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The Death and Life of Bobby Z [Mass Market Paperback]

Don Winslow
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Jan 1998
When born loser Tim Kearney murdered a Hell's Angel, he didn't have a choice. Now, sentenced to life without parole in a prison full of the Angel's vengeful buddies, he doesn't have a chance.

Then the Feds make him an offer: impersonate the late, legendary drug lord Bobby Z and allow himself to be delivered to a Mexican kingpin in exchange for a kidnapped agent. If the deal goes down, Tim can walk away a free man. But when the swap turns bloody, Tim runs--straight into the luxurious, chaotic, hair-raising, and very hazardous life of Bobby Z. . . .


Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 308 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books Inc.; 1st Ballantine Books Ed edition (1 Jan 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804116105
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804116107
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 9.9 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 848,392 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

From the Publisher

Now a major motion picture starring Laurence Fishburne and Paul Walker

A fantastic, fast-paced thriller by Don Winslow ('The kind of cult writer who is so good you almost want to keep him to yourself' Ian Rankin), set in the drug underworld of the American-Mexican borderlands, in the tradition of Elmore Leonard and Carl Hiaasen. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

Now a major motion picture

'The kind of cult writer who is so good you almost want to keep him to yourself' Ian Rankin

When longtime loser Tim Kearney draws a license plate across the throat of a Hell's Angel, he's pretty much a dead man. It's his third crime which means life without parole in California, but with Angels in every prison, it looks set to be a pretty short life.

That's when the DEA makes Kearney an offer: impersonate the late, legendary dope smuggler Bobby Z so that the agency can trade him to Don Huertero - northern Mexico's drug kingpin - for a captured DEA agent. Kearney bears an uncanny resemblance to Bobby Z, and with training, he might just be able to pass.

Or not. But, really, what choice does he have?

'Packs the wallop of a semiautomatic weapon.' Newsday

'Sparkling...genuine hardboiled American' Time Out

'One of the funniest and fastest moving novels in recent years. The action is relentless, the characters wild.' San Diego Union-Tribune

'The plot unfolds at the speed of sound…. As much fun as a barrel of monkeys - all of them armed.' Men’s Journal --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
A first-class friend picked this up for 50p out of a basket ('ex-shelf') outside a bookshop down the cobbled paths of steep hill in Lincoln, many moons ago. Its colour was so garish (chrome yellow), the graphics elusive; it had to be cheesy, so he bought one too!

What a find, what a story, an inspiration of visual imagination; I read it twice just to absorb every nuance. Then my wife read it, then another friend. I saw it last night on the bookshelf beckoning! I had to check amazon out, Big thanks Mr DW, bigger thanks Mr JMP
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Death and Life of Bobby Z 2 Sep 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
My first read of Don Winslow, and a very entertaining experience.
The story is fast paced with a 'scene change' every 10 pages or so, building to closer scenes as we get to the climax.
Not a challenging book, its suited perfectly for planes/holidays
Bobby Z, legendary drug dealer is unwillingly imitated by 3 time lose Tim Kearney, who does the deal to save himself from the DEA & a bunch of Hells Angels.
His straight thinking and actions save him from calamity each time, and here the book falls a bit. If he's so good this time, how come he a 3-time loser?
Anyway, don't let this stop you reading. It's all action and you find yourself cheering as Tim escapes from the rich wealth of characters that DW conjures up.
Great twist at the end - and, no, I'm not going to tell you if he gets the girl.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Resurrection direction 30 Dec 2010
By Sam Quixote TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Bobby Z, a legend of drug dealing West Coast cool, dies suddenly leaving behind a trail of broken lives and missing pieces, one of which involves a Mexican drug lord and a Federal agent taken hostage. This is the cue for Tim Kearney, lookalike to Bobby Z, to step in and work for the Federal government to get back the agent from the drug lord. Only it's not that simple. Kearney is a three time loser, busted thrice for breaking and entering - can he pull of the Prince/Pauper transformation and trick everyone into thinking he's the king of cool Bobby Z?

What he doesn't realise is how much trouble Bobby Z was in before he died. Not only are the Feds and the Mexican drug cartels after him, but so is a back stabbing Buddhist acquaintance, a morbidly obese crimelord, a ruthless rancher, the Hell's Angels, a bloody minded Indian tracker, and a former colleague from his army days turned assassin for hire. Oh and he finds out Bobby Z has a kid.

Winslow's written another fast paced, interesting, funny, clever story featuring some great characters and even better scenes. The best of these is a siege-like setup where Kearney and kid hole up in a rock formation in the middle of a floral desert bowl while mercenaries and a helicopter try to take him out. I guess this is where the character doesn't jibe with what Winslow repeats throughout the story- if Kearney is such a loser, how come he's so good at outwitting professional assassins and survive exceptionally well in hostile environments and even more hostile situations?

But that's really only a minor complaint. It's so much fun to read, you tend to ignore little things like that and just enjoy the ride. Well written, great fun, "The Death and Life of Bobby Z" is a great read for anyone looking for adventure and action in a novel.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another piece o Winslow magic 10 Nov 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Excellent fast paced storry of an unwitting lookalike posing as a cartel boss who is no more. Turns out he has a child, a contract out on him and a lot of people chading him. That is there are plenty chading bobby z and bobby z mark 2. Confused? Great read and lots of fun.
It was the only one available at the time of ordering sonit was secondhand. Fair enough but it was in shockinv condition after being described as good. Seller should be ashamed.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Don Winslow 21 Jun 2012
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I love this man, he is able to decribe the hardest cruelty... but one second after you migh be smiling. Charming book, quick to read and very enjoyable.
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