Home | Reviews | Blog | Daily | Glossary | Orrin's Stuff | Email

Maximum Bob ()

There are few enough decent television series these days for us to be able to let a good one slip away.  Unfortunately, the TV version of Maximum Bob, starring Beau Bridges, lasted only a few short weeks.  Unfortunate because in this book Elmore Leonard introduces an interesting cast of characters,  Kathy Baker, one of his rare female leads, is okay, but Bob "Maximum Bob" Gibbs, a notoriously lecherous and racist judge prone to harsh sentences, and Leanne, the judge's wife, former mermaid at the Weeki Wachee aqua bar, who--since a close encounter with an alligator--has developed a psychic link with a twelve year old slave girl, are both terrific.

These characters, and a copious serving of lowlifes, combine with Leonard's trademark dialogue to make for a colorful story.  However, the plot just kind of meanders towards a conclusion and the prodigious final body count seems to reflect the author's desire to end the tale rather than any necessary mechanics of the plot.

Television, which is almost totally character and dialogue driven, and where lack of a coherent plot is to be expected, was an ideal medium for this collection of oddballs.  Alas, the show disappeared quickly and though several folks in this intermittently amusing novel are memorable, it doesn't rank among Elmore Leonard's best efforts.


Grade: (B-)


See also:

Elmore Leonard (3 books reviewed)
Elmore Leonard Links:

    -WIKIPEDIA: Elmore Leonard
    -AUTHOR SITE: Elmore Leonard
    -FILMOGRAPHY: Elmore Leonard (IMDB)
    -AUTHOR PAGE: Elmore Leonard (Harper Collins)
    -BOOK SITE: Elmore Leonard: Westerns: Last Stand at Saber River | Hombre | Valdez Is Coming | Forty Lashes Less One | eight short stories More, Edited by Terrence Rafferty (Library of America)
    -ENTRY: Elmore Leonard (Oklahoma Historical Society)
    -ENTRY: Elmore Leonard American author (Encyclopaedia Britannica)
    -ENTRY: Elmore Leonard, Jr. (Encyclopedia of LA)
    -ENTRY: Elmore Leonard (Thrilling Detective)
    -ENTRY: Leonard, Elmore (
    -FEATURED AUTHOR: Elmore Leonard (NY Times Book Review)
    -VIDEO INTERVIEW: Elmore Leonard: The late author talks about his book Be Cool. Charlie Rose, 1999)
-TRIBUTE: My hero: Elmore Leonard: Leonard's many crime novels will find a lasting place in history because he knew how to make words sing (Philip Hensher, 23 Aug 2013, The Guardian)
    -TRIBUTE: David Simon pays tribute to Elmore Leonard (1925-2013) (David Simon, 24 Aug 2013, The Guardian)
    -OBIT: Elmore Leonard remembered by Peter Leonard (Peter Leonard, 13 Dec 2013, The Guardian)
    -OBIT: Elmore Leonard, American Author, Dead at 87 (Max Read, 08/20/13, Gawker)
    -TRIBUTE: Mr. Paradise (Jonathan Segura, August 22, 2013, Paris Review)
    -OBIT: Elmore Leonard obituary (Nick Kimberley, 20 Aug 2013, The Guardian)
    -OBIT: Acclaimed writer of distinctly tough crime novels who gained recognition late in life (Irish Times, Aug 24, 2013)
    -OBIT: Elmore Leonard, writer of sharp, colorful crime stories, dead at 87 (Todd Leopold and Joe Sterling, August 21, 2013, CNN)
    -OBIT: Elmore Leonard dies at 87; master of the hard-boiled crime novel (Dennis McLellan, Aug. 20, 2013, LA Times)
    -OBIT: Obituary: Elmore Leonard (BBC, 20 August 2013)
    -SHORT STORY: Three-Ten to Yuma
    -EXCERPT: First Chapter of Hombre
    -EXCERPTS: Elmore’s Opening Lines (Elmore Leonard, From All of the ’Em-1953-’05)
    -SHORT STORY: Ice Man (Elmore Leonard, Jun. 13th, 2012, The Atlantic)
    -PROFILE: Elmore Leonard Under the Boardwalk (J. Anthony Lukas, December 1984, GQ)
    -PROFILE: St. Elmore’s Fire (Mike Lupica, April 1987, Esquire)
    -INTERVIEW: The Writing Life with Elmore Leonard (Martin Amis, FEB. 1, 1998, LA Times)
Mr. Leonard has been compared to Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler and Ross MacDonald but disclaims any literary kinship. 'There's no similarity in style or subject matter,' he says. 'I was more influenced by Hemingway, Steinbeck, John O'Hara and James Cain.'

