Have been catching up on the new FX series “Justified.” Part of me thinks the series is an excuse for the network to use the “S”-word and make broad generalizations about people from Kentucky. Plus I’m not a big Timothy Olyphant fan.
But the show attracted me for one reason: it’s based on an Elmore Leonard story.
Elmore Leonard is one of the greatest living writers in America.
“Justified” is based on characters in the short story “Fire in the Hole.”
Now, you can read “Fire in the Hole” in its entirety online. The short story is part of a larger collection that Harper Collins has made available. Follow the link, then where it says “Table of Contents,” click and select “Chapter 5.”
Then enjoy. Give yourself a few moments and read the original. It’s full of the snappy writing, witty, off-hand remarks and sudden violence captured so wonderfully in the TV show.
And the TV show does capture the spirit of Elmore Leonard. If there was a role that fits Olyphant’s skill of a low-talking, sarcastic, brooding tough-guy, Raylan Givens is it. He was born to play this role. I mean, he’s a lot better here than he was as the bad guy in the last Die Hard.
Anyway, if you’ve watched the show, now’s your chance to read the story that fuels it. And if you haven’t watched the show, here’s a chance to enjoy Elmore Leonard.
And that’s always a good thing.