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Freaky Deaky

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  3,296 ratings  ·  157 reviews
He used to be on the bomb squad, but it's not until he transfers out that Chris Mankowski really begins juggling with dynamite. Rape and revenge are just the tip of the iceberg in a twisty tale that brings Detroit's denizens to life -- and occasional death -- in all their seedy glory. Electrifying, explosive, and unexpected, this is Elmore Leonard at his suspenseful best.
Paperback, 448 pages
Published October 1st 2002 by HarperTorch (first published 1988)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dan Schwent
Former bomb squad detective Chris Mankowski has trouble fall into his lap in the form of Greta Wyatt, aka Ginger Jones, an actress who has been raped by local millionaire Woody Ricks. But what does that have to do with Skip and Robin, the former hippies blackmailing Ricks, or his driver Donnell?

There are two things (that we'll concern ourselves with in this review) that I'm unable to resist: an Elmore Leonard book I haven't read yet and a bargain. Since this was both of those things, being 1.99
...more
Kemper
Only Elmore Leonard could make damn dirty hippies somewhat entertaining.

Chris Mankowski is a Detroit cop in the late ‘80s who transfers from the bomb squad to sex crimes. His first case is a feisty young actress named Ginger (a/k/a Greta) who was sexually assaulted by alcoholic millionaire Woody Ricks. Chris takes a highly personal interest in Ginger’s case and starts checking out Woody and his brother just as two old associates from their college radical days embark on a scheme to shake down so
...more
Still
Oct 06, 2013 Still rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Both newcomers to Elmore Leonard & long time fans
Recommended to Still by: Purchased when it was originally published
Another excellent read as I continue my Elmore Leonard binge.

If you don't know the plot go over to Amazon for a quick recap.

It basically goes like this:
Pothead demolition expert & his former girlfriend -ex-cons having served time for their late 1960s "radical" activities- pair up to extort a couple of million dollars from a pair of millionaire brothers (both former classmates & fellow activists ...or least one of the brothers was).
Police detective recently transferred from the bomb squad
...more
David
Freaky Deaky begins with three major characters who appear at first in pairs of alternating chapters: Chris Mankowski, a Detroit cop who is leaving the bomb squad for a different assignment; and Robin Abbott and Skip Gibbs, aging hippie radicals scheming to use their anarchic skills in more financially rewarding ways. Elmore Leonard manages these characters with remarkable skill, insinuating them into each other's lives while folding in other characters along the way. While Chris is likable thro ...more
Zuberino
Been a while since my last Elmore Leonard whose much-lamented death a couple of months ago drove me to pick this one up from the bookshelf. Line by line, paragraph by paragraph, Dutch's prose still has no peer. Forget genre writers, even regular writers would kill for a style so vivid, so immediate. Freaky Deaky has that trademark style in spades, not a despised adverb in sight.

Unfortunately, the somewhat thin plot (small-time ex-hippie crooks trying to extort money out of a fat wasted milliona
...more
Catten
Elmore Leonard is so cool.

Maybe you think you haven't heard of him, but I bet you have. Quentin Tarantino directed "Jackie Brown" in 1997 — the film is based on Leonard’s novel Rum Punch. “Out of Sight” (1998) with George Clooney and “Get Shorty” (1995) with John Travolta and Danny DeVito are based on Leonard’s works, as well.

Freaky Deaky is an older Leonard novel, circa 1988. I don’t think the guy has written a single bad book, though, and I just read this one, so I’ll tell you about it and the
...more
Jessica
This one now has a pleasing double-retro flavor, with being set in the '80s as its characters reflect back on the political protests and anarchic violence of the late '60s and '70s. While Leonard's treatment of Greta is definitely no model of current feminist thought about assault victims, the overall story still has plenty of punch.
Simon Wood
Second time reading it - first being some fifteen years ago - and it's still one of my favourite Elmore Leonards.

I remember first reading it in my early twenties and being so struck by how that opening chapter ended. I mean, that's not how heroes are supposed to behave.
And reading it this time what I loved was just how much of a mess it all is.
They're all such fuck ups. Bad plans constantly changing and evolving before devolving and changing again.
Even our hero Chris, with his scoffing attitud
...more
Frank Ryan
Freaky Deaky

Well now – my introduction to the writing of an American legend. First and foremost, I enjoyed the book. Whenever I broke off reading it, I was dying to get back and see what was going to happen next. And with Leonard, you really don’t know what’s going to happen next. Even the characters do stupid things and then change their minds and do the opposite.

It’s funny, but in the best possible way, funny. Not cracking jokes all the time but through a humour that is implicit in the very ch
...more
Abigail
This was my first foray into the work of Elmore Leonard and this book came highly recommended to me. I'm normally not a huge fan of the crime drama but found myself being caught up in this story.