Of course, readers who have been following his recent books know it didn't happen overnight for this 58- year-old writer. Still, after making a living by his pen and wits for some three decades, Mr. Leonard says it's a nice feeling to be 'discovered.' 'Writing Novels, Not Mysteries'

'I think that I'm really writing novels, not mysteries, but I don't want to sound pretentious,' Mr. Leonard said. 'I do like to read that I write clean prose and that my stuff is considered economical. Maybe I'm economical because I don't have that much to say.' He paused. 'I'd love to have a real brilliant idea for my next book.'

    -INTERVIEW: Elmore Leonard interview: 'I'm glad that I'm not a screenwriter. It would be so frustrating': On Tuesday 9 May 2006, to celebrate the release of his complete collection of Western stories, Elmore Leonard, one of the world’s most acclaimed and influential writers, was welcomed to the NFT to discuss his extraordinary career. (Adrian Wootton, 17 May 2017, BFI)
    -PROFILE: For Elmore Leonard, Crime Pays: After 30 years of near-obscurity, the prolific author is enjoying success at the typewriter and in Hollywood (DIANE SHAH, 2/28/1985, Rolling Stone)
    -VIDEO INTERVIEW: Elmore Leonard with S. J. Rozan: Crime Fiction (92nd ST Y, Aug 21, 2013)
    -PROFILE: Elmore Leonard: the great American novelist: Leonard is regarded as the greatest American crime writer, surpassing even Raymond Chandler. But it is time to drop the qualification of genre (Philip Hensher, 27 Jan 2012, The Guardian)
    -PROFILE: The Hit Man: A Profile of Elmore Leonard (Jonathan Segura, Nov 12, 2010, Publishers Weekly)
    -PROFILE: The Crime Writer's Just Deserts : Elmore Leonard's Rave Reviews, Best Seller, Big Bucks (MIRIAM BERKLEY. Feb. 18, 1987, LA Times)
    -INTERVIEW: Elmore Leonard’s Secret: “Clean Living, and a Fast Outfield”: Jon Wiener interviews Elmore Leonard (Jon Wiener, AUGUST 20, 2013, LA Review of Books)
    -INTERVIEW: Elmore Leonard on 'Raylan' and 'Justified' : Elmore Leonard discusses the moral ambiguity of his protagonist, the struggle to make good guys as interesting as villains, and his thoughts on 'Justified,' the TV series based on his work (Erik Spanberg, 1/18/12, CS Monitor)
-ESSAY: Literary Battle: Elmore Leonard Versus Bruce Wagner (Chris Beck, 4/21/22, Splice Today)
    -ESSAY: The Elmore Leonard Starter Kit (Alex Belth, October 6, 2015, The Concourse)
    -ESSAY: ELMORE LEONARD'S GRITTY WESTERNS: Before Crime, Elmore Leonard Mastered the Western (NATHAN WARD, 5/16/18, Crime Reads)
    -REVIEW ESSAY: The Humane Vision of Elmore Leonard Westerns: Last Stand at Saber River, Hombre, Valdez is Coming, Forty Lashes Less One, by Elmore Leonard (Will Hoyt, 7/22/18, University Bookman)
    -ESSAY: HOW I HELPED ELMORE LEONARD RESEARCH GET SHORTY: Gregg Sutter Introduces an Excerpt from Leonard's Hollywood Novel (GREGG SUTTER, 8/30/16, Crime Reads)
    -ESSAY: CELEBRATING ELMORE LEONARD'S "RULES FOR WRITING": The master craftsman gave us more than just the 10 rules—and they're all good ones (DWYER MURPHY, 10/11/19, Crime Reads)
    -ESSAY: THE UNDERAPPRECIATED GENIUS OF 'JUSTIFIED': Crime, Family, and Land in Harlan County (LISA LEVY, 2/08/19, Crime Reads)
    -REVIEW ESSAY: The Elmore Leonard Story (Joan Acocella, SEPTEMBER 24, 2015, NY Review of Books)
    -INTERVIEW: Terrence Rafferty: Elmore Leonard’s West is “an idea of the West” (Library of America, June 8, 2018)
    -ESSAY: The Man with Five Names: Hombre on Race and the Cinematic Western (Korine Powers, 10 February 2020, Critical Essays on Elmore Leonard: If it Sounds Like Writing)
