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The Switch [Paperback]

Elmore Leonard
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
RRP: £8.99
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Book Description

2 Dec 2004

Black Ordell Robbie and white Louis Gara have lots in common - time in the same gaol, convictions for auto theft, and a grand plan. They're going to snatch the wife of a Detroit developer and collect some easy ransom money. At least that's what they think...

What they haven't figured on is the fact that the husband has a secret mistress and has absolutely no desire to get his wife back. So now it's time for Plan B. With the help of one seriously ticked-off housewife they are going to take the scumbag for everything he's got...

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix (2 Dec 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753819635
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753819630
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 19.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 51,498 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Elmore Leonard was born in New Orleans on 11 October 1925. He wrote forty-five books during his phenomenal career, including the bestsellers Mr Paradise, Tishomingo Blues, Be Cool and The Hot Kid. Many have been made into successful movies, including Get Shorty with John Travolta, Out of Sight with George Clooney and Rum Punch, which became Tarantino's Jackie Brown. He is the recipient of the Cartier Diamond Dagger Award and the PEN USA Lifetime Achievement Award. He died on 20 August 2013 in Detroit.

Product Description


"An absolute master."--The Detroit News

Book Description

From the bestselling author of GET SHORTY and JACKIE BROWN.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Slow as hell 16 Aug 2014
By Sam Quixote TOP 50 REVIEWER
Elmore Leonard is known for his crazy-good, realistic dialogue who’s also a skilled and imaginative storyteller able to create memorable characters and plots. But every great writer puts out a stinker every now and then and The Switch is without question a stinker!

A pair of low-level criminals, Louis Gara and Ordell Robbie, decide to kidnap the wife of well-to-do real estate developer, Frank Dawson, and hold her hostage for $1million. There’s just one snag though: he doesn’t want her back.

The premise sounds more like a throwaway joke or at best an idea for a short story, but for a nearly 200 page novel? No. The thin plot is streeeeeeeeeeetched by Leonard over scores of pages with precious little happening to validate its length. It takes a third of the novel before Mickey (Frank’s wife) is kidnapped, then at least another third before she’s let go over a misunderstanding, then the novel meanders at an excruciatingly slow pace until the blessed end. Does anything happen during the novel? Hardly anything - characters mostly just stand around and yammer about nothing.

The absence of action would’ve been tolerable if the characters had been worth reading about but they weren’t. Our heroine, Mickey Dawson, is as bland a character as any Leonard has ever created. She has no personality and is a doormat of a wife, walked all over by her cartoonishly awful husband, Frank.

Frank’s role is clear: he must be a bad guy and the reader must hate him. So he talks down to his wife, arguing over her about how much he drinks while he sloshes his way through another bottle of whiskies. You couldn’t get a more flat character portrayal than you do with Frank.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Elmore Lennard 10 April 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The master of crime fiction is again in great form with a storyline that reflects all the great talents of this writer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read 12 Mar 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great to see the characters from Rum Punch / Jackie Brown fleshed out a little more in this prequel. Brilliant plot, just the right length of book to keep the story flowing nicely and the ending is sheer perfection. Highly recommended.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A tennis mom is kidnapped 7 May 2010
This gripping crime story is a confrontation between a wealthy couple and a pair of criminals in 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 in their marriage. Frank is drinking too much, verbally abusive and not always where he claims to be. Mickey is a sweet, non-confrontational, faithful wife devoting much of her time to their 13-year old son Bo, a tennis prodigy. She is a tennis mom.
Ordell Robbie (OR) gives his old friend Louis Gara (LG) a tour of Detroit upon his release from prison, to show him what is new, esp. the derelict tenements renovated with his help. OR supplied much of the building materials and appliances by arranging them to be stolen from other building sites. OR has done pretty well and thinks he can do still better. He knows the man he deals with in his materials racket is a straw man. The real mover and shaker is taking monthly trips to the Bahamas to transfer a small fortune from his cash-paying renters beyond the grasp of the tax authorities.
OR and LG agree that 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 happens to be Mickey...
Will it work? How will Mickey react? Will Frank pay? How will the criminal duo's third accomplice Richard, a vintage Elmore Leonard (EL) creation, a dumb, smelly, unemployed neo-Nazi perform?
EL is a superlative writer. He combines a deep fascination with senseless violence, human stupidity and doomed individual ambition with awesome plotting and dialogue-writing skills. His often sorry protagonists come across as completely authentic. He has rightly been called the Grand Master of American crime writing. His books (many turned into Hollywood films) are great works of entertainment and studies of the hopes and struggles of America's underprivileged.
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