Though the page count is fairly long, Freaky Deaky is actually a pretty quick read, that is the story moves quickly. It did take me a chapter or two to get used to the style.

I also found myself giggling throughout the book. Leonard has a gift of making people human and having things go not quite accord
...more
Paul
It's been awhile since I read Elmore Leonard. In fact, I bet it's been nearly 20 years. Back then, I don't think I was able to appreciate his sense of humor or the quirkiness of his characters. But as I watched movies like "Out of Sight" and "Get Shorty" (and of course "Justified"!), I always wanted to give Leonard another try. I read this one after the recommendation of another fellow Goodreads member. I've been reading so many mysteries that it was odd having the motivation of the characters s ...more
David B
A trio of former 60s radicals, who were always more thrill-seeking opportunists than truly idealistic revolutionaries, orbit an alcoholic millionaire who seems to have only a handful of brain cells remaining. They are all scheming to get their hands on his money. Some of their schemes involve explosives, which leads to the accidental involvement of a former Bomb Squad officer and an aspiring starlet. Once Elmore Leonard gets these characters and their conflicting agendas bouncing off one another ...more
David Bonesteel
A trio of former 60s radicals, who were always more thrill-seeking opportunists than truly idealistic revolutionaries, orbit an alcoholic millionaire who seems to have only a handful of brain cells remaining. They are all scheming to get their hands on his money. Some of their schemes involve explosives, which leads to the accidental involvement of a former Bomb Squad officer and an aspiring starlet. Once Elmore Leonard gets these characters and their conflicting agendas bouncing off one another ...more
Rex Fuller
Elmore Leonard said on occasion this was his favorite of the books he wrote. Although it is right up there near the top of those I have read, it does not quite rank as my favorite (Get Shorty). Still, this is a brilliant book. Diamond cutter dialogue (what else?); subtle character arcs; and laugh out loud humor. The action revolves around setting bombs for fun and profit: Booker hears his girlfiend's voice on the phone, "Are you sitting down?" He said, "I am. I have sat the fuck down. Now you go ...more
Andrew
One of the stronger Leonard books I have read. The typical Leonard elements are all here (double-and-triple-crosses, deadpan cops, criminals of varying degrees of intelligence and competence, a romantic subplot that just barely rises above the level of perfunctory), but what makes this book so enjoyable is the clear thematic through-line. All the characters in "Freaky Deaky" were radicals in the late '60's and early '70's. Now it's the Ronald Reagan era, and they've become burnouts, schemers, an ...more
Barry Brierley
I can't devote the time necessary to review all the Elmore Leonard books I've read in my life, there are far too many - the man is a writing machine - and just about every single one has been terrific, state of the art. The New York Times has said he's "...the greatest living crime writer of our time...perhaps ever", and I think they underpraise him. Freaky Deaky is typical: great fun, fantastically true dialogue, unique characters you'd love to actually meet, and inventive plotting that drives ...more
Christian Brown
freaky Deaky by elmore leonard is an crime fiction novel about an ex-couple who gets out of jail and seeks revenge on the man name woody ricks , a rich kid. also a cop name chris mowkoskie was loooking for the rich kid name woody ricks becuase he raped some one. so after a while the haunt goes on for mr.woody, then the ex-couple named robin and skip found ou the cop name chris was looking for woody too. they were upset so they found the cop chris , kidnapped him found woody, put a bomb on his li ...more
Colin
A fast paced read about a group of characters who are unwillingly connected in their own various schemes of money and power. Everyone has an angle, but who will get their's first? I think we've all seen this type of story before but Leonard seems to keep the intensity high and the reader intrigued with each turn of the page.

None of the characters are great or quality people it seems, but they are memorable and that is another Leonard quality in his work. Most of the characters are leftovers fro
...more
Godzilla
Only my second Elmore Leonard book, but i can already appreciate his characterisation and ability to write dialogue.

An interesting clash of characters emerges here, with some coincidences feeling a little too trite and forced to be believable.

However, suspending such practicalities, the story roars along, and we get a deeper insight into the psychological make up of each character.

