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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 29 October 1998
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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VINE VOICEon 14 March 2016
As many reviewers have already stated, this is the novel upon which the film 'Jackie Brown' is based, and the reader can immediately see similarities to Tarantino films in the dialogue. The plot is deceptively simple, although complicated by the machinations of the characters as they try to deceive and out manoeuvre each other. Elmore Leonard sketches an amusing series of characters who spring to life off the page with vivid and incisive dialogue. The author is very effective at changing perspective and producing convincing internal voices for the assortment of characters, but the reader has to pay attention to follow the action and the dialogue. The book has a very American feel to it, which might be way Leonard hasn't received as much popularity and attention in the UK that he deserves. I am definitely tempted to reach for further thrillers by Elmore Leonard.
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on 24 April 2015
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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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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on 30 September 2014
I read the book after seeing a review which stated it could have won the booker prize but did not because the prize was not then open to American writers.

I think anyone interested in thrillers would enjoy it.

I gave it five stars because it has a great plot and atmosphere seemingly true to life and is very well written.
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on 11 September 2013
The characters may be crooked and sleazy but their crimes and follies provide us with fast moving entertainment. I like to see them all get their comeuppance in due course and Elmore makes it happen. You always get the feeling that he enjoys writing crime fiction and I certainly enjoy reading it.
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on 12 October 1999
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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on 17 November 2010
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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on 18 September 2013
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!
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on 7 May 1998
This is a great book. The plot was unpredictable and it was a wild and crazy ride! Leonard fans will like it. ENJOY!!!
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