Monday 2 August 2010

Cecil Court Score: Pronto by Elmore Leonard

Moving on from Charing Cross Road on my seemingly never-ending round-up of the books I bought on my recent jaunt round the bookshops of London, we come to Cecil Court, which runs between Charing Cross Road and St. Martin's Lane. As any British bibliophile will tell you, Cecil Court is second hand book nirvana: a whole street of bookshops catering to all tastes. Being central London it can also be an expensive place to shop, but if you go in armed with a foreknowledge of what a reasonable amount to pay for a particular book is, you can still emerge with, if not a bargain, then at least a fairly priced prize.

Having said all that, this was probably a little overpriced:

A UK hardback first edition of Elmore Leonard's Pronto, published by Viking in 1993, jacket illustration by Mark Taylor. I bought this in what is usually one of the more hideously overpriced shops in Cecil Court – naming no names, regular visitors will probably know the one – but although I know I paid slightly over the odds for this copy, at least, unlike a lot of online sales, I could see the condition it was in (excellent). As for why I wanted it: I've read a few of Leonard's books before and enjoyed them, but this particular one forms the basis for the new(ish) US TV show Justified, which is ace. I don't know if much more than the character of US Marshal Raylan Givens makes it over from the book to the show – in fact I think the first episode owes more to the later Givens-starring short story Fire in the Hole, from Leonard's 2002 collection When the Women Come Out to Dance – but Givens, as played by Timothy Olyphant (brilliant in Deadwood, nearly as brilliant here), is the main reason to watch it, so I'm interested to see how he comes across in the novel.

(UPDATE: I've since reviewed Pronto – and the other Raylan Givens stories – in relation to Justified.)

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