Customer Reviews for

The Death and Life of Bobby Z

Average Rating 4.5
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

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(1)

2 Star

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2002

    You Don't Have To Live In Laguna Beach

    If you've had it with heroes who have all the answers; tired of the same old stories with the same old twists and endings; just want to find a book you actually can't wait to get back to... Look no further!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 15, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Good Book

    I am a Don Winslow fan. I have enjoyed all of his books beggining with the Neal Carey series, the "surfer books, and the others.
    He does a good job with character development, integration of humor, and is knowlegable about his topics without being a nerd or policy wank.
    I would compare him favorably to Michael Connelly,Nelson Demille,Vince Flynn and others. He is a bit more gritty and colorful, but has the same type of appeal

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A Top Winslow Novel

    Sure, a major motion picture, but better yet, a good read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Enjoyable Reading

    Tim Keaney is a man who strongly resembles the infamous Bobby Z. The authorites let Tim out of jail to impersonate Bobby Z in a hostage exchange. Then things go wrong and Tim escapes but he has his enemies and Bobby Z's chasing him. It was well written and never dull.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2007

    Clever Murder Mystery!

    I enjoy this writer's style of writing. I find Mr. Winslow's stories fun, entertaining, and all of them are MUST READS! Get your copy now!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2000

    fast and funny

    I would have never picked it up to read, yet I couldn't put it down. My daughter sent it for her brother ( both avid readers). She is 24 and he is 28.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2000

    Read this one for fun!

    This is a great, easy, fun read. The story is quick and read like a movie. The dialogue is written in a funny conversational tone, and I foind myself laughing out loud at times. Furthermore, the lead character, Tim Kearney spends a good deal of time trying to convince the reader that he is a 'three time' loser, and I can assure you that within 50 pages you will think anything but..enjoy, this is a fun one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 26, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    The Death and Life of Bobby Z is the book that started Don Winsl

    The Death and Life of Bobby Z is the book that started Don Winslow on his “drugs in Laguna” series, which isn’t actually a series as much as an attitude and state of mind that led eventually to Savages and its prequel.

    Tim Kearney is a three-time loser who gets fished out of a certain-death trip back to prison by a DEA agent who gives him an offer he can’t refuse: impersonate legendary Laguna Beach dope dealer Bobby Z and let himself get traded to a Mexican drug cartel in exchange for a kidnapped DEA agent. I probably don’t have to mention that things go horribly wrong, and eventually much of both sides of the law in Southern California want Tim dead.

    Bobby Z seems to be the first appearance of what has now become the “Don Winslow voice” – crazy, slangy, attitudinal, and profane. His previous efforts (the Neal Carey mysteries) appear to be much more conventional and comparatively sedate. The characters change names but have become standards in this “series” – the loser hero, the cool-girl goddess, the psychotic killers, the megawealthy dope dealers, the massively bent cops. Here they’re in their prototype form, a little rough around the edges but still entertaining. Serial screwup though he may be, Tim works out as a pretty okay guy to hang with. The dialog (external and internal) is on the mark, the settings filled in enough to picture in the film version. The prose goes down easy and fast.

    As you’d expect for the start of a new adventure, not everything goes together as well as it will down the road. Here the problem is mostly one of plotting, in that too much of it hinges on coincidence or dumb luck. Tim tends to catch all the breaks and the bad guys hardly any, which can get annoying after a while. Also, Winslow hadn’t yet started imbuing his supporting characters with the same level of humanity as his lead; probably the most vivid secondary player is a six-year-old boy.

    Winslow had six novels under his belt when he wrote Bobby Z, but with it he radically changes not only his style but milieu (both in fiction and in fact; he moved from New York to California before he wrote it). That’s a hard trick to pull off in any context, and it seems almost churlish to fault him for bobbling it. I’d give this three and a half if we had half-stars, but we don’t, so I’m rounding down to three in fairness to the later works. If you haven’t read Winslow before, start with Savages or Dawn Patrol and backtrack; if you have, then go for it and see where those other books came from. 

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