An engrossing and enjoyable read.
Pa
Jan 20, 2010 Pa rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those interested in suspense tales and the cultures of the 60's
A decent read about some ex-weathermen and their penchant for explosives. A decent look at the culture of the 60's and how it translates (or not) to contemporary society. Good character development. Actually would give this a 3.5
Little Icelander
Detroit, la città degli MC5 e di Iggy and the Stooges... L'ex cuore industriale degli States, che vede il Canada, appena al di là del fiume, come il luogo dove ci si diverte ora. Dal '68 fino ai primi settanta vi staziona una nutrita zoologia di contestatori dinamitardi, marxisti, maoisti, santoni, hippies, yippies, pantere nere, ogni sorta di rivoluzionario o aspirante tale. Quasi tutti vivono pericolosamente ai margini. Un gruppo di ex-fricchettoni disillusi e furfanteschi anima, a vent'anni d ...more
Tom
Try and put down an Elmore Leonard; once you start, you're intrigued, then excited, and finally obsessed with sprinting for the finish to see how it all plays out. Happens every time I pick up one of his books. This one is full or references to places I know in Detroit as well as concerts, bands, and 60s radicals I am well aware of. Iggy Pop, the MC-5, Goose Lake, the Vietnam War, Abbie Hoffman, the Black Panthers--need I say more? It all comes together in a tight-knit plot with Leonard's usual ...more
wally
i read a pile of leonard stories this past february, 2014 and here it is december...and maybe the reason i didn't write a 'review' at that time is because i'd already written one for the many i'd already read. that totals 45 at the moment...more if you tally the stories in the individual collections.

this one starts:
chris mankowski's last day on the job, two in the afternoon, two hours to go, he got a call to dispose of a bomb.
what happened, a guy by the name of booker, a twenty-five-year-old sup
...more
R.a.

Some reviews excerpted to the opening pages:

“. . . Elmore Leonard may be the best writer of dialogue alive, “ USA Today.

“. . . The dialogue crackles with funny, dead-on street language. The characters jump off the pages with vitality,” New York Daily News.

“. . . he trips from the 60s to the 80s,” Cincinnati Post.

“. . . Leonard’s usual superb pacing, uncanny ear for patois . . . are here in full force,” Kirkus Reviews.

“BEARS THE SPECIAL LEONARD BRAND: Attention to technical detail, the “Voice” of
...more
Newton Nitro
Um Mestre da Literatura de Crime e dos Diálogos que parecem tirados da vida real!

Esse é o meu primeiro livro do Elmore Leonard e fiquei impressionado! Elmore Leonard John Jr. (nascido em 11 de outubro de 1925) é um romancista e roteirista americano. Seus primeiros romances publicados na década de 1950 eram Westerns, mas Leonard passou a especializar-se em crime de ficção e suspense thrillers, muitos dos quais foram adaptados para filmes.

Conheci o Elmore através do Stephen King, que sempre o cit
...more
Jimbose
Ambientato a Detroit in pieni anni '80, sembra una sceneggiatura pronta per Tarantino.

Protagonista è Chris Mankowsky, artificere della polizia che, in piena crisi d'identità professionale, chiede ed ottiene il trasferimento alla sezione crimini sessuali (anche se non gli dispiacerebbe lavorare alla omicidi).
Alcune coincidenze (benedette coincidenze, come faremmo se non ci foste voi?) lo portano a lavorare ad un caso che riguarda sia la omicidi che la crimini sessuali e che ha a che fare con dell
...more
Claudia
This is my first Elmore Leonard book. I know him mostly as the creator of the tv series Justified and you can definitely see the similarities between the likable yet somewhat corrupt cop Mankowski in this book and Justified's Raylan Givens. Same goes for the hapless criminals in the book and the show. Although the plot twists kept me turning the pages, and the dialogue is entertaining as promised, I had a hard time getting past the author's attitude towards women.
Mary Taitt
My first Elmore Leonard. Excellent book, very interesting and engaging. Different. An unemployed police officer investigates a crime reported to him when he worked in sex crimes. In the process, he uncovers and "solves" a murder. The characters are all realistic and believable in spite of being weirdly strange and and sometimes amoral (as well as immoral). I liked the peak into the lives of these people and there was definitely good suspense.
Mark Schlatter
My first Elmore Leonard and probably my last. Being a big fan of Donald Westlake (and especially the Parker novels), I was hoping that I would get a similar vibe from Leonard's work. There are the seemingly shifting allegiances and interesting characters (in this book, a bomb squad cop, a former Black Panther, and two sixties revolutionaries), but nothing gelled for me. The plot was slow to get moving, and then when everything was connected up, too fast to follow the complications.
Adrian Middleton
I have no hesitation in awarding this particular book of his with the full 5 stars. Personally, I enjoyed it from start to finish. I was immediately interested in the lead character, and found the story itself a very interesting one to follow. There were also a number of key moments of dialogue exchange that were absolutely hilarious. I recommend this one to anyone who hasn't yet read it or is interested in giving one of his novels a try.
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freaky deaky 5 24 May 02, 2012 02:04AM  
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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
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“It doesn't have to make sense, it just has to sound like it does.” 40 likes
“You never know what somebody might tell you,' Chris said, 'when they think you're somebody else.” 7 likes
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