    -ESSAY: 10 Essential Elmore Leonard Novels: A Eulogy (RYAN PEVERLY AUGUST 23, 2013, Lit Reactor)
    -TRIBUTE: Elmore Leonard, Cowboy: The legendary crime novelist started out as an entirely different kind of writer. (Steven Malanga, August 21, 2013, City Journal)
    -ESSAY: Don Winslow: The Time I Almost Made A Movie With Elmore Leonard (Don Winslow, April 6, 2020, Deadline)
    -ESSAY: Get Shorty at 30: Dennis Lehane on Elmore Leonard's Hollywood satire: The Dickens of Detroit wrote a string of classic thrillers, but this is the greatest of them all: a gimlet-eyed take on the movie business (Dennis Lehane, 26 Mar 2020, The Guardian)
    -ESSAY: HOW ELMORE LEONARD REALLY WROTE HIS NOVELS—ACCORDING TO HIS CHARACTERS: "So he names us and he says okay start talking." (DWYER MURPHY, 10/09/20, Crime Reads)
    -ESSAY: The Elmore Leonard Paradox (Christopher Orr, Dec. 22nd, 2013, The Atlantic)
    -ESSAY: Elmore Leonard's split image (Charles J. Rzepka, 2013-10-11, Johns Hopkins University Press)
-ARCHIVES: Elmore Leonard (The Guardian)
    -VIDEO ARCHIVES: Elmore Leonard (You Tube)
    -ARCHIVES: Elmore Leonard (Crime Reads)
    -REVIEW ARCHIVE: Elmore Leonard (Publishers Weekly)
    -REVIEW ARCHIVE: Elmore Leonard (Kirkus)
    -REVIEW: of Hombre by Elmore Leonard (Patrick T Reardon)
    -REVIEW: of Hombre (Michael Carlson, Irresistible Targets)
    -REVIEW: of Hombre (Ron Scheer, Buddies in the Saddle)
    -REVIEW: of Hombre (Evan Lewis, Davy Crockett's Almanack)
    -REVIEW: of Hombre (Randy Johnson, Not the Baseball Pitcher))
    -REVIEW: of Hombre (Olman's Fifty)
    -REVIEW: of Hombre (Jeff Arnold's West)
    -REVIEW: of Hombre (Joshua Glenn, HiLoBrow)
    -REVIEW: of Hombre (Shared Universe Reviews)
    -REVIEW: of Hombre (John Rabe, Off-Ramp)
    -REVIEW: of Hombre (Gary Dobbs, Tainted Archive)
    -REVIEW: of Elmore Leonard: Westerns (Erik Spanberg, CS Monitor)
    -REVIEW: of Elmore Leonard: Westerns (Will Hoyt, University Bookman)
The part of the Christian schema that appears to have intrigued Leonard most strongly, starting in 1959, is the doctrinally sound but often unexplored claim that Christ is a new Adam who, thanks to utter reliance on God the Father, lives without fear of death and consequently never lies. What would it be like, Leonard appears to be asking, to live like that? The explicitly Catholic aspect to Leonard’s developing anthropology reaches formal maturity in Touch, the novel about a stigmata-bearing healer that Leonard wrote after quitting alcohol in 1978, but the overall shape of the anthropology is already visible in this new Library of America collection of Westerns. “Ecce homo,” Leonard appears to be saying (in counterpoint to Nietzche!) when (in 1961) he names his novel about outcast John Russell Hombre. Russell, already an outcast because he is the child of an Apache father and a Caucasian mother, is strange for multiple reasons. He is fearless, for one thing. He plays, always, for mortal stakes, and he will not, under any circumstance, allow himself to be unjustly put down or used. At the same time, however, if Russell sees someone else suffering an injustice his default position is to not step in to right things in the wronged individual’s favor, because that would amount to robbing him or her of the chance to fight one’s own battle and so come into one’s own, as a person. If, on the other hand, an individual first shows mettle and then is attacked, Russell will (and does) lay down his own life to ensure that person’s continued freedom. Sounds a little like Socrates and perhaps another figure whose name I can’t quite remember.

