The Big Bounce (novel)
|Followed by||Unknown Man No. 89|
The Big Bounce is a crime novel written by Elmore Leonard, who started offering the story to publishers and film producers in the fall of 1966. However, no one would take it. It went unpublished until 1969, when it was adapted into a film version in 1969, directed by Alex March and scripted by Robert Dozier, with actor Ryan O'Neal in the lead role.
However, the first film was a box office and critical disaster, and so the book (which came out shortly after the film was released), went unnoticed until the 1990s, when Leonard gained a new generation of fans thanks to praise from filmmaker Barry Sonnenfeld and a successful film adaptation of Leonard's novel Get Shorty.
In 2004, a second film adaptation was released, which Leonard publicly criticised. The second film, despite a cast of big-name stars like Morgan Freeman, Owen Wilson, Charlie Sheen and Sara Foster, was also a flop, receiving negative reviews from both critics and audiences.
The main reason that neither film version was successful was that the film versions didn't truly capture the essence of Leonard's novel in a way that previously successful film adaptations had in the past. Film critics[who?] also associated a number of other problems with the films' individual failures, including poor screenwriting, insufficient acting, and the filmmakers' complete lack of direction.
As with all Elmore Leonard books, The Big Bounce received harsh criticism from some readers, especially about the book's lack of a sufficient ending. Generally, the book, Leonard's first crime novel, is viewed as one of Leonard's classics.
Jack Ryan returned in the novel Unknown Man No. 89.
The novel, set in the Thumb area of Michigan, tells the story of a young thief named Jack Ryan who gets a new shot at life with the help of a justice of the peace named Mr. Majestyk (Leonard later wrote a novel called Mr. Majestyk, with a title character that is completely unrelated to the character of the same name in The Big Bounce), who hires Jack to work at his beach resort. During this time, Jack gets involved with a psychotic woman named Nancy, a young seductress who got her thrills by smashing windows and breaking the hearts of married men. Nancy is the girlfriend of a millionaire, Ray Ritchie, and also cheating on him with another man, Bob Jr. She plans to have Jack steal a $50,000 payroll from Ray. But when simple housebreaking and burglary give way to the deadly pursuit of a really big score, the stakes suddenly skyrocket. Because violence and double-cross are the name of this game—and it's going to take every ounce of cunning Jack and Nancy possess to survive...each other.
Characters in The Big Bounce
- Jack Ryan – thief
- Mr. Majestyk – justice of the peace and hotel owner
- Nancy – seductress
- Ray Ritchie – millionaire
- "The Big Bounce". elmoreleonard.com. Retrieved April 7, 2013.
- The Big Bounce at Elmore Leonard.com
- The Big Bounce (1969) at the Internet Movie Database
- The Big Bounce (2004) at the Internet Movie Database