The Big Bounce Hardcover – Oct 31 2001
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'The hottest thriller writer in the US'-Time
From the Back Cover
Jack Ryan always wanted to play pro ball. But he couldn't hit a curveball, so he turned his attentions to less legal pursuits. A tough guy who likes walking the razor's edge, he's just met his match—and more—in Nancy. She's a rich man's plaything, seriously into thrills and risk, and together she and Jack are pure heat ready to explode. But when simple housebreaking and burglary give way to the deadly pursuit of a really big score, the stakes suddenly skyrocket. Because violence and double-crosses are the name of this game—and it's going to take every ounce of cunning Jack and Nancy possess to survive . . . each other.--This text refers to the Paperback edition. See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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).
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.
Most recent customer reviews
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 morePublished on July 19 2004 by Maillew
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 morePublished on June 20 2004 by Tony Hilton
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 morePublished on March 29 2004 by William J. Tennison
This is my fourth Leonard book, When The Woman Come out to dance has some great compact short fiction. Read morePublished on Feb. 21 2004 by Ben Anders
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 morePublished on Feb. 14 2004 by Bobby
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 morePublished on Feb. 12 2004 by Michael G.
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 morePublished on Jan. 25 2004 by Brent Wigen
There is no real ending in this book. After the reading the last chapter the book leaves you asking yourself, then what? Read morePublished on Jan. 6 2004 by Juan
A bit slower than what I expected. I was more interested in the quick flashback sequences between Jack Ryan and Leon Woody. Read morePublished on Aug. 1 2001 by eStragand