Maximum Bob

Maximum Bob

by Elmore Leonard

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“Hilarious….Strange and risky….A right-on, pitch perfect novel, with wide social scope, comic genius, page-burning storytelling magic, and juicy characters who wrench your heart and gut.” —Washington Post Book World


A character so outrageous he could only have come from the ingenious imagination of Elmore Leonard, lewd, lecherous, law-bending Florida jurist Judge Robert “Maximum Bob” Gibbs has been judged guilty by a grudge-bearing malefactor and sentenced to death—by alligator, if necessary. Maximum Bob is a delightfully dark classic thriller from “the greatest crime writer of our time, perhaps ever” (New York Times Book Review), and any reader who loved getting gleefully lost in criminal mayhem of Get Shorty, Rum Punch, Out of Sight, The Hot Kid, or any number of the inimitable Leonard’s numerous crime fiction masterworks will get maximum enjoyment out of this one.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061834028
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/17/2009
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 158,186
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Elmore Leonard wrote more than forty books during his long career, including the bestsellers Raylan, Tishomingo Blues, Be Cool, Get Shorty, and Rum Punch, as well as the acclaimed collection When the Women Come Out to Dance, which was a New York Times Notable Book. Many of his books have been made into movies, including Get Shorty and Out of Sight. The short story "Fire in the Hole," and three books, including Raylan, were the basis for the FX hit show Justified. Leonard received the Lifetime Achievement Award from PEN USA and the Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America. He died in 2013.


Bloomfield Village, Michigan

Date of Birth:

October 11, 1925

Place of Birth:

New Orleans, Louisiana


B.Ph., University of Detroit, 1950

Read an Excerpt

Maximum Bob

Chapter One

Dale Crowe junior told Kathy Baker, his probation officer, he didn't see where he had done anything wrong. He had gone to the go-go bar to meet a buddy of his, had one beer, that's all, while he was waiting, minding his own business and this go-go whore came up to his table and started giving him a private dance he never asked for.

"They move your knees apart to get in close," Dale Crowe said, "so they can put it right in your face. This one's name was Earlene. I told her I wasn't interested, she kept right on doing it, so I got up and left. The go-go whore starts yelling I owe her five bucks and this bouncer come running over. I give him a shove was all, go outside and there's a green-and-white parked by the front door waiting. The bouncer, he tries to get tough then, showing off, so I give him one, popped him good thinking the deputies would see he's the one started it. Shit, they cuff me, throw me in the squad car, won't even hear my side of it. Next thing, they punch me up on this little computer they have? The one deputy goes, 'Oh, well look it here. He's on probation. Hit a police officer.' Well, then they're just waiting for me to give 'em a hard time. And you don't think I wasn't set up?"

This morning Dale Crowe junior was back in the Criminal Division of Palm Beach County Circuit Court. In a holding cell crowded with offenders wearing state-blue uniforms that were like hospital scrubs. Blue shapes standing around in the semidark. Kathy Baker recognized some of them. They'd step into the light to say hi through the wall of bars. Mostly black guys in there, they'd ask how she was doing. Kathy would shrug. Same old business,hanging out in bad company. She told Dale Crowe, holding open his case file, he must be in a hurry to do time. Two days out of jail he was back in.

"I haven't even had a chance to fill out your post sentence sheet, you're in violation."

"'Cause I went to a go-go joint? Nobody said I couldn't."

"When were you around to tell you anything? You were suppose to report to the Probation Office, Omar Road."

"They said I had seventy-two hours. I been going out to the sugar house, seeing how to get my job back." Dale turned his head to one side in the noise of voices and said, "Hey, we're trying to talk here."

The blue shapes in the dark paid no attention to him. Kathy moved closer to the bars. She could smell Dale now.

"The police report says you were drinking."

"One beer, that's all. I urine-tested clean."

"But you're underage. You broke the law and that violates your probation."

