Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Rum Punch” as Want to Read:
Rum Punch
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Rum Punch (Ordell Robbie & Louis Gara #2)

3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,247 Ratings  ·  270 Reviews
Pretty working-girl Jackie Burke is in a tight spot. She's just been picked up at Palm Beach International with fifty grand and some blow stashed in her flight bag. Lucky for her, the Feds want something Jackie's got: the inside track to Ordell Robbie, the notoriusly slick arms dealer. And they're ready to deal -- Ordell in exchange for her freedom. But Jacki's got another ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 368 pages
Published July 3rd 1993 by Dell (first published 1992)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

4.5 Stars

“My ass may be dumb, but I ain’t no dumbass” – Ordell Robbie

Well, call me a dumbass because I had no idea that Rum Punch was the real name for

For the past 17 years I’ve been singing the praises of Tarantino’s film – only to find out Elmore Leonard was actually the mastermind behind this product. (In defense of my undying Tarantino love – casting Pam Grier as “Jackie Brown” rather than some rando white broad as “Jackie B
Glenn Russell
Nov 30, 2013 Glenn Russell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I recall someone saying how Elmore Leonard isn't old school `cause he built the school. Very true. My favorite Elmore Leonard novels are Tishomingo Blues and Pagan Babies; Rum Punch is my very favorite, thus this review. Also, in addition to reviewing the book, let me plug the audiobook read by Joe Mantegna. The voice of Joe Mantegna is pitch-perfect, his rhythm and inflections capturing each of the characters, male and female, as well as the mood and charged atmosphere of the entire story.

Feb 17, 2013 Jamie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-dirty-south
I finally made it over to my winter stockpile of Rick Bass and was settling in. Getting used to the rhythms of it again (which takes no getting used to at all, for me). Letting the slow, deep, calm, quiet solitude fill up my soul. Then I was housesitting for a few days. There, I watched Jackie Brown. Then, I had to pull out Rum Punch.

I thought, oh boy. This can’t work. Rick and Elmore, Bass and Leonard? My two favorites but, so so different. I thought, what if one taints the other? What if one m
Feb 27, 2014 Rob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is absolutely a high point in a career full of them. Like always, though, I find Leonard's stuff hard to review because all of his books, to one degree or another, are variations on a theme: double- and triple-crosses perpetrated by A) a shrewd woman, B) a world-weary guy (who typically has the hots for the shrewd woman), C) a couple incompetent villains, and D) assorted other Miami and/or Detroit lowlifes. And of course all of it is shot through with Leonard's unerring ear for dialogue.

Dec 28, 2010 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wouldn't have even thought of picking this up if it wasn't on the cheap rack at a book store, and if it didn't say on the cover that it was the film that inspired Quentin Tarantino's film 'Jackie Brown.' To say that inspired it is understating the significance of the book slightly. If I didn't know better, I would think it was actually just a novelization of the film.

In the end this gives me a positive view of Elmore Leonard and lessens the significance of 'Jackie Brown' the film, because pret
Kathy Davie
Aug 25, 2014 Kathy Davie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
A crime novel involving gun running and smuggling in Florida.

My Take
It has parallels with Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series in its easy, laid back style while it's casually violent on the criminal side. On the cop side, they're also easy and laid back and good with laying it on thick. I would like to know who snitched about the money Jackie's bringing in.
"She said, 'That man works? Has a job?'

'He's a bail bondsman.'

'I wondered,' Simone said, '"cause he don't know shit about robbing people
Rob Epler
Jul 23, 2014 Rob Epler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you like Elmore Leonard--and you should--this is another fun read. Though the basis of the Quentin Tarantino film Jackie Brown, it's quite different. But if you're looking for the usual tight plotting, vivid characters, & crackling dialog, pick it up. Leonard's books are all quick reads, & are generally what I'd call snappy. At this point I've read 29 of his books (& listened to 4 more of 'em), so take my fandom for what it's worth.
Eddie Villanueva
Feb 18, 2016 Eddie Villanueva rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
Very entertaining and easy to read. It also gives me more of an appreciation for Quentin Tarantino as he was able to stay true to the book but still make the movie his own. Great book/movie combo!
Cameron Nicholson
Nov 20, 2014 Cameron Nicholson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rum Punch by Elmore Leonard is a fictional, crime-based drama in Miami about Jackie Brown who smuggles money from state to state as she's a flight attendant. She works for Ordell who is a gun dealer who sells illegal weaponry across the globe. Jackie justs transports his profits. However, the feds are on to Jackie motives and Ordell is trying to clean that up. But Jackie has other plans. With bail bondsman Max Cherry looking out for Jackie, things could turn out for the worst.