    -REVIEW: of Elmore Leonard: Westerns (Lance Weller, NY Journal of Books)
    -REVIEW: of Elmore Leonard: Westerns (Allen Barra, Dallas Morning News)
    -REVIEW: of Elmore Leonard- Four Later Novels: Get Shorty, Rum Punch, Out of Sight, and Tishomingo Blue (The Book Review)
    -REVIEW: of Tishomingo Blues by Elmore Leonard (Anthony Rainone, January Magazine)
    -REVIEW: of Pagan Babies by Elmore Leonard (Frederick Zackel, January Magazine)
    -REVIEW: of La Brava by Elmore Leonard (Joshua Glenn, HiLoBrow)
    -REVIEW: of Glitz by Elmore Leonard (Stephen King, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW: of The Big Bounce by Elmore Leonard (Joshua Glenn, HiLoBrow)
    -REVIEW: of
-REVIEW: of Charlie Martz and Other Stories by Elmore Leonard (LLOYD SACHS, Chicago Tribune)
    -REVIEW: of
-REVIEW: of Raylan by Elmore Leonard (Mystery Tribune)
    -REVIEW: of Raylan (Kirkus)
    -REVIEW: of
-REVIEW: of Being Cool: The Work of Elmore Leonard by Charles J. Rzepka (Anna Kirsch, International Crime Fiction Association)


    -FILMOGRAPHY: Elmore Leonard (IMDB)
    -FILMOGRAPHY: Hombre (Rotten Tomatoes)
    -FILMOGRAPHY: Hombre (Metacritic)
-ENTRY: Hombre film by Ritt [1967] (Lee Pfeiffer, Encyclopaedia Britannica)
    -WIKIPEDIA: Hombre (film)
    -FILMOGRAPHY: Martin Ritt (IMDB)
    -FILMOGRAPHY: Paul Newman (IMDB)
    -PHOTO ESSAY: Elmore Leonard's Career in Pictures: The prolific author, whose novels were adapted for "Out of Sight" and FX's "Justified," died on Aug. 20 due to complications from a stroke. THR takes a look back at the crime writer's film-adapted books and short stories. (Kyleen James 8/20/2013, Hollywood Reporter)
    -ESSAY: From Best To Worst: Elmore Leonard Movie Adaptations (Oliver Lyttelton, May 14, 2013, Indie Wire)
    -ESSAY: 60 Years of Elmore Leonard on Screen (Electric Lit, AUG 10, 2017)
    -ESSAY: WHICH ELMORE LEONARD ADAPTATION SHOULD YOU STREAM THIS WEEKEND?: Look at me...We're going to figure this out. (DWYER MURPHY, 5/26/23, Crime Reads)
-REVIEW ESSAY: In ‘Hombre’ and ‘Kid Blue,’ the Antiheroes Wear Stetsons and Ride Tall on a Rebellion Frontier (J. Hoberman|Aug. 21st, 2015, NY Times)
    -REVIEW ESSAY: Elmore Leonard: An Appreciation (Howard Shrier, October 8, 2013, Critics at Large)
    -ESSAY: The Wild Westerns of Elmore Leonard: The late, great crime fiction author also made his mark in the western genre. (JOE LEYDON, APRIL 25, 2020, cOWBOYS & iNDIANS)
    -REVIEW ESSAY: 3:10 to Yuma: Curious Distances (Kent Jones, MAY 14, 2013, Criterion)
    -FILM REVIEW: Hombre (Roger Ebert)
    -FILM REVIEW: Hombre (Bosley Crowther, NY Times)
    -FILM REVIEW: Hombre (Dennis Schwartz)
    -FILM REVIEW: Hombre (Larsen on Film)
    -FILM REVIEW: Hombre (Jeff Arnold's West)
    -FILM REVIEW: Hombre (Jake Hinkson, Criminal Element)
    -FILM REVIEW: Hombre (It Rains...You Get Wet)
    -FILM REVIEW: Hombre (Native American)
    -FILM REVIEW: Hombre (Time Out)
    -FILM REVIEW: Hombre (Ruthless Reviews)
    -FILM REVIEW: Hombre (Radio Times)
    -FILM REVIEW: Hombre (Bob Reynolds, Arizona Daily Sun)
    -FILM REVIEW: Hombre (Mark Harris, Film Comment)
    -FILM REVIEW: Hombre (Crosby Day, Orlando Sentinel)
    -REVIEW ESSAY: THE RELATIONSHIPS WERE WHAT MADE 'JUSTIFIED' TRULY SPECIAL—THEY'RE WHY WE'RE STILL WATCHING TODAY: Over six seasons, 'Justified' explored the complex, twisted roots of Elmore Leonard's distinct vision of Harlan County. (KEITH ROYSDON, 4/02/21, Crime Reads)

