The Big Bounce (novel)

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The Big Bounce
The Big Bounce.jpg
First edition
Author Elmore Leonard
Country USA
Language English
Publisher Fawcett Gold Medal
Publication date
Pages 192
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 It went unpublished until 1969, when it was adapted into a film version in 1969, directed by Alex March and scripted by Robert Dozier, with actor Ryan O'Neal in the lead role.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.

In one scene in the novel, the two main characters watch part of a western movie on TV through an outside window. The movie is "The Tall T" which was based on Elmore Leonard's story "The Captives."

Jack Ryan returned in the novel Unknown Man No. 89.

Plot summary[edit]

The novel, set in the Thumb area of Michigan,[1] 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 ($333,700 today) 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[edit]

  • Jack Ryan – thief
  • Mr. Majestyk – justice of the peace and hotel owner
  • Nancy – seductress
  • Ray Ritchie – millionaire


  1. ^ "The Big Bounce". Retrieved April 7, 2013. 

External links[edit]