The Switch Mass Market Paperback – May 16 2002
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An absolute master. -- The Detroit News
The greatest crime writer of our time, perhaps ever! -- The New York Times Book Review
From the Back Cover
Ordell Robbie and Louis Gara hit it off in prison, where they were both doing time for grand theft auto. Now that they're out, they're joining forces for one big score. The plan is to kidnap the wife of a wealthy Detroit developer and hold her for ransom. Looks good until they learn the lowlife husband doesn't want his wife back. So it's time for Plan B and the opportunity to make a real killing—with the unlikely help of a beautiful, ticked-off housewife who's hungry for a large helping of sweet revenge.--This text refers to the Paperback edition. See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
This simple story of a loveless marriage whose seams truly start showing when the docile, country club wife, Mickey is kidnapped by Ordell and Luis is good, solid, 70's era Leonard. Mickey's marriage is many ways a mirror image of the married couple at the center of Leonard's previous "marital troubles cum crim" novel, "52 Pickup." Her husband is a brute who flies to the Bahamas to dally with his street savvy mistress, Melanie, a day before he serves Mickey a divorce summons.
The husband's refusal to pay ransom becomes the epiphany for the mouselike Mickey's transformation into the smart, independent woman--in some ways, she is the chrystalis for a whole series of strong female Leonard heroines who appear in later novels.
If the story sounds like the movie "Ruthless People," you can bet that the movie was probably based in part on this novel. In fact, in the vastly inferior sequel, "Rum Punch," the characters allude to the movie when recalling the events that happened in "The Switch." Frankly, the criminal trio is much more appealing here than they were in "Punch," when they became more violent, more hardened, and more cliched.
While not the best of his classic 70's novels, "The Switch" is definitely top-drawer Leonard, filled with the same sharp dialogue that has been his stock in trade for more than forty years. If you like "The Switch," I recommend you seek out "52 Pickup" and compare the ways Leonard explores the "criminal" aspects of infidelity.
Famed thriller writer, Elmore Leonard, looks carefully at Mickey's marriage in THE SWITCH and finds it empty. But Mickey takes a long time to get it. Rationalizing, she makes excuses. Numb, she avoids confrontation. Ignorant, she finally gets smart after meeting an ex-con with a botched up plan.
But Mickey does grow and she doesn't get mad, she gets even. Leonard shows her switching from a suburban zombie into a complete woman. Too bad the rest of her friends at the country club couldn't be switched on too.
Most recent customer reviews
Very enjoyable Elmore Leonard novel. It is fun to see characters reappearing in different books he has written, and I can't wait to see the movie. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Heather, PDX
Light reading but entertaining novel, Good character development and poetic justice in the end. A worthwhile read if you're a Leonard fan.Published on Dec 24 2013 by Langmere
I live in Michigan. Leonard in a celeb here, but I never read any of his books, until I heard Quentin Taranteno had his cast of "Jackie Brown" read "The Switch"... Read morePublished on May 9 2004 by Ypsi Gypsy
Elmore Leonard does it again, with this hip tale of a kidnapping gone horribly right. Crisp dialogue, smartly paced action, great characters. Read morePublished on Feb. 27 2004
This was the first Elmore Leonard book I read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Lots of great dialogue and plot twists.
This was the first Leonard novel I've read, and I was disappointed. Maybe it's his reputation as being such a great crime writer, but the plot seemed familiar (i.e. Read morePublished on Dec 19 2000