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Publisher: Harper Torch 
Release Date: January 2003 
ISBN:   0-06-008402-2
Format Reviewed: Mass Market Paperback 
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Genre: Mystery/suspense 
Reviewed: 2003
Reviewer: Beverly J. Rowe 
Reviewer Notes:  The Official Elmore Leonard Website

The Big Bounce
By Elmore Leonard

       Classified as a mystery and a crime story, it is not really that at all, but a slice of life story about a guy that is fun to know, but basically a bum. He's a thief, that you hope does not get caught. There is no suspense about who perpetrated any of the crimes in the book, but the fun is in the interaction between the characters.

       Jack Ryan played some Class C Baseball, but he couldn't hit a curveball, and then he developed a bad back, so he turned to theft, and then to picking cucumbers with a little theft on the side. He does have a prison record for burglary with his partner, Leon Woody. He has lost track of Leon, but just met Nancy, a rich man's plaything.

       Nancy has interesting ideas of what pursuits are fun and when Jack and Nancy pair up to hit a really big score, things begin to heat up. Violence and double-cross are just part of living on the fringe like Jack Ryan does, and there are more twists and turns in the plot than you can keep up with. The unexpected ending is great.

      I always watch for new books by Elmore Leonard. He may be the best of the best in great characterization and dialogue. You find yourself liking these characters that you wouldn't want anything to do with in real life. I like to speculate who would be good in a movie version of the books I read, but Owen Wilson and Morgan Freeman will be in the movie version of The Big Bounce, to be released in February 2004. Perfect...I can't wait!!