am 8. Mai 2010
This gripping crime story is about two wealthy and two ambitious criminals in Motown, Detroit in the late 1970's. Real estate developer Frank and his cute wife Margaret ("Mickey") have been married for 15 years, but cracks are appearing. Frank is drinking too much, verbally abusive and not always where he claims to be. Mickey is a sweet, non-confrontational, faithful wife who devotes much of her time to their 13-year old son Bo, a tennis talent. She is a tennis mom.
Ordell Robbie (OR) gives his friend Louis Gara (LG) a tour of Detroit upon his release from prison to show him what is new, incl. the derelict tenement buildings renovated with his help: OR supplied much of the building materials and appliances by arranging them to be stolen from other building sites. He has done pretty well over the years and thinks he can do still better. He knows the man he deals with in his materials racket is a straw man. The real big man is not on any billboard or letterhead, but is taking monthly trips to the Bahamas to move a small fortune from his cash-paying renters beyond the grasp of the tax authorities.
OR and LG agree simple blackmail is not enough to force the tycoon to turn over a cool million to them. So they decide to kidnap his wife. And she is Mickey...
Will it work? How will she react? Will Frank pay? How will the criminal duo's third accomplice, a fat, smelly, dumb and unemployed neo-Nazi, perform?
Elmore Leonard (EL) is a superlative writer. He combines a deep fascination with senseless violence, human stupidity and doomed individual ambition with awesome plotting skills and dialogues. His often sorry protagonists always come across as completely authentic. He has rightly been called the Grand Master of American crime writing. Every one of his books (many turned into Hollywood films) is a great work of entertainment and a study of America's underclass.
Finally, EL produced a sequel to this book, called "Rum Punch", 13 years after this book was published. Quentin Tarantino directed the very succesful film version of "Rum Punch" under the title "Jackie Brown", with Robert de Niro and Samuel L. Jackson as Louis Gara and Ordell Robbie. A "prequel" movie of "The Switch" with the same star actors(?)is planned.
am 8. Juni 2000
This is possibly the most enjoyable Leonard novel I have read. It really is superb, mixing violence and humour to great effect. The story is streamlined, with no unnecessary characters or plotlines, and the jokes are very funny. The ending is especially enjoyable, the type of ending you wish for but know that the author won't deliver...unless it's Elmore Leonard. It really ties things up nicely, and there's not a cliche or stereotype to be seen. That's what makes Leonard so enjoyable...it's believable people doing believable things. Funny, clever, engrossing. I couldn't put it down, and that's a cliche I don't mind using...
am 5. Oktober 1997
After encountering Ordell Robbie and Louie Gara in the book Rum Punch, I was greatly pleased when I found them in this previous book. Leonard makes his people real and the plots are entirely plausible.The dialogue is crisp and to the point.You feel that Robbie is someone you've met on the street. This the strength of Leonard's writing.The ending is a hoot, but predictable.