The Death and Life of Bobby Z

  • by Don Winslow
  • Narrated by Darrell Larson
  • 2 hrs and 59 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

When Tim Kearney draws a license plate across the throat of a Hell's Angel, he's