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Freaky Deaky

3.71  ·  Rating Details ·  3,815 Ratings  ·  184 Reviews
“Wonderfully wicked…a nonstop, pedal-to-the-metal romp.”
Chicago Tribune

Over-the-hill former counter-culture SDS revolutionaries decide to turn bomb-making—and detonating—from a political statement to a profitable enterprise in the master Elmore Leonard’s electrifying and explosively funny thriller Freaky Deaky. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch calls Leonard, “the world’s grea
Paperback, 448 pages
Published October 1st 2002 by HarperTorch (first published 1988)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Dan Schwent
Mar 01, 2015 Dan Schwent rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
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
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
Mar 13, 2016 Darwin8u rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
“It doesn't have to make sense, it just has to sound like it does.”
― Elmore Leonard, Freaky Deaky

"I don't see how you endure those people, and endure group effort, and endure conferences and stupid revision requests and kindred bullshit. Please write the Hollywood book and kill them off in ugly ways."
-- John D. MacDonald in a letter to Elmore Leonard in 1986


A fun, but messy, Elmore Leonard Detroit novel. While technically set in Detroit it has the feel of a California/Hollywood novel. I'm not
Oct 06, 2013 Still rated it really liked it  ·  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
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
Jan 30, 2010 David rated it it was amazing
Shelves: noirboiled
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
Dec 04, 2008 Catten rated it really liked it
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
Dec 04, 2015 Tony rated it really liked it
FREAKY DEAKY. (1987). Elmore Leonard. ***1/2.
With the exception of a flawed ending, this is another great crime novel from ‘Dutch’ Leonard. We are immediately brought into the world of Mark and Woody, two enormously wealthy men, and Skip and Robin, two aging ex-radicals who plan on extracting a significant amount of money from the brothers by any workable means. The chosen methods mostly involve bombs – a well-known device used in the 1960s and formerly used by these two. We also meet two major
Oct 27, 2013 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, midwest
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.
Nov 25, 2013 Abigail rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime
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
Frank Ryan
Sep 10, 2013 Frank Ryan rated it it was amazing
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
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
Sep 15, 2014 Colin rated it liked it
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
Mar 20, 2015 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
David B
Mar 01, 2014 David B rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Rex Fuller
Aug 30, 2013 Rex Fuller rated it really liked it
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 ...more
David Bonesteel
Jun 07, 2013 David Bonesteel rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Nov 06, 2013 Andrew rated it really liked it
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, ...more
Barry Brierley
Aug 03, 2012 Barry Brierley rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 15, 2010 Godzilla rated it liked it
Shelves: crime, 2010
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.
Jan 20, 2010 Pa rated it liked it
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
Nov 30, 2016 Jay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Another in the Leonard oeuvre, and it seems a little familiar. Start with a rich mark. Check. Add not one but two groups of bad guys that you know will compete on getting the drop on the mark. Check. Add the cops, but with the ongoing concern that they will become bad guy group number 3 in the story. Check. Set in Detroit. Stir.

As is normal, this is an enjoyable story, worrying who is going to take the rich guy’s money. There’s a murder in the beginning, but that part of the story disappears in
Dec 05, 2016 Rob rated it liked it
Everyone raves about Leonard. I thought I would read a few. This was funny, and had great pace. If the dialog was supernaturally good, then it was so good I didn't notice. All and alll it was fun but not not earth shattering.
Jan 18, 2015 R.a. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

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
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
Newton Nitro
Apr 12, 2015 Newton Nitro rated it really liked it
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
Dec 19, 2014 wally rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: leonard
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
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 ...more
Jan 12, 2016 Jared rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2015
SPOILERS-Somewhat anyway...

Everyone is trying to kill this guy, who at fist is painted as a womanizing rapist low-life, so you don't really feel sorry for him; and then later depicted as a helpless drunkard, so now you have conflicting feelings of pity for the guy and so does the rapist victim in the end, who is not sure now whether she was actually raped or not. This part of the story feels somewhat contrived and inconsistent.

It has more redeemable characteristics with some of the details incl
May 26, 2012 Jimbose rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, hard-boiled
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
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freaky deaky 5 25 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 ...more
More about Elmore Leonard...

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“It doesn't have to make sense, it just has to sound like it does.” 49 likes
“You never know what somebody might tell you,' Chris said, 'when they think you're somebody else.” 11 likes
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