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The Big Bounce [Hardcover]

Elmore Leonard
2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 33.31 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

Oct. 31 2001
Jack Ryan has a man's fists, and the cunning of an ex-con. Nancy Hayes has a woman's sleek moves and the instincts of a shark. Now, in a Michigan resort town, a rich man wants Jack gone and Nancy for himself. For Ryan the choice is clear: Nancy's promises of pleasure, her crazy, thrill-seeking schemes of breaking into homes, shooting guns and maybe stealing a whole lot of money are driving him half mad. But there's one thing Ryan doesn't know yet: his new playmate is planning the deadliest thrill of all. Razor sharp and wholly unpredictable, the Big Bounce is an Elmore Leonard classic - a sly, beguiling story of a man, a woman and a nasty little crime.

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'The hottest thriller writer in the US'-Time

From the Back Cover

"Elmore Leonard is our greatest crime novelist...the best in the business."
--The Washington Post

"Elmore Leonard is an awfully good writer of the sneaky sort; he is so good, you don't notice what he's up to."
--The Washington Post Book World

"Leonard does crime fiction better than anyone since Raymond Chandler."
--The Cleveland Plain Dealer

"The greatest crime writer of our time, perhaps ever!"
--The New York Times Book Review
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Noir and don't you forget it. March 17 2004
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The big bounce threw me until I realize it was in the tradition of the noir such as I married a Dead Man, The Postman always rings twice, The Killer inside of me and Pick-up.
It was't going to follow the more modern concrete line but a more abstract plot. If classic noir isn't your strong point you might be totally lost if you expect a version of Mr.Paradise, Rum Punch or others of his work. The characters are strong, the plot is noir which might seem pointless or weak to those expecting a 'traditional' mystery. [Agatha Christie is over to the left thank you.] The play between the thrill seeker in life and those who just coast a long is strong. It is suprising who wins in the end or do they?
If you are looking for a nice tight sewed up ending where the bad guys are carted off to jail and everything is sewn up neatly in a cute little package.. Aggie, the Cat who, and Sandford is off to the left thank you. If you want a bit of intellectual exercise or just plain miss the old noir of the 30s to the 50s come on down. It is a real rare bird these days.
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
Don't be fooled by the slick new paperback cover and the movie promotion to sell you this book. This volume, written in 1969 (and a bit dated as a result), is set in the "thumb" of Michigan (Port Austin area) - not Hawaii, as in the 2004 movie.
The book mostly traces the behavior of two characters, Jack and Nancy, neither of whom are interesting enough to care about. Actually, Jack isn't a bad guy - he's just not given a good story to be part of. There is the start of a good story and a potential theft of some money, but that all falls off the bone - the promise of a good yarn is as deceptive as the cover of the new paperback.
It had been a long time since I'd read any Elmore Leonard and I really wanted to give him a try again. This book fell flat, had no resolution to my liking, and left me puzzled about why not one but two movie adaptations had been made from it.
The reason for two stars is: 1) decent dialogue, a Leonard trait; and 2) set in Michigan, where my grandparents lived so I recognized the descriptions of the area.
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By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Leonard's "new" book was actually written in the mid-1960s, I suspect. Whether it's a novel long out of print or simply an unpublished work, "The Big Bounce" is more for Leonard completists than newcomers.
Hard-luck protagonist Jack Ryan loses his job at a migrant camp in Michigan after assaulting his crew leader. Resort owner Walter Majestyk hires Jack, despite the fact that his old boss, Bob Jr., told him to leave town. Bob Jr. and migrant camp owner Ray Ritchie are seeing Nancy on the side, unbeknownst to each other. Once Nancy learns that Jack's past consists of a life of crime, she seduces him into a plot to steal $50,000 from Ray.
Those who found Leonard's last few books to be a bit tepid might also be disappointed in "The Big Bounce." Aside from being a dated piece of work, the novel falls more comfortably into a romance fantasy than traditional Leonard crime. Still, the impeccable characterisation and the way the plot pits characters against each other is indicative of Leonard's earlier works. Those looking for another "Ryan's Rules" or "Get Shorty" won't find as much bite here. If anything, "The Big Bounce" serves best as a means to chronicle Leonard's progession than fulfilling the need for an all-new Leonard novel (no more sequels, please).
