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10 thoughts on “Maximum Bob

  1. says:

    When someone wants hardliner judge Bob Isom Gibbs, aka Maximum Bob, dead, how does he narrow down which of his enemies it is Can probation officer Kathy Baker and cop Gary Hammond stop the would be killer And do they even want to And what does Bob s flaky wife have to do with it After reading The Cut by George Pelecanos, with its obvious El Leonard influence and multiple references to old Dutch, I decided to dust this one off and give it a shot I was not disappointed.Maximum Bob is a womanizing drunk who makes enemies at every turn Who wouldn t want to kill him I felt bad for Kathy Baker getting within pawing distance The bad guys of the piece, the Crowe family and Dr Tommy, are Leonard s typical cast of villains who aren t as smart as they think they are Par for the course, Leonard s plot was suitably serpentine and came to a satisfying conclusion There were some surprising moments along the way, always a plus, and the dialogue was vintage Leonard The Florida setting was almost a character unto itself.However, it s not all catfish and cornbread I thought the whole thing with the judge s possibly psychic wife was unnecessary Also, Hammond wasn t developed enough for me to care about what happened to him Unlike Maximum Bob, who I wouldn t have minded seeing struck by a car.Now that I ve watched several seasons of Justified, its apparent that some of the source material comes from this book The Crowe family is in it and a womanizing judge not unlike Maximum Bob was played by Stephen Root in one episode.That s about all I have to say without giving away too much It was a fun read but it s not among my favorite El Leonard books.

  2. says:

    Treasure of the Rubbermaids 15 See Ya Later, Alligator The on going discoveries of priceless books and comics found in a stack of Rubbermaid containers previously stored and forgotten at my parent s house and untouched for almost 20 years Thanks to my father dumping them back on me, I now spend my spare time unearthing lost treasures from their plastic depths.This is not the El Leonard book I wanted to be reading I thought I would be able to achieve a Raylan Givens nirvana because not only was the third season of Justified going to premiere along with the release of the second season DVD set a new novel featuring my favorite cowboy hat wearing marshal was being released the same week Unfortunately, I learned that Leonard had given the writers of the show a sneak peek at his story for Raylan and allowed them to strip it for parts so that it not only inspired last season, it s going to have some of the same characters from this season too In the interest of staying spoiler free for the show I m leaving that one on the shelf for now, but that s a powerful itch to resist so I dug this one out of the Rubbermaids to allow me to scratch a bit.Big Bob Gibbs is a racist Florida judge known for his tendency to hand out the maximum sentence even if the defendant didn t necessarily deserve it Bob s wife Leanne is trying his patience with her new age belief in auras and crystals, and her insistence that she s channeling a twelve year old black child who has been dead for over a hundred years Probation officer Karen Baker has caught the judge s eye, and she has to deflect his unwanted advances while juggling her caseload of assorted ne er do wells including Elvin Crowe , a just released murderer who doesn t think he should have served so much time because he didn t kill the guy he meant to When an alligator shows up in an unexpected place and starts a ruckus police detective Gary Hammond gets involved and wonders if someone with an agenda didn t put the gator there The family should be familiar to Justified fans with Raylan having many run ins with Dewey Crowe.Like most Leonard plots this one spins off in unexpected directions and expands to include a wild cast of characters including a crack whore, a gator poacher, and a junkie doctor under house arrest It s got the Leonard hallmarks of crackling dialogue and narration that shifts to feature different characters and how they see the other people around them.This isn t quite on the same level with my favorite Leonard novels like Out of Sight or Rum Punch a k a Jackie Brown , but it definitely ranks in the upper echelon of his work.It s also an interesting trivia note for Leonard s fans that this book was also the basis for a short lived TV series It s pretty obvious that the reoccurring character of a pistol packin drunken judge played by Stephen Root on Justified was inspired by this one, too.

  3. says:

    I was taking a break from Richard Stark s Parker novels so I sort of randomly picked this Leonard book to listen to in the car Raucous, kind of raunchy, it s a little jarring after the dark, sharply written, and basically humorless noir of Parker The main character here is Judge Robert Maximum Bob Gibbs, a guy we are constantly reminded looks like the actor Harry Dean Stanton which felt to me like some kind of casting for the hoped for movie A secondary character is Cuban American probation officer Kathy Baker, who is well written as a kind of foil for all the crazies in this book, including Bob, of course, who almost seems rational against his wife Leanne who in this 1991 book believes in auras, carries crystals, and says she is channeling a twelve year old black girl from the nineteenth century alligator poacher Elvin Crowe and his brother Dewey who resents the hard sentence Bob had given him , a gogo whore and a junkie doctor on house arrest who has a contract out on the judge Bob mainly wants to get rid of his crazy wife so he can date Kathy Baker, so arranges to have Elvin deliver a live alligator to his backyard to scare his wife off, but in the process he has several of the above enemies to contend with It s that kind of book, yep Madcap, outrageous, and essentially played for laughs I had low expectations with that title, but came to admire the craftsmanship of this farce, finaly Bob is a fully rounded character, as is Kathy Baker It s little bit nasty, but is essentially light hearted fun.

  4. says:

    3 starsMaximum Bob is the nickname given to Judge Bob Gibbs although he is called Big throughout the book , who is well known for handing out maximum sentences for even the most minor crimes Dale Crowe Junior had the misfortune to draw Maximum Bob, and gets five years He also appears to threaten the judge at the end of his sentencing His probation officer, Kathy Baker, has her hands full, trying to fending off the amorous advances of Big, keeping Dale in line, and dealing with Dale s uncle Elvin, a convict on probation himself Things get complicated when an attempt is made on the Judge s life The list of suspects is long, and Kathy has many of them among her parolees.Overall, the story is fun, a little silly at times, even slightly sinister, yet it never quite comes together in a cohesive unit Part of it might be an out of place supernatural element that is underdeveloped, and probably not even needed Another problem might be that Big never really comes into focus there s something that s just slightly off with his character When you weave together a twisting, turning plot, everything has to be just right or it collapses This book never completely fell apart, but it was definitely unraveling around the edges.It s a good read Just don t set your expectations get too high going in.

