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Rum Punch by Elmore Leonard

Rum Punch (original 1992; edition 2002)

by Elmore Leonard

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1,05797,948 (3.64)35
Title:Rum Punch
Authors:Elmore Leonard
Info:HarperTorch (2002), Mass Market Paperback, 368 pages
Collections:Your library, To read

Work details

Rum Punch by Elmore Leonard (1992)

  1. 21
    Layer Cake by J. J. Connolly (AHS-Wolfy)
    AHS-Wolfy: Hip crime capers where everyone wants a piece of the action
  2. 00
    Pulp Fiction: A Quentin Tarantino Screenplay by Quentin Tarantino (artturnerjr)
    artturnerjr: Tarantino is to film as Leonard is to prose.

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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
You can understand why Quentin Tarantino wanted a crack at directing an Elmore Leonard story, as he has a very similar style. I had seen Jackie Brown, the movie based on this novel, multiple times, and had in fact just watched it again before starting the novel at long last. The only problem this led to for me was that I kept picturing Pam Grier whenever Jackie Burke was mentioned.

If you've seen the movie, you know the basics, but there are so many additional elements left out of Tarantino's movie that it still makes this an enjoyable read. We get to see more of Melanie's character, as well as a whole sub-plot involving the theft of a gun stash from a Nazi Ordell calls "The Big Guy." Louis gets more definition as well, and we see him start to rise into the character Ordell wants him to be, even though he's still not great at it.

I haven't read The Switch, which is apparently the first outing for Ordell and Louis, a job referenced throughout the book and the way they met Melanie, but it's not a necessary read to understand their motivations here. It's just a nice bit of history for the three.

I've been meaning to read more Elmore Leonard. Finally read my first last year, going to try to get to a few more this year. Definitely a fun crime storyteller. ( )
  regularguy5mb | Feb 22, 2016 |
You know those American films where the characters speak so quickly you can't quite work out what they've said, but can roughly follow things by the flow of the plot? A lot of this is like that but once you're used to the dialect the story just flows, peopled with lots of naughty characters and no wasted words. In fact he actually skips words which are grammatically required but which the sense can do without. There's a refreshing lack of political correctness. I actually googled Leonard to see what colour he is (white). Jackie’s a likable heroine and there’s a feel-good air to the novel. No great shakes but I’d happily read other stuff by him. ( )
  Lukerik | Nov 17, 2015 |
didn't finish
  ritaer | Mar 1, 2014 |
Yet another fine Elmore Leonard novel. I don’t think he can write a bad story, but most people already know this. You’ll find the usual slightly discordant collection of characters, situations, twists and turns. Read it if you haven’t already, then read it again, just for fun.

Quentin Tarentino directed an equally fine film adaptation titled Jackie Brown, starring Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster, Bridget Fonda, Robert De Niro, and others.

Published in paperback by Dell. ( )
  mmtz | May 26, 2012 |
I had this one hanging around forever. I'd tried to start it a couple of times and couldn't really get into it for some reason. Anyway, I made a go of it this time.

The book, as you may know, is the basis for the movie Jackie Brown. I apparently forgot/didn't know that (I didn't see the movie), and it wasn't until the end that I said to myself, "hey, isn't this the plot of Jackie Brown?"

In my defense, the main character in the book is named Jackie Burke, and her physical description is more Bridget Fonda than Pam Grier, but I probably still should have put it together before that.

Jackie is a flight attendant who moves money from the Bahamas for a guy named Ordell Robbie. She doesn't really know what he's up to, until she gets picked up by the ATF and strikes a deal with them to bring down Ordell in exchange for her own immunity.

There is a cast of colorful characters to help or hinder her along the way: Max Cherry, a bail bondsman, Louis Gara, an ex-con acquaintance of Ordell's who works for Max, Ordell's various women: Melanie, Simone, Sheronda, and an array of bit players.

Elmore Leonard certainly does keep things moving, and that's pretty important in this sort of book. You can picture the characters easily, practically hear their voices when you read their dialogue. I'm not sure why I had a hard time getting into it at first - it's a solid, quick-moving novel. ( )
  ursula | May 26, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060082194, Mass Market Paperback)

Readers who come to Rum Punch after having seen Quentin Tarantino's 1997 film adaptation, Jackie Brown, are in for a few surprises. Mainly, Jackie Burke is a 44-year-old white woman (but just as hard-boiled as Pam Grier), bail bondsman Max Cherry has a much more prominent role in the proceedings, and the novel takes place in Miami--not Los Angeles. The core of the story, however, remains the same: when the cops try to use Jackie to get at Ordell Robbie, the gunrunner she's been bringing cash into the country for, she hatches a plan--with help from Max--to keep the money for herself. It all comes together in the traditional Elmore Leonard style, where the conversations are as crisply written and suspenseful as the action scenes. --Ron Hogan

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:50 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Ordell "Whitebread" Robbie makes a fine living selling illegal high-powered weaponry to the wrong people. Jackie Burke couriers Ordell's profits from Freeport to Miami. But the feds are on to Jackie -- and now the aging, but still hot, flight attendant will have to do prison time or play ball, which makes her a prime "loose end" that Ordell needs to tie up permanently. Jackie, however, has other options. And with the help of Max Cherry -- an honest but disgruntled bail bondsman looking to get out -- she could even end up with a serious nest egg in the process.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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