Book-related and General Links:
    -Elmore Leonard Home (Random House)
    -FEATURED AUTHOR : Elmore Leonard (NY Times Book Review)
    -ESSAY : Easy on the Hopptedoodle (Elmore Leonard, NY Times)
    -REVIEW : of LINES AND SHADOWS By Joseph Wambaugh (Elmore Leonard, NY Times Book Review)
    -INTERVIEW: Elmore Leonard Cools Off (
    -INTERVIEW : Novels Are Nice, but Oh, to Be a Rock Star (1999, Fletcher Roberts, NY Times)
    -William Morrow: Elmore Leonard
    -Maximum Dutch: Unofficial Elmore Leonard Web Site
    -Dutch Treat: An Elmore Leonard Tribute
    -Home Arts: Elmore Leonard
    -Books Unbound Profile
    -Getting Elmore (metroActive Books)
    -ESSAY: ELMORE LEONARD'S ROGUES' GALLERY  (Ben Yagoda, NY Times Book Review)
    -ARCHIVES : "Elmore Leonard" (booksonline uk)
    -REVIEW : of Maximum Bob by Elmore Leonard (Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, NY Times)
    -REVIEW : of MAXIMUM BOB By Elmore Leonard (Barry Gifford, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW: of Maximum Bob Novelist Elmore Leonard gives us maximum laughs, minimal effort (Liz Doup for The Miami Herald)
    -REVIEW : of Swag (Ryan's Rules) by Elmore Leonard (Newgate Callendar, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW : of STICK. By Elmore Leonard (Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, NY Times)
    -REVIEW : of STICK. By Elmore Leonard (George Stade, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW : of Get Shorty By Elmore Leonard  (CHRISTOPHER LEHMANN-HAUPT, NY Times)
    -REVIEW : of GET SHORTY By Elmore Leonard (Nora Ephron, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW : of BE COOL By Elmore Leonard  (Kinky Friedman, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW : of RUM PUNCH By Elmore Leonard (Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, NY Times)
    -REVIEW : of RUM PUNCH By Elmore Leonard (Ann Arensberg, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW : of Pagan Babies by Elmore Leonard (Frederick Zackel, January Magazine)
    -REVIEW : of Cuba Libre by Elmore  Leonard (Grey Gowrie, booksonline uk)

    -EPISODE GUIDE : Maximum Bob (Scott Klobas, epguides)
    -INFO : Maximum Bob (1998)(imdb)

    -FILMOGRAPHY : Elmore Leonard (Imdb)
    -INFO : Jackie Brown (1997) (novel Rum Punch) (imdb)
    -INFO : Get Shorty (1995) (imdb)
    -INFO : 52 Pick-Up (1986) (imdb)
    -INFO : Hombre (1967) (imdb)
    -From Hombre to Jackie Brown: at the movies with Elmore Leonard (Pure Fiction)

    -P.I.s, Dicks, and Mystery Men (Jesse Sublett, Weekly Wire)
    -REVIEW: Luc Sante: The Gentrification of Crime, NY Review of Books