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Maximum Bob Kindle Edition
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A sex-mad judge called Maximum Bob, someone who might need some self-improvement classes -offering a court reporter the opportunity to play a carnival game…”You sit on my face and I guess your weight.” His wife, Leanne frequently given to startling fugue states where she assumes the speech and mannerisms of a long dead slave girl. An attractive probation officer, Kathy Baker – someone who grabs the attention of our randy judge. A couple of criminal Crowes – a nephew, Dale – young likeable, a tad reckless but unfairly shafted by Bob; his psychopath uncle – Elvin, vicious, scheming but never less than interesting. A 10ft alligator. A disgraced doctor and his boyfriend – living the life strung out on drugs. A young handsome cop – Gary Hammond.
In a nutshell - the judge has tired of his wife and wants her to leave and some former inhabitants of Bob’s court plot revenge on him.
Murder, drugs, an alligator, court scenes, discontent in a marriage, some romance, sexual frustration, a 135 year’s dead slave girl, a mermaid, Florida, an escort, etc etc
Madcap characters, inimitable humour, great dialogue, bizarre situations, violence and death. A bit different from a lot of the crime fiction out there.
Really enjoyable – even if after about a dozen pages I realised I had read it before. Fortunately it was long enough ago that I couldn’t remember the outcome.
4.5 from 5
Elmore Leonard was my first introduction to the crime fiction genre after picking up a book of his which had been blurbed by Stephen King. This would have been late 80s. Prior to that my reading was firmly ensconced in the horror zone. Leonard sadly passed in 2013. I have a lot of reasons to be grateful to him.
Read in January, 2017
Published – 1991
Page count – 298
Source – owned copy
Format - paperback
The plot of the book starts off well before becoming very slow moving throughout. Despite putting the book away for a week, I found myself coming back to it as Leonard's characters are fleshed out so memorably with superb dialogue. It's the characters that keep you reading even when they're not doing much more than driving around talking about drinks.
This novel isn't representative of Elmore Leonard's talents and I'd suggest readers go for the much faster paced books "Swag", "Tishomingo Blues" and "Mr Paradise". "Maximum Bob" is ok but doesn't have enough going on in it to make me think of it as a classic Leonard novel.
It's gritty, real and sometimes a little sinister. He has the
knack of not describing characters in detail but you get
to know them through there actions, dialogues and
thoughts. It's the second I've read and I look forward
to reading more.
But he's charismatic too, in a weird, shouldn't really work kind of way. I like this about Leonard, the way he puts people like Bob in there, people you can't turn away from even when he's trying to sleaze onto the main female character. A definite plus. Actually, she's not just the main female character, she's the main character full stop. There's the other cop, who seems like he might get together with her, but it's mostly the woman's show. She's a bit like Karen Sisco from Out of Sight...I only saw the movie of that story so I'm not sure if the name's the same in the book...tough yet compassionate, and not crazy enough to go for a guy like Bob, no matter how much cash he has.
Best part of this comes about two thirds of the way through. I won't spoil it but it's a plot twist that really took me by surprise, and only Leonard could really pull this kind of thing off.
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