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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
2.0 out of 5 stars Meaningless, without a center, disappointing July 19 2004
By Maillew
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Leonard's style is to create strong, engaging characters and "see what happens." This story has neither interesting characters, nor does very much happen. Leonard is also famous for looking into the lives of petty crooks - but these are among the pettiest. A couple of selfish and self-indulgent losers get their kicks throwing rocks through the windows of homes. The readers are invited to giggle with glee at the stupid fools who live within, and stumble into the night to see what has happened. I tossed this book after reading the first half - a first for me. I have read every Elmore Leonard I could get my hands on. But this one, I couldn't wait get rid of. Skip this book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Two good characters, Plot doesn't hold together June 21 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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.
Unfortunately, a lot of Elomore Leonard's usual humor is missing from this book. Somehow the pacing seems off as well.
Leonard's ability to find distinct locations for his capers and describe them well works here as usual. I would never have suspected that cucumber farms and Michigan beach vacation spots for a crime novel
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2.0 out of 5 stars What happened to the ending? March 29 2004
Format:Audio Cassette
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.
Once the book begins hitting the climax, the book takes a totally different direction. The main storyline is aborted.
I was listening to an unabridged audio version of this book. I returned the book to Amazon since I thought I had an incomplete book. The book ended on the 5th tape with no warning that it was complete. A sixth tape was added which started with an Elmore Leonard short story that was included in a previous book.
Don't waste your time with this book.
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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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3.0 out of 5 stars Good charectors, good plot, falls apart Feb. 21 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is my fourth Leonard book, When The Woman Come out to dance has some great compact short fiction. Tishomingo Blues had amaizing chaectors, and a great story set in the south which i won't ruin for you. Get Shorty was one of his best set in my home Town of LA, so far the Big Bounce is by far the weakest novel i've read by Leonard...
It starts off with all the right ingedients unique intresting charectors. Good setting. And an intresting premise of stealing 50,000 dollars. It takes a while for the plot to build meticusesly, it really starts to pick up after you're two thirds into it, it starts to climax, and then nothing seems like Leonard just got bored with it and coped out. It ended totally unresolved and unsastisfying. Don't bother with this one, if you want to se Leonard at his best pick up a copy of Get Shorty
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1.0 out of 5 stars Awful Feb. 14 2004
By Bobby
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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. There is absolutely no plot. Ryan and Nancy's plan to steal $50,000 never happens and the Mr. Majestyk character is completely different from the self-titled Leonard classic. Leonard must have been on an alcoholic binge when he wrote this novel.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not one of Dutch's best. Feb. 13 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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. Nancy is a risk taking party girl with a mean streak a mile long. The Big Bounce is largely about the odd relationship between these two rather unsympathetic characters. Nancy wants to use Jack to pull off a big heist. Jack pretty much just lives from day to day. The words loyalty, ambition and commitment evidently are not part of his vocabulary.
Elmore Leonard's talent for writing realistic dialogue is well represented here. As is his signature habit of populating his books with quirky characters. The plot is somewhat on the thin side and a few of the scenes appear to have been added in for padding. The Big Bounce is an easy and amusing read. But not one of Leonard's best efforts by a long shot.
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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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