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Maximum Bob Mass Market Paperback – Jul 11 2002


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; Reprint edition (July 11 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060084081
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060084080
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 10.8 x 16.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 218 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,053,946 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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Dale Crowe Junior told Kathy Baker, his probation officer, he didn't see where he had done anything wrong. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Maximum Bob's a frightening Judge to end up with if you're a defense attorney. An old fashioned hanging judge, he makes State's Attorneys relax, police witnesses calm down, and defendants shiver. He's also kind a promiscuous man, chasing women with utter disregard for the EEOC and HR. Along comes Kathy Baker, a DOC (Department of Corrections) Probation Officer. She's like many of the Leonard heroines, attractive, gritty and while not amoral clearly someone willing to go all the way to get her man. This is excellent news for Sergeant Gary Hammond, one of the good guys. The bad news for Elvin Crowe and his nephew Dale, two lifetime, recidivist convicts, is that she also means them.
The alligator, Dickey Campeau, Leanne, Earlene, Dr. Tommy, Wesley and Hector all add to the United Nations mish-mash of dysfunction, crime, love and humor.
The dialogue, always a Leonard strong suit, gets better and better. Unfortunately, the plot seems unfocused. It takes a long time to get up a head of steam. We keep floundering around the set-up. What's Elvin going to do? What's Gary going to do? Is Leanne coming home? Is there a second alligator? But then it speeds up and we are led to believe that now, finally, the thrilling climax . . . . only to discover that it slows down . . .to speed up. Tedious. And a lot of unanswered issues and characters.
That's why they give awards to film editing. There was none here.
Good for the charcters and the dialogue; poor for the story and the finale. Larry Scantlebury
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By A Customer on Sept. 1 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I picked up MAXIMUM BOB, as I always enjoy E.L. I can get into his books in one short sitting, and I'm most often captivated by his characters, with their very human characteristics and quirks. This is what I find makes good writing - if it's a little bizarre, then I find it that much more realistic. Leonard, Hiaasen and others have the gift to create something more than your average paint-by-number grist. I purchased this book through Amazon.com right after another great purchase, THE LOSERS' CLUB by Richard Perez, about an unlucky writer addicted to the personals. Both are fun, recommended books. Enjoy!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Judge Bob Gibbs, otherwise known as Maximum Bob, usually sentences anyone for to long. Now he may pay. He is also someone you hope will get whats coming to him before the book ends. Kathy Baker, a probation officer, ends up being the girl he wants. An alligator makes the scene, scaring Bobs wife into leaving. Elvin and Dale Crowe Jr. are the real bad men, mainly Elvin. They are funny as well as bad. The book moves very slowly in lots of places. I never did find out what happened to Crown Jr. It justs leave a lot to be desired. Leonard has done better. The ending could have been better if one more person had been taken care of. Which one? Have to read to see.
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By A. Ross on July 10 2001
Format: Paperback
Although Leonard bestowed this book with a great title and two of his more memorable characters, he does none of them justice in this rather aimless story. Like much of his work, this is a quick-moving piece set in South Florida, and features a full parade of small-time criminals, cops, one or two truly nasty folks, and a wide array of curious characters who spout crackling dialogue. The catalyst for the action is hanging judge "Maximum" Bob Gibbs (who is said to resemble Harry Dean Stanton), a racist, sexist, philandering, cracker, caricature of a fella' who doesn't mind speaking his mind. Of course, this gets people mad at him, most notably recent sentencee Dale Crowe Jr. and his ex-con Uncle Elvin, recently returned from 15 years for killing a man. They plot to off him, with the assistance of a drug-addled doctor under house arrest, and his mincing "houseboy." All these folks are also in the orbit of the real protagonist, parole officer Kathy Baker and her love interest, cop Gary. Kathy is one of most engaging of Leonard's female leads, but her job sort of restricts her ability to influence events. So, enter Gary, a cool, low key hero type, who has the power to move events along, but also somehow manages to bore one to death. It all meanders along in Leonard's typical farcical fashion until a somewhat discordant murder or two heralds the beginning of the end. It's a rather mundane and anticlimactic conclusion for a Leonard novel, and one wonders if he just got bored by it. Another weakness is the judge's wife, a new-agey type who is sometimes possessed by the spirit of a young black slave girl, but whose interludes serve only to break the flow of things. There's also the houseboy, Hector, whose oddity is mentioned repeatedly by several characters, but never explained or explored. It's not awful, but it's not as crisp as most of his work, hopefully he'll bring Kathy back for a more fully realized adventure in the future.
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Format: Paperback
I read this book because I knew Leonard was a master of pacing and I wanted a refresher course. I wasn't expecting the tapestry of characters, the elegant choreography of the plot, the inevitability of both the violence and the redemption at the end. This is sophisticated writing that rocks so well on the page you don't notice how fine it is. If you want to know how to write, study Leonard and Maximum Bob.
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Format: Paperback
There are few enough decent television series these days for us to be able to let a good one slip away. Unfortunately, the TV version of Maximum Bob, starring Beau Bridges, lasted only a few short weeks. Unfortunate because in this book Elmore Leonard introduces an interesting cast of characters, Kathy Baker, one of his rare female leads, is okay, but Bob "Maximum Bob" Gibbs, a notoriously lecherous and racist judge prone to harsh sentences, and Leanne, the judge's wife, former mermaid at the Weeki Wachee aqua bar, who--since a close encounter with an alligator--has developed a psychic link with a twelve year old slave girl, are both terrific.
These characters, and a copious serving of lowlifes, combine with Leonard's trademark dialogue to make for a colorful story. However, the plot just kind of meanders towards a conclusion and the prodigious final body count seems to reflect the author's desire to end the tale rather than any necessary mechanics of the plot.
Television, which is almost totally character and dialogue driven, and where lack of a coherent plot is to be expected, was an ideal medium for this collection of oddballs. Alas, the show disappeared quickly and though several folks in this intermittently amusing novel are memorable, it doesn't rank among Elmore Leonard's best efforts.
GRADE : B-
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