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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Godfather of crime fiction does it again.
If you've never read an Elmore Leonard book, you better get your ass up and get reading! For a man in his seventies it would be suffice to say that he isn't an out of touch old man, but quite the opposite. He's so observeant of peoples traits that his casts personas never miss a beat. The plot in this novel comes secondary to the sharp dialogue and the querky...
Published on 29 Oct. 1998

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3.0 out of 5 stars I read this book because I loved the movie Jackie Brown
I read this book because I loved the movie Jackie Brown. It was perfectly ok, and I'm glad I read it for that reason, but I can't say I can see what all the hype about Elmore Leonard is based on. Nothing wrong with the book, but it didn't make me want to rush out and buy any of his others (except The Switch, which introduces Ordell, Louis & Melanie).
Published 2 months ago by Mr. Anthony Arthur


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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Godfather of crime fiction does it again., 29 Oct. 1998
By A Customer
If you've never read an Elmore Leonard book, you better get your ass up and get reading! For a man in his seventies it would be suffice to say that he isn't an out of touch old man, but quite the opposite. He's so observeant of peoples traits that his casts personas never miss a beat. The plot in this novel comes secondary to the sharp dialogue and the querky characters- as in all Elmores stories. He captures beautifully, the walk and talk of every character. A slow ex-con, a disenchanted bail bondsman, a cowboy ATF agent, a street smart gun dealer, a hopped up beach babe and last but not least-Jackie Burke; an air stewardess with brains, balls and panache to help get her through her problems with the ATF and the hip-cat killer Ordell Robie. So trust me on this, Elmore's one of the master writers out there today that deserves every word of praise he can get. And oh yeah if you're thinking of getting 'Jackie Brown' I'd advise you to get 'The Switch' first as it is the first story about Melanie, Ordell and Louis Gara.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent Leonard thriller, 25 May 2012
By 
Brian R. Martin (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rum Punch (Paperback)
This is a crime thriller set in Florida. Two of the main characters are: a gangster called Ordell Robbie, whose business is illegally acquiring and shipping guns to the Bahamas; and an air hostess called Jackie Burke, who smuggles Ordell's money from the sales into America. Problems start when Ordell gets greedy and persuades Jackie to bring in larger amounts of cash than usual, which results in her being caught by the Florida state police and a federal ATF agent. They use the threat of a long jail sentence to enlist her help in trapping Ordell. The third main character is a bail bondsman called Max Cherry, who meets Jackie when Ordell asks Max to arrange for her to be bailed.

The rest of the novel is about how the agents set about trapping Ordell and how Max and Jackie, who are attracted to each other, enact plans of their own. It is a clever plot with quite of lot of violence, particularly in the closing sections. At the end not everything is resolved. There remains an ambiguity about whether Max and Jackie really do have a future together, or whether they go their separate ways, with Max continuing as a bondsman.

Once again, Elmore Leonard has created an exciting, fast-moving story with several sub-plots and many interesting characters, most prepared to kill without too much thought. Even the `heroes' have ambiguous ethical behaviour. There are no unbelievable coincidences and the like, just a clear story line told in a straightforward style with excellent crisp dialogue. It is a thoroughly enjoyable read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Sharp page turner, 17 Nov. 2010
This review is from: Rum Punch (Paperback)
Ordell Robbie is a slick operator, or so he thinks, procuring guns to order and at healthy prices. One recorded brush with the law a long time ago sets him apart from the recidivist throng; now a wealthy man he can afford to employ others to run the risks and take the falls, and if they foul up he simply gets rid of them. Enter Jackie Burke, air stewardess and one of those Ordell employs, in this case to ferry Ordell's money stash piecemeal from its hiding place in Florida to where Ordell can get at it. America's federal laws make it difficult to move unaccountable amounts of money around and Jackie is his tame smuggler.

Max Cherry is a bail bondsman, he underwrites the bail money put up for any type of remanded individual, taking a slice off the top as his fee and the risk of said individual making a run for it as his loss. Max has been in this game for many years and is as cute a cookie as Ordell will ever be.

Their paths cross, with Jackie Burke as the common factor when she is hauled over by the cops for ferrying money and drugs and Ordell wants her bailed. Throw in the police interest in sticking Ordell for gun running and wanting to get to him via Jackie, plus a smattering of fun, none-too-bright characters that Ordell uses for nefarious purposes, and we have the makings of a roller-coaster ride that Elmore Leonard exploits to the full.

