesn't Raylan sound like he's from Kentucky? That's half of his appeal right there (since we can't see the hat on audio.) I'd recommend skipping this one...
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