There are two notable differences between the book and film which make all the difference in how one might regard the story. In the film, Karen is Latina and Buddy is black. In the book, both characters are white. The result is that all the sympathetic characters in the book are white, while all the unsavory characters, on either side of the law, are black. Let me say that I don't take pleasure in noting these things and don't especially seek them out. But, with this book the dichotomy is glaring. Buddy and Jack, the heroes, are harmless white bank robbers who are genuinely kind, gentle guys who have a miraculous way of weaving their ways through the most dangerous, seediest terrains with hardly any notes of fear or inexpertise. It's a fantasy, the white male fulfilling the role of the good guy gone a little bit wrong, enough that they can can be properly romanticized. Of course, the real bad guys, the ones who are dumb, who murder, who rape - the filthy animals - are black and hispanic. The presence of White boy Bob does not quite undercut this fact. Even on the side of the law, Karen's boss is a black guy who is a jerk and wants to bed her badly. And as for the charcter of Glenn, white, who is airy and easily frightened, he is a sympathetic character is who provides the most laughs - a well realized character. Until I realized the manner by which the racial divide was being aligned, I was loving the book. Wonderful dialogue, some very funny moments. The white charcters are well written and are all immensely likable. If you can get past the fact that the non-white characters are the vessels of sordidness and incompetence in this book, you stand a good chance of enjoying this read. As such, this book is really intended for a white readership. I found it objectionable. And this is not at all a matter of political correctness. Leonard's books have the tone and attitude of being gritty, realistic novels and it is my opinion that his obedience to a white fantasy - white people being good even when they're bad (black people being bad even they're good) - only adds another layer of irreality atop the grit of the story. This book is not gritty; it is not tough or edgy. It can't be because it is at its heart a fantasy based on racial roles.