What I liked abou
Berin Kinsman
Mar 29, 2016 Berin Kinsman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
The thing that I love about Leonard is that characters come first, and plot is litle more than a device to allow characters to do what they do. The intricacies of weaving characters together, the way things come together organically, is absolutely amazing. The motivations of the characters make them relatable, even when they're not likeable. It's easy to follow these people around to see what they're going to do next, even though they're objectively horrible people. You don't want a trainwreck, ...more
Oct 14, 2014 Byron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Because I quite literally swear by Jackie Brown, in the same way that the cop assassinated Biggie Smalls had a shrine to 2Pac in his garage, I should have read this 10 or 15 years ago. There is no excuse. I've been knowing how to read since like '87.

The plot is essentially the same, but it differs from QT's film in a few key ways, the main thing being that this is set in Florida somewhere rather than LA. There's also a few different subplots that are only hinted at or completely left out of the
Matt Raymond
The only Quentin Tarantino movie I ever liked & have been able to rewatch is Jackie Brown. While everything else he's done has been a tongue & cheek throwback to the movie genres he grew up with, Jackie Brown was less of a modern blaxploitation picture and more of a story about desperate people forced to do desperate things. This isn't a review of the movie, obviously, but the main reason I liked it is because of this book, which I only just got around to reading. And now that I've read ...more
Carl R.
Aug 28, 2013 Carl R. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked up a copy of Rum Punch from a place I was staying on a recent vacation. Having somehow missed it among all the Elmore Leonard I had read, having also solid reason to believe it would lie neglected on the shelf where I found it, I decided to give it a new home. According to the message penciled inside the battered cover, it had cost somebody only 2 pounds sterling, so no great loss if I never get back to Bradford-on-Avon to return it.

Then, a few pages into it, I got the word of his deat
Dec 27, 2012 wally rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: leonard
this is the....17th...18th...from leonard for me...

dedicated for jackie, carole, and larry

story begins:
sunday morning ordell took louis to watch the white-power demonstration in downtown palm beach.

"young skinhead nazis," ordell said. "look, even little nazigirls marching down worth avenue. you believe it? coming now you have the klan, not too many here today. some in green, must be the coneheads' new spring shade. behind them it looks like some bikers for racism, better known as the dixie knigh
Jan 14, 2016 Leftbanker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-gangsters
I picked this up the other day in a pawn shop for 1 in English and reread it in a day. The book is brilliant with dialogue so authentic that it barely qualifies as English at times. Elmore Leonard has the ear of a great musician when it comes to writing dialogue from the street. I used to live down in this area of south Florida so I appreciate his eye for detail in his descriptions of this tacky suburban hellscape.

I read this book many years ago and when I saw Quentin Tarrantino’s shitty film v
Adam Brown
Like many others, I read Rum Punch because I adore Jackie Brown and was curious to see how Quentin Tarantino had adapted Elmore Leonard's material. Anyone who has seen a Tarantino film will understand that I was surprised to find that he had made the story, or at least one of its subplots, sweeter than Leonard's novel. The world of Rum Punch is mean by comparison; everyone is crooked (even the philandering cop). I actually found it a little disorienting to be involved in a story with almost no d ...more
Aug 09, 2015 Trish rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Of all the books by Elmore Leonard that I have read, this is my least favorite. The story line and characters wandered all over the place, making the plot somewhat difficult to follow.

In addition, Leonard's prose wasn't as crystalline as usual.
Jun 07, 2016 Ethan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Absolute fun. I had not read anything from Elmore Leonard before, and I had seen Jackie Brown; so this felt like a safe option. Now I can explore Leonard a little further.
I couldn't pass up a chance to read the only novel that Tarantino deemed worthy enough of adapting into a movie. Rum Punch is actually a really fun and easy read, but for me it lost some entertainment value for being too similar to the movie. Reading a book whose adaptation you've already seen can be rewarding and it can be frustrating, and this book falls more into the latter category: other than a few superficial changes and one or two small subplots that didn't make it into the movie, this bo ...more
Sean Keogh
In a weird move, I let my TV watching impact my reading list. I started watching the AMC show, "Justified", which is based on a short story by Elmore Leonard. My wife got bored of the show and so now I can only watch it when she is out for the evening. I thought that maybe reading one of his books might satisfy my thirst. Also, it is one of the big author small title books that my dad loves so I thought it might give us something to talk about at Thanksgiving. The book was fine. Whacky criminals ...more
Steve Isaak
Jul 02, 2014 Steve Isaak rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thirteen years after the events of The Switch , Ordell, Louis and Melanie are still doing their crime thing, though this time they aren't the only game in town. As he did in that previous novel, Leonard uses his trademark waste-no-words plotting, character-based twists, and slick dialogue and action to create a sequel that furthers its source novel's excellence. Worth owning, this.