Dale Crowe junior was twenty, a tall, bony-looking kid in his dark-blue scrubs. Dark hair uncombed, dumb eyes wandering, worried, but trying to look bored. Dale was from a family of offenders in and out of the system. His uncle, Elvin Crowe, had this week completed his prison time on a split sentence and was beginning his probation.

Kathy Diaz Baker was twenty-seven, a slim five-five in her off-white cotton shirtdress cinched with a belt. No makeup this morning, her dark hair permed and cut short in back, easy to manage. She spoke with a slight Hispanic accent, the Diaz part of her, that was comfortable, natural, though she could speak without a trace of it if she wanted. The Baker part of her was from a marriage that lasted fourteen months. She had met all kinds of Dale Crowes in her two years with the Florida Department of Corrections and knew what they could become. His uncle, Elvin Crowe, had recently been added to her caseload.

"I can go to jail but I can't have a beer?"

"Listen, I spoke to your lawyer -- "

"You don't think I stop and have a few after work, driving a cane truck all day? I never get carded either, have to show any proof."

"You through?" Kathy watched him take the bars in his hands and try to shake them. "I had a talk with your lawyer."

"Little squirt, right? He's a public defender."

"Listen to me. He's going to plead you straight up, but try to make it sound like a minor violation. It's okay with the state attorney. She'll leave it up to the judge, as long as you plead guilty."

"Hey, shit, I didn't do nothing."

"Just listen for a minute, okay? You plead not guilty and ask for a trial, the judge won't like it. They'll find you guilty anyway and then he'll let you have it for wasting the court's time. You understand? You plead guilty and act like you're sorry, be polite. The judge might give you a break."

"Let me off?"

"He'll ask for recommendations. The state attorney will probably want you to do a little time."

"'Cause I had a beer?"

"Maybe ask you to do some work release, out of the Stockade. Try to be cool, okay? Let me finish. Your lawyer will recommend reinstating your probation, say what a hardworking guy you are. He won't mention you got fired unless it comes up, but don't lie, okay? This judge," Kathy said, "I might as well tell you, is very weird. You never know for sure what he's going to do. Except if you act smart and he doesn't think you're sorry, kiss your mom and dad good-bye, you're gone."

"What one have I got?"

"Judge Gibbs."

Maximum Bob. Copyright © by Elmore Leonard. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Maximum Bob 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
mmtz on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is Elmore Leonard at his best. Judge Maximum Bob Gibbs hands down tough sentences once too often and some of his customers would like a little revenge. Meanwhile, he has his eye on probation officer Kathy Baker, who wants to know where the Judge¿a wife has gone and who put the alligator in his back yard.The novel was spun into a summer replacement televison series several years ago. starring Beau Bridges. I don¿t think the series did justice to Leonard¿s characters, but it was still better than most shows.Published in paperback by Dell.
hugh_ashton on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In my opinion, this is EL's finest. The mixture of cool cop, low-lifes, cracker judges and alligators makes me want to stay the hell out of Florida. The punch-in-the-gut ending makes for a memorable book, too.
asomers on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Quirky, offbeat mystery by the author of Get Shorty.
thegreattimsbooklist on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Holy crap. Literally. I won't bother giving a synopsis, since you can read one in the review below, but... Wow. I think this is the worst book I ever read. I don't normally feel compelled to trash a book, but this was just rough. The characters were clichéd and one dimensional. The plot was weak and a hodge-podge of genre staples. I guess what I'm trying to say is: please read something else by Elmore Leonard if you are going to read one of his books. I'm sure he has better. I have not read any myself (thanks to this book, I can't) but this prolific of an author must have something of more substance than Maximum Bob.
chenoatoney on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
At first I thought, maybe no so cool of a book, but come the middle through the end I was definitely sucked in.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like the author, but this short book was predictable and boring
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is interesting and funny at the same time.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
this is soooo cool
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was the biggest waste of time I have ever spent reading a book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A den lined with moss, you have privacy.