  5. says:

    Definitely gritty, full of quirky characters, some real world issues that the system faces Excellent heroine, too As usual, I could really feel the area Florida heat, gators, dirty streets Not Leonard s best work, but a fun read.

  6. says:

    I ve got a stack of these I ve been using as palate cleansers between other books, and thank God El is so prolific because it would break my heart to run out any time soon.Kathy Baker is like Karen Sisco s little sister, and Dewey Crowe and maybe Dale Jr are by far the bright shining lights of the Crowe family, holy shit.

  7. says:

    Judge Bob Gibbs gives out the maximum penalty in all of his cases earning him the nickname Maximum Bob Unfortunately, his zeal for hard time in all instances earns him a number of enemies When a plan to rid his wife by having a trapper plant an alligator in his backyard goes wrong, Bob finds there s an ex con out to shoot him, a drugged out former doctor now under house arrest putting out contracts on him, and the alligator trapper is blackmailing him And all he wanted was a date with the Corrections Officer Kathy Baker The plot of the book starts off well before becoming very slow moving throughout Despite putting the book away for a week, I found myself coming back to it as Leonard s characters are fleshed out so memorably with superb dialogue It s the characters that keep you reading even when they re not doing much than driving around talking about drinks This novel isn t representative of El Leonard s talents and I d suggest readers go for the much faster paced books Swag , Tishomingo Blues and Mr Paradise Maximum Bob is ok but doesn t have enough going on in it to make me think of it as a classic Leonard novel.

  8. says:

    I regret having not read an El Leonard book in such a long time The man can write This is a well crafted book Interesting characters, compelling plot, the very definition of a page turner His sense of humor is there without being forced like Carl Hiasson His characters are well rounded, especially the women unlike Carl Hiasson I don t mean to pick on Carl Hiasson, I have enjoyed the books of his I ve read, it s just that Leonard is the granddaddy, okay daddy, of this type of fiction, to which all others are compared For better or worse.Mr Leonard, El, you are the man.

  9. says:

    Maximum Bob is a Florida good ol boy Unfortunately, he also is a judge However, since he works in Palm Beach County, Florida, progressive or decent police officers cannot do much about his sense of justice or womanizing For example, unless miscegenation is involved, sexual harassment and rape of women is perfectly understandable and a victimless crime in most of what is understood by the Florida legal establishment and particularly in Judge Bob Gibbs courtroom Justice is practiced only against criminal types and the lower classes, unless rich people want to hire them as temporary employees for wet work or to get rid of wives who have become unpleasant to have around Bob Gibbs is a great Florida judge as justice is understood in the panhandle state.Kathy Baker, Florida probation officer, is well aware of how the judges, especially Maximum Bob , understands law So when she becomes involved with some unusual people and some apparently linked cases that Bob and various criminals appear to want buried, she decides to investigate on her own Gibbs, unaware of how her investigation has lead back to him, finds her quite a babe and invites Kathy to his home to see his garden, his usual opener for rape and intimidation view spoiler Gibbs recently chased away his unwanted wife with the forced enlistment of a criminal poacher, Dickie Compau, to help him The poacher, an alligator hunter, obliged the judge by releasing an alligator in the judge s backyard, and it worked Leanne Gibbs, the unwanted wife, who recently gained a lot of weight and has started to channel an ex slave, a little girl, packed her bags and left after the alligator attack Leanne has been scared of alligators since she had a mystical experience with one while she was working as a mermaid for a famous Florida tourist attraction Although Bob arranged for the alligator attack, he did NOT arrange for the surprise attack of bullets suddenly flying about and smashing his windows hide spoiler

  10. says:

    When does a fascination turn into an addiction If it is an addiction, I guess it s harmless to me and other living things So it s back to El He s always good for a few chuckles, but Maximum Bob kept me laughing pretty much the whole time Bob is a judge, famous for handing out maximum sentences Thus the nickname He s also famous for what today we d call sexual harassment, but when the book was written in 1991 it wasn t a disbarment offense to invite a court reporter into his chambers and ask her to play carnival What s that You sit on my face and I guess your weight Bob marries a girl with a job in a watch the mermaids tank at a local bar Shortly after, she has a paranormal experience when an alligator gets into the tank and the fright of it conjures into her consciousness a 15 year old slave girl from centuries past From then on, Leanne listens only to the girl and tries to get Bob to go along with the meditations, crystals, and whatever other spiritual stuff she dreams up.Into Bob s courtroom steps Kathy Baker, a probation officer trying to represent Dale Crowe The Crowe s being Leonard s favorite redneck halfwit crime family so he doesn t get sent up for violating his probation She fails with Dale, but attracts horny Bob s attention, which sets the plot in motion The rest of the book consist220px El_Leonards of Kathy pursuing Dale and his ex con uncle Elvin, Bob pursuing Kathy, and alligators pursuing and gobbling up small dogs There are a couple of interesting convict idiots in the mix that keep the frolic complicated Not that the book is free of pathos One particular murder unexpected to me tugs the heartstrings However, despite the bloodshed, the book is mostly fun.I don t think I ve conquered my addiction yet, nor have I tried, so look for El from me in the future.

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