The resulting film, Jackie Brown , was released stateside on December 25, 1997. Quentin Tarantino scripted and di
Sep 07, 2010 Hayden rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It had a surprisingly intricate plot, was much more than I expected, and I probably would've given it a five, had Leonard taken more time to sort of clarify the 'bait and switch' method that was used in the big climax, because I was only vaguely aware of how it was pulled off. But overall it was an awesome novel, not a masterpiece, but still had a great cast of intertwining characters, and an underlying theme of the difficulty of starting over in life. I liked it alot.

William Redd
Feb 22, 2016 William Redd rated it really liked it
You can understand why Quentin Tarantino wanted a crack at directing an Elmore Leonard story, as he has a very similar style. I had seen Jackie Brown, the movie based on this novel, multiple times, and had in fact just watched it again before starting the novel at long last. The only problem this led to for me was that I kept picturing Pam Grier whenever Jackie Burke was mentioned.

If you've seen the movie, you know the basics, but there are so many additional elements left out of Tarantino's mov
Asghar Abbas

The only Leonard book that was adapted right by Quentin Tarantino.
Sep 18, 2013 Tracey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved this read, which deserves an extra half star but not quite four. First Elmore Leonard I've read and this only came to my attention after he died. It's prompted me to pick up a few more. Terrific dialogue; although the vernacular is hard to embrace this side of the pond, once you're in the groove it zips you along at pace. Some very funny scenes, one of which was incomprehensibly left out by Tarantino when he made Jackie Brown.
Sep 19, 2014 Jon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I decided to read this one, since it offered the continued adventures of the two hapless kidnappers from Switch, which I read a few weeks ago. Written more than a decade later, and much, much darker, it fascinated me for a while. The cast of bad guys and semi-bad guys is fairly large and the double-crossing starts almost from the beginning. At first this was complicated and entertaining, but eventually, as the con-men and -women were killed off one by one, I began to think, "Gosh, just getting a ...more
Mar 28, 2016 Tanner rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
While reading it I could not have cared less about what happened in the novel, nor its characters. My professor actually claimed his classes enjoyed this novel the most of the set. Also we were told Leonard's prose is very spare. Which is true...but not a good thing in this case. Leonard gets by woth very little descriptive effort. And this comes from someone who enjoys Hemingway. For me, there wasn't much to his writing. For at least the first few chapters, I had no concept of what the characte ...more
Daniel Sloyan
Aug 19, 2014 Daniel Sloyan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really like Jackie Brown, so I was curious to read the source material, the main differences are that it takes place in Miami and not LA, and Jackie Brown here is white, there's also more of a role for the Fargas (michael bowen) character in the book, it's almost as big as Ray Nicollete, and Ray is much younger in the book, also Max and Jackie end up sleeping together in the book, the book also goes into a bit more detail involving Ordell's illegal activities and connections, while Quentin bas ...more
Debby Allen
Jul 03, 2013 Debby Allen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jackie Brown. Some changes made for the movie, understandable to make it fit 2 hours and make sense. Still, the best parts are in both, and both have the same energy/vibe. Will be reading some of his westerns next. Looking forward to it.
I read this as a book club choice - only kept on reading because of this.
I'm so not the target audience for this sort of book
It's probably good, if you are, though
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • A Swell-Looking Babe
  • King Suckerman
  • Miami Blues
  • The Last Good Kiss (C.W. Sughrue, #1)
  • Hollywood Nocturnes
  • Cassidy's Girl
Elmore John Leonard lived in Dallas, Oklahoma City and Memphis before settling in Detroit in 1935. After serving in the navy, he studied English literature at the University of Detroit where he entered a short story competition. His earliest published novels in the 1950s were westerns, but Leonard went on to specialize in crime fiction and suspense thrillers, many of which have been adapted into m ...more
More about Elmore Leonard...

Other Books in the Series

Ordell Robbie & Louis Gara (2 books)
  • The Switch

Share This Book

“He sat in the living room in the dark, an expert at waiting, a nineteen-year veteran of it, waiting for people who failed to appear, missed court dates because they forgot or didn't care, and took off. Nineteen years of losers, repeat offenders in and out of the system. Another one, that's all Louis was, slipping back into the life.” 2 likes
“That goddamn Louis, you see what he done? Put his cigarette butt in here. I’m gonna punch him right in his smokin’ mouth.” Max turned back to the form, glades mutual casualty printed across the top. He said, “I know how you feel. But when you hit an ex-con who’s done three falls, they say you better kill him.” 0 likes
More quotes…