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4.0 out of 5 stars Smooth Vintage Leonard Dec 30 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I picked up a paperback of THE BIG BOUNCE somewhere and was thrilled because I thought it was a new Elmore Leonard. It wasn't until I was halfway through the book that I discovered it was written in 1969, almost 35 years ago. That is how well this book has held up: it reads like a fresh story. And smooth. That is the word that comes to mind: the writing in THE BIG BOUNCE is smooth. It flows and moves along easily. Maybe the best writing I've read of Elmore Leonard's works and I've read many. It's a subdued, subtle story with a great fight scene and a tense house B&E scene. It features Jack Ryan, maybe a little slow en la cabeza but who can swing a bat (or a tree limb) and knows a 100 ways to break into a house, and Nancy as the ambitious rich guy's GF who is more than a little psychotic. Rather than a roller coaster ride of plot twists, this novel is like like a fine vintage wine to be savored and enjoyed on the veranda with a good cigar. Get this book and light one up.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Why Elmore Leonard is more than a "mystery writer" April 16 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This novel is not a mystery, rather an all-to-true to life expose of the kind of characters that we read about in newspapers (or know in real life) that live on the fringes. I couldn't help but see Hillary Swank as Nancy and George Clooney as Ryan (if I am not mistaken Jack Ryan reappears in Out Of Sight) the same role he did play in the movie.
I love Leonard and think he is a must for any serious lover of crime fiction (not just "mystery novels") read him all the way through and you will have fully explored unknown territory though the American psyche....
If Out Of Sight is a 5, then The Big Bounce is a 4. I'd give Swag 4.5, Be Cool a 4.5, Get Shorty a 5, and Cuba Libre only a 3.
If you like Leonard go to Jim Thompson next, or vice versa, or Andew Vacchs, but also I would say Cormac McCarthy (the writer that most resembles Leonard in my opinion)or even Russell Banks, Raymond Chandler or Richard Russo.
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Most recent customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Meaningless, without a center, disappointing
Leonard's style is to create strong, engaging characters and "see what happens." This story has neither interesting characters, nor does very much happen. Read more
Published on July 19 2004 by Maillew
3.0 out of 5 stars Two good characters, Plot doesn't hold together
Elmore Leonard has done much better than this and I am usually a big fan. Jack Ryan and Nancy Hayes are two very good characters and are well developed. Read more
Published on June 20 2004 by Tony Hilton
2.0 out of 5 stars What happened to the ending?
I am an avid Elmore Leonard fan. While this book is dated, the basic premise of the story had all the traditional earmarks of a Leonard novel. Read more
Published on March 29 2004 by William J. Tennison
3.0 out of 5 stars Good charectors, good plot, falls apart
This is my fourth Leonard book, When The Woman Come out to dance has some great compact short fiction. Read more
Published on Feb. 21 2004 by Ben Anders
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful
I've read all of Leonard's (non-Western) novels. Some were very good...La Brava, Glitz, Pronto. The Big Bounce is one of Leonard's worst. It is truly awful. Read more
Published on Feb. 14 2004 by Bobby
3.0 out of 5 stars Not one of Dutch's best.
Jack is a former minor league ballplayer who dabbles in breaking and entering. That is when he's not engaged in more legitimate endeavors like carpet cleaning or picking cucumbers. Read more
Published on Feb. 12 2004 by Michael G.
3.0 out of 5 stars Elmore, entertaining as always
Jack Ryan is a small-time migrant worker/burgular/baseball player who's never accomplished much, aside from getting arrested a couple of times and finding a job as a hotel... Read more
Published on Jan. 25 2004 by Brent Wigen
2.0 out of 5 stars Where's the ending?
There is no real ending in this book. After the reading the last chapter the book leaves you asking yourself, then what? Read more
Published on Jan. 6 2004 by Juan
2.0 out of 5 stars Nothing too exciting...
A bit slower than what I expected. I was more interested in the quick flashback sequences between Jack Ryan and Leon Woody. Read more
Published on Aug. 1 2001 by eStragand
4.0 out of 5 stars A gripping story by a great storyteller
Dutch Leonard doesn't like to let you relax. He keeps you wondering if Jack Ryan is a bad guy or a good guy with some bad habits. Read more
Published on May 9 2001 by Dennis Collins
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