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The Switch: A Novel Paperback – August 21, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (August 21, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062206133
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062206138
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,266 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“The greatest crime writer of our time, perhaps ever!” (The New York Times Book Review)

“An absolute master.” (The Detroit News)

From the Back Cover

Ordell Robbie and Louis Gara hit it off in prison, where they were both doing time for grand theft auto. Now that they're out, they're joining forces for one big score. The plan is to kidnap the wife of a wealthy Detroit developer and hold her for ransom. Looks good until they learn the lowlife husband doesn't want his wife back. So it's time for Plan B and the opportunity to make a real killing—with the unlikely help of a beautiful, ticked-off housewife who's hungry for a large helping of sweet revenge.

Customer Reviews

I am a huge fan of Elmore Leonard books.
Peter Vitti
It zips along with great pace and humor as the plot unfolds.
Edinburrower
If you are having trouble sleeping try this book.
Mac Blair

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Alfred J. Kwak on May 7, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This gripping crime story is about two wealthy and two ambitious pairs of people in Motown, Detroit in the late 1970's. Real estate developer Frank and his cute wife Margaret ("Mickey") have been married for 15 years, but cracks are appearing. Frank is drinking too much, verbally abusive and not always where he claims to be. Mickey is a sweet, non-confrontational, faithful wife devoting much of her time to their 13-year old son Bo, a tennis talent. She is a tennis mom.
Ordell Robbie (OR) gives his old friend Louis Gara (LG) a tour of Detroit when he is released from prison to show him what is new, incl. the derelict tenements renovated with his help. OR supplied much of the building materials and appliances by arranging them to be stolen from other building sites. He has done pretty well over the years and thinks he can do still better. He knows the man he deals with in his materials racket is a straw man. The real big man is not on any billboard or letterhead, but taking monthly trips to the Bahamas to move a small fortune from his cash-paying renters beyond the grasp of the tax authorities.
OR and LG agree simple blackmail is not enough to force the tycoon to turn over a cool million to them. So they decide to kidnap his wife. And she is Mickey...
Will it work? How will she react? Will Frank pay? How will the crime duo's third accomplice, an American neo-Nazi, perform?
Elmore Leonard (EL) is a superlative writer. He combines a deep fascination with senseless violence, human stupidity and doomed individual ambition with awesome plotting skills and dialogues. His often sorry protagonists come across as completely authentic. He has rightly been called the Grand Master of American crime writing. Every one of his books (many turned into Hollywood films) is a great work of entertainment and a study of America's underclass.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kathryn J. Blake on October 15, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Switch by Leonard has the base storyline use in the great 80s hit film "Ruthless People" with Danny Devito. Two hapless criminals kidnap the wife of a rich man and demand ransom- ransom he does not want to pay as they are embroiled in divorce proceedings. Set in the tony country club world of suburban Detroit this is classic Leonard. Wry, dry, ironic, funny and yet poignant at times. His characters come to life and stay with you.

Louis and his fellow ex-con buddy Ordell, re-team up in Rum Punch- the book another film was based on- "Jackie Brown".

Read a couple of Leonard novels and you will be coming back for more and more!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Steve Reina VINE VOICE on March 28, 2013
Format: Paperback
Part buddy comedy, part Doll's House, this book is a page turning delight.

In this short breezy read, Elmore Leonard gets right into the action by introducing us to Mickey, a bored suburban Detroit housewife and her husband, a dishonest slum lord.

We also meet Ordell and Louis, ex con friends who've decided to launch a new money making scheme: kidnap Mickey so that she can be ransomed to her husband.

The only problem is that her husband, who's having an affair has just filed for divorce meaning that he would be all too happy to have Ordell and Louis do his dirty work and save him some alimony payments.

Like all good comedy this book follows one delight with another building logically and reasonably to a conclusion that...well...it's probably best to read that yourself.

This is a great book and great fun.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By N. P. Jacobsen on June 26, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A friend of mine told me about Elmore Leonard, so I decided to give him a try. Now I wonder what took me so long! His use of dialog was excellent and his characters well rounded. I have heard his endings were weak, but I thought this one was great. You don't really know the whole story until the last sentence, like a touché in fencing. I loved it, although I can see where some people would have found it rather abrupt.

A little about the plot: Louis Gara and Ordell Robbie met in prison and became quick friends. When Louis got out from another stint in jail, he went to Detroit to stay with his old friend. Ordell had been busy putting a can't miss scam together. The plan included kidnapping Mickey Dawson, a crooked land developer's wife, and holding her for a 1 million dollar ransom. Frank Dawson couldn't go to the police because he was hiding money in an off shore bank account. Add in a Neo-Nazi ex-security guard, a mistress on the side, and a hostage reluctant to return to her previous life, and what you get is an on-the-fly 'switch' in plans.

A very enjoyable read! I will definitely put more Elmore Leonard on my 'to read' list.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By "jac348" on February 27, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Elmore Leonard does it again, with this hip tale of a kidnapping gone horribly right. Crisp dialogue, smartly paced action, great characters. It's unpredictable but always believable. It's Elmore at his finest.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Snappy on February 20, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This one just seemed rushed to me. Usually when I read Leonard, I end up feeling like one of the characters. He makes you really feel his story with his characterizations and dialogue. Just too generic and formulaic. My wife read the blurb on the back and said "sounds like alot of other books" and she ended up being right. I like Rum Punch much better because it was more complex and we saw more of the same characters but got deeper into them.
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More About the Author

Elmore Leonard wrote forty-five novels and nearly as many western and crime short stories across his highly successful career that spanned more than six decades. Some of his bestsellers include Road Dogs, Up in Honey's Room, The Hot Kid, Mr. Paradise, Tishomingo Blues, and the critically acclaimed collection of short stories Fire in the Hole. Many of his books have been made into movies, including Get Shorty, Out of Sight, and Rum Punch, which became Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown. Justified, the hit series from FX, is based on Leonard's character Raylan Givens, who appears in Riding the Rap, Pronto, Raylan and the short story "Fire in the Hole". He was a recipient of the National Book Foundation's Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, the Lifetime Achievement Award from PEN USA, and the Grand Master Award of the Mystery Writers of America. He was known to many as the 'Dickens of Detroit' and was a long-time resident of the Detroit area.

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