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Freaky Deaky Mass Market Paperback – October 1, 2002

4 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Leonard starts and ends his latest page turner with a bang, and between explosions we meet a vivid group of characters who are mainly veterans of the youth rebellion of the 1960s. Chief among them are Chris Mankowski, 38-year-old Detroit police sergeant, newly transferred from the bomb squad to sex crimes; Woody Ricks, alcoholic auto scion; Donnell Lewis, ex-Black Panther who is acting as Woody's driver, nursemaid and would-be swindler; Robin Abbott, ex-con, exfugitive (she bombed a federal office building) who has plans for a million dollar movie based on Woody's life, with help from her old boyfriend and erstwhile bombing partner Skip Gibbs, now a movie dynamite expert. The only character who does not have ties to the '60s is Greta ("Who's Huey Newton?") Wyatt, stagenamed Ginger Jones, who meets Chris when she reports that Woody has assaulted her. When Chris pursues the investigation, he is suspended from the force, ostensibly for nonresidence in Detroit but really because of Woody's clout. Now determined to get to the bottom of things, Chris is caught up in a web of scams plotted by Robin, Skip and Donnell. Leonard (Bandits, Glitz) excels here with his trademark menace and his deadpan, throwaway humor. His superlative ear for the vernacular makes all the characters spring to life; Woody,"always in low with his dims on," is a brilliant creation. This bang-up novel has bestseller written all over it. BOMC featured selection; major ad/promo; author tour.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Soon after Chris Mankowskilately transferred from the bomb squad to sex crimesvisits rich, mindless alcoholic Woody Ricks on a rape complaint, someone blows up Woody's limousinealong with Woody's brother Mark. Ghosts from their student activist past have returned to haunt them. One ex-Panther even now takes care of Woody, and two ex-demonstrators hope to extort cash. Leonard's latest sports the usual draws of crisp dialogue, satiric wit, and crazy characterization, but it also lacks the pervasive sparkle of Glitz . Better than most, though, and with a wild finale that hoists the villains by their own petard. BOMC featured selection. REK
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTorch (October 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060089555
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060089559
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,940,524 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By E. Hawkins on October 15, 2000
Format: Paperback
I must confess to having recently succumbed to a Leonard addiction. His style is so distinct, and so easy on the eye and ear, that other crime novelists seem flat and pale by comparison. 'Freaky Deaky' only exacerbated my condition. All the classic Leonard elements are in place: the sociopathic crim, the idiot offsider, the character who plans to get rich off the failings of other scammers, and, at the centre, a character too cool to be ruffled by anything. All these elements are realised in snappy dialogue and witty digressions on all manner of pop culture phenomena. The minor failing of 'Freaky Deaky', and one shared by many Leonard novels, is that the conclusion is not as strong as the lead-up demands: Leonard's novels sometimes seem to be all glorious wind-up and very little delivery. I also think that the typical super-cool Leonard hero is never as strongly drawn as the villains, or even as the love-interests Leonard supplies for him; it's hard to tell Leonard's heroes from one another, while the villains all stand out as individuals. But this is carping: Leonard is the best popular writer around.
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Format: Paperback
I've read just about all of Elmore Leonard's thrillers up to "Maximum Bob"; I've missed many of the recent ones, not for any particular reason, just haven't picked them up.
His early works -- "52 Pick-Up," "Unknown Man #89," and "City Primeval," among others -- display a very gritty, street smart view of tough guys. Starting around the time of "Get Shorty," he seemed to lose some of the grit, replacing it with sharp humor, while retaining the street smart view. It was as if he were writing with a slight tinge of Carl Hiaasen.
"Freaky Deaky" straddles those two eras. It's got the humor but also the grittiness. The plot revolves around four characters, two "good guys" and two "bad guys." (Actually, a bad guy and a bad woman.) The two good guys are police detectives formerly on the bomb squad, and the others are 60s radicals who never grew up. As in any Leonard novel, the two pairs are in a collision course toward each other, with a slam-bang climax. The dialogue crackles (Leonard has a terrific ear for dialogue), and the characters are sharply drawn.
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Format: Hardcover
If you're planning to extort money from a multi-millionaire by threatening to blow up his house (or else) you should probably make sure of at least 2 things. First, the man you're threatening should be smart enough to understand the threat. Second, your partner, who also happens to be the explosives expert, probably shouldn't be spending most of his spare time tripping on acid. Thus Elmore Leonard sets the scene for Freaky Deaky. It's his penchant for creating characters just a quarter-turn from normal that makes his stories a delight to read.
The story opens with a lunch-time meeting between Robin Abbott and Skip Gibbs, a couple of former student radicals from the 1960s and 70s. You get the impression pretty quickly that these two people are not exactly your salt of the earth types when they fondly remember their finest moment together as the time they bombed a government building. Robin smoothly leads the conversation around to how they were both captured for their roles in the bombing, the prison sentences they served and her thoughts as to who tipped the police off as to their identities and whereabouts. She's still not happy and is after revenge in the form of a restitution payout and she needs Skip's knowledge of explosives to execute her plan.
This introduces us to Woody and Ricks, as well as Woody's chauffeur, ex-Black Panther Donnell Lewis. Now, Woody is a multi-millionaire, having inherited his parent's fortune after his mother died. She didn't like Mark all that much and he only received a small endowment, much to his eternal frustration. Although Woody has all the money, he is also an alcoholic and his brain has deteriorated to the point where he is totally reliant on Mark and Donnell.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Deadly. We have this couple, Robin and Skip, two 60's radicals used to be anti-establishment, anti-the man. How things changed. Now they're ex-convicts getting ready to score a huge payback on the wealthy family that originally snitched them out. Kaboom! Deadly. In comes Chris Mankowski. The Sexy Bomb Boy. He transfers from the Bomb Squad to the Sex Crimes Division for Detroit's Finest. His very first case involving a rape leads him to a gossamers web of Austin Powder, clothes pins, lots of copper wire, a big black dude named Juicy Mouth, Busby Berkley and the Banana Dance, bushels of grass and gallons of LSD, an explosive ending, and perhaps the coolest Elmore Leonard character ever in the ex-Black Panther, Donnell Lewis. He's just wicked nasty.

Why "Freaky Deaky" hasn't been made into a movie confounds--yes, confounds--me. How can "The Big Bounce" make it to theaters before "Freaky Deaky?" Even Don Cheadle is talking about making "Tishomingo Blues." Not cool. "Freaky Deaky" is a really good story, and it's about time that a big screen version of it gets made.
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