Sharp, no-nonsense dialogue coupled with a tight story line and great characterisation produces a ripping yarn true to the genre. If you are stuck in an airport, riding a long train journey or just lounging in front of the fire, you will skip through this tale of bluff and double-cross in short order. EL at his best and for you to enjoy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Two hoods meet up again, 28 May 2010
This review is from: Rum Punch (Paperback)
Thirteen years after publishing "The Switch", EL reunites the crime pair of Ordell Robbie (OR) and Louis Gara (LG) as well as Mr. Walker, once a poor fisherman in Grand Bahama turned criminal and shifty Melanie, now 34 and one of OR's three home-bound girlfriends. LG has just been released from a four-year sentence for eight bank robberies. They meet again, not in Detroit or Grand Bahama, where the pair's earlier kidnapping of a shady millionaire's wife, described in "The Switch" took place, but in Palm Beach, Florida.
It was already LG's third stint in prison against OR's single one, twenty years ago. Both are now 47 or so. Over time OR has prospered in the illegal arms business thanks to a handpicked team incl. poor pensioners, violent crack addicts, a half-smart Jamaican and Mr. Walker. He has also become more determined and ruthless and prods LG to put more focus into his life, not to stop until targets set have been fully met, be more purposeful. He has plans for them both, a new scam. So, wake up, set your priorities right...
Aging, seizing the opportunity to break with the past and grasping a chance to start a new life is one of the book's main themes: enters Jackie Brown, a beautiful 44-year old stewardess, who supplements her low salary by secretly carrying cash from Mr. Walker to OR. She is arrested on her ninth run. The authorities want her to testify against OR, want him behind bars. She wonders why she was arrested at all. Who talked? Enters bail bondsman Max Cherry (56), hired by OR to spring her from detention before she tells all. Max yearns for change too. In some ways he is as indecisive as LG, but his first meeting with stewardess Jackie after he has bailed her out, gives him the energy to explore new alternatives in life. With her.
What follows is opera, drama, romance and comedy, a book that is one of many masterpieces of the best crime writer alive. In 1997 Quentin Tarantino turned the book into the movie "Jackie Brown" with Robert de Niro and Samuel L. Jackson acting as Louis and Ordell and Pam Grier as Jackie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Cocktail, 18 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Rum Punch (Kindle Edition)
Elmore Leonard's writing is fast paced, full of detail and swings the plot along like Usain Bolt running down the freeway. This book is what the film Jackie Brown was based on and having missed it at the cinemas I'm going to catch up with it as soon as I can. The dialogue is what carries you along, that along with the undertow of humour, despite the violence and criminality, you are swept away and intrigued with both character and story line. More twists and turns than a garden hose!
Chris
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4.0 out of 5 stars Punch Drunk Love, 3 Feb. 2010
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This review is from: Rum Punch (Paperback)
Love him or loath him, Quentin Tarantino has made some decent films which he mostly wrote himself. One exception is `Jackie Brown' based on `Rum Punch' by Elmore Leonard. This is a typical Leonard novel that has various levels of low life going up against one another. The police and other legal professionals are not above doing some amoral stuff is they can gain an advantage. What makes `Rum Punch' one of the better works by the author is that he is able to create his usual well rounded characters and actually put them in a compelling story. Having read a few of the author's books I find that he often forgets to create an interesting narrative in which to place his characters.

`Rum Punch' is a deceptively simple book, but it takes skill to write about various characters and how they plan to double cross one another. Jackie and Max are the `heroes' of the piece and they work because bad guys like Ordell are so unlikable. Once again Leonard has been able to create a real feeling world full of deeply flawed characters; you do not who to trust. The fact that there is a compelling ending just adds to an already enjoyable crime romp.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elmore leonard at his best!!, 12 Oct. 1999
By A Customer
Rum Punch is a wonderfully written novel, which follows the story of Ordell a low life self centered crook who is involved in a story line which throws the reader off into many different fellings and thoughts. A must for all Elmore Leonard fans and those who have watched the film "Jackie Brown" by Quentin Tarantino.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A classic piece of American Literature, 10 Jun. 2009
This review is from: Rum Punch (Paperback)
Fantastic book! From page one it's entertaining and engaging. In Ordell Robbie, Leonard has created one of the great anti-heroes in literature, a character who was memorably brought to life in Tarantino's Jackie Brown by Samuel L.Jackson. The support characters are likewise very well written and just so interesting.
Leaonard lends an intricacy to the plot but never loses the reader's thrall or allows detail to complicate the plot. Part of the genius of the book is that we never really know with whom our sympathies lie, there is blurring between heroes and villains. It manages to be lighthearted and dark at the same time. Little wonder then that the visionary Tarantino saw the scope for a fabulous film in this story.

Straight out of the top drawer!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Elmore Leonard packs a punch, 23 Dec. 2012
By 
Peter L Masters (Ipswich, Suffolk, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Rum Punch (Paperback)
As always Elmore Leonard delivers and Rum Punch entertains every step of the way. I watched Jackie Brown, Quentin Tarantino's movie based on the book and Quentin's screenplay stayed pretty close to the original, I read the book the following day and (again) as expected the book stands out as the real article as books tend to do. I still loved the movie though and it's always tough to get a novel into a 90 minutes novel, right? Cut Limbo: Running away is never easy
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3.0 out of 5 stars I read this book because I loved the movie Jackie Brown, 24 April 2015
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Mr. Anthony Arthur (Liberia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rum Punch (Paperback)
I read this book because I loved the movie Jackie Brown. It was perfectly ok, and I'm glad I read it for that reason, but I can't say I can see what all the hype about Elmore Leonard is based on. Nothing wrong with the book, but it didn't make me want to rush out and buy any of his others (except The Switch, which introduces Ordell, Louis & Melanie).
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Rum Punch
Rum Punch by Elmore Leonard (Mass Market Paperback - Jun. 2002)
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