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Pronto  By  cover art

Pronto

By: Elmore Leonard
Narrated by: Alexander Adams
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Publisher's Summary

The feds want Miami bookmaker Harry Arno to squeal on his wiseguy boss. So they're putting word out on the street that Arno's skimming profits from "Jimmy Cap" Capotorto - which he is, but everybody does it. He was planning to retire to Italy someday anyway, so Harry figures now's a good time to get lost.

U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens knows Harry's tricky - the bookie ditched him once in an airport while in the marshal's custody - but not careful. So Raylan's determined to find the fugitive's Italian hideaway before a cold-blooded Sicilian "Zip" does and whacks Arno for fun. After all, it's a "pride thing"...and it might even put Raylan in good stead with Harry's sexy ex-stripper girlfriend Joyce.

©1983 Elmore Leonard, Inc. (P)1994 Books On Tape

What listeners say about Pronto

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great character, even better dialogue!

It's not hard to hard to be swept away by any of Elmore Leonard's characters in his books, and Raylan is one of his best. Rayland exemplifies the very best of an old west sheriff in a modern day world serving in the U.S. Marshall's service. Loaded with characters and dialogue that you will not soon forget. It is not hard to understand why so many of Elmore's books and characters make it to the big screen and television; they are just plain and simple entertainment. Enjoy this listen!

15 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

The ant's a centaur in his dragon world.

Not the best Elmore Leonard, but worth it for three major things:

1. Justified. This is the first Elmore Leonard novel that features Raylan Givens (later to appear in the FX series Justified). I think I've watched maybe one episode and it looks good, but if you are a fan of the series just be aware, this book isn't exactly centered on Raylan Givens. It is centered on Miami bookmaker Harry Arno. Arno is a romantic bookie who needs rescuing. He is fascinated by a meeting he had with Ezra Pound during WWII. Arno is talkative, harmless, and easy to like.
2. Chapter 19. Imagine the possibility of Elmore Leonard writing about Ezra Pound. This chapter is that possibility made real. Leonard explores Pound in Italy, a couple of Ezra Pound's Cantos and the story of the love triangle between Ezra Pound, his wife, and his mistress. The story ends up being a vector for the plot action in Leonard's book.
3. Elmore Leonard's writing. Even in his minor novels and more pulpy stuff, the guy can write dialogue. There are reasons I keep coming back to writers like John D. MacDonald, Jim Thompson, and Elmore Leonard. They are artists. They certainly want to sell books, but their writing is crisp, their dialogue is often hilarious, and they are unpretentious. From a ROI perspective, a prospective writer will, IMHO, do way better by spending $1000 buying and reading stuff from writers like Thompson, MacDonald, Leonard, etc., than $50-100k to get an MFA in creative writing.

14 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

JUSTIFIED's Raylan Givens comes to life!!

Pronto is the book that introduces Raylan Givens from the TV series, Justified. It's a great mob versus the 'good guy' story. Raylan tends to do everything 'his way' and on his own moral judgments. When a bookie, Harry, is set -up by the Feds to draw in more bad guys, Raylan decides that 'fair is not fair' here. Raylan goes off to Italy to 'bring back' the bookie, and to save him from a mob hit.

The character descriptions are marvelous, and Raylan's 'biography' is apply drawn throughout the story as he gets to know Harry's girlfriend---soon to be Raylan's girlfriend. The bad guys range from those looking for any little excuse to kill people, to the big talkers who wimp out when the action calls for gunfire.

Scenes in Italy are interspersed with stories of the poet, Ezra Pound. Beauty for one person becomes boredom and confusion for others. Like all great 'bad versus good' hero stories, the good guys win in the end!! If you like the TV series, this is a must read for you!!!

10 people found this helpful

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Fun Listen

This book is a fun listen. Not quite the Raylan Givens that you know from Justified, but close. Snappy dialogue and great characters.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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It was good

This book was good not great just good. Rayland is by far the most interesting character in the book. Pronto doesn't have to many twists or turns but it is enjoyable. I'm going to give the other books by Elmore a try before I come to any kind of conclusion about his books.As far as this book goes is it a Buy or a pass? I would say pass this one up it's not the greatest.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Deadly serious fun

For crime, I usually favor the old masters (Wilkie Collins, Dorothy Sayers, Raymond Chandler). So, even though I’m from Detroit and my first real job was at the same ad agency where Elmore Leonard was a copywriter, I’ve never sampled his wares before. I’m very glad I did.

Unfamiliar with the TV and movie versions of his work, at first blush this book sounded very much like television; the glibness, those scattershot blasphemies, and the sudden, disconcerting cuts from scene to scene. It reminded me of a John Scalzi short story I listened to a while back. But then something deeper started to happen. While Scalzi skims along the surface of characters and things, Leonard creates real people.

His hero, Rayland Givens, is one of them, a U. S. Marshal with a habit of losing the guys he’s sent to bring in. But he has a good heart, something he shows with undemonstrative persistence in the line of (self-assigned) duty for those he likes. And one of the people he likes—or at least cares for—is the querulous fugitive bookie Harry Arno, one of the most unlikeable characters I’ve come across in a while. Oddly enough, Leonard managed to get me to care about him, too.

Somewhere I read that whenever Leonard sensed his writing was sounding like writing, he’d stop writing. But for all that, this book is masterfully written, meticulously constructed—and then carefully made to not look or sound like it. The result is a deadly serious story that’s also very, very funny. And Alexander Adams (aka Grover Gardener) does a superb job here, reading in the same effortless, off-handed spirit.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Just ok. Nothing special. It kept my interest.

I was hoping for the humor and quick wit I found in “Out of Sight” which had me smiling a lot. I didn’t smile while reading this. It was ok though. Most of the characters are wiseguys with wiseguy talk. Some are not very smart. Raylan has a casual southern sound. He is a US Marshall. He has no problem killing bad guys, but he does it in a way that they draw first so he is shooting in self-defense. What was missing? Probably - the main characters didn’t draw me in enough.

There is a TV show “Justified” based on the character Raylan Givens. This is the first book in the Raylan series.

Genre: crime fiction. Ending: reasonably good feeling. The good guys win.

The narrator Alexander Adams did a good job.

4 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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If you are a fan of Raylan Givens, skip this book

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

This is a disappointment after seeing Justified on TV. The story isn't very interesting and the character of Raylan Givens is secondary to a two bit aging bookie from the south coast of Florida. Perhaps the next in the series will offer a more interesting and compelling listening experience.

What was most disappointing about Elmore Leonard’s story?

The plot just isn't very engaging and the characters are very one dimensional.

What aspect of Alexander Adams’s performance would you have changed?

I actually thought the Mr. Adams did a good job with limited material.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Pronto?

The entire story line in Italy dragged on forever and it wasn't even remotely plausible.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Not the TV Raylin

I thinks the Justified is one of the best ever TV dramas, right there with HBO series like Deadwood. If you have watched the TV series you may be disappointed in this book's portrayal of Raylan. Perhaps the story may disappoint too, but at least you come away with good background on the shooting that sent Raylan back to KY. The book's Raylan has almost none of the qualities and characteristics of his counterpart except his skill with a handgun and has more of an accent than Tim Olyphant uses. I like Leonard and I enjoyed the book, but like to get a little longer story for my credits. I plan to listen to the rest also to see how Leonard develops Raylan.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

entertaining

What did you love best about Pronto?

the storyline

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

Raylan playing it cool! Didn't care for the Zip character

Which character – as performed by Alexander Adams – was your favorite?

Raylan

Any additional comments?

Want more books about Raylan.

3 people found this helpful