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Rum Punch by Elmore Leonard

Rum Punch (original 1992; edition 2002)

by Elmore Leonard

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96878,922 (3.63)29
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 7 (next | show all)
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 |
Having read most US noir out there, I'd somehow avoided Leonard. I think I was put off by my disappointment at Tarantino's Jackie Brown. This is a fantastic novel, though. It has the punch of the best crime writers, but unlike, say, George Pelecanos, there's less of a generic feel to his work. You sense that his other novels will offer a slightly different narrative structure and that the storylines will stay with you a little longer than those of most genre fiction. Thus some weighty themes emerge from this work beyond those of criminality and justice: growing old, trust, race, fulfilment. The book also makes me want to revisit Tarantino's film. I suspect I might have misjudged it first time round and that the knowledge that Jackie was white in the novel might throw interesting light on the choice of a black actress in the movie. ( )
  blackhornet | Dec 18, 2009 |
I kind of remembered the movie when I read this, but not enough to spoil the whole thing.
The scheme works perfectly. Jackie smuggles in more money than she tells the Feds she is and then with Max's help, gets it out from under Ordell's nose. The scene in the department store with the changing room is perfectly choreographed. In the end she gets her money and Max.
Leonard's style is to put you right in the middle of the action and let you figure things out on your own. There's not a lot of build up or explanation of anything or anyone. It took me a couple of chapters to feel comfortable with the characters and what was going on.
  Bookmarque | Jun 14, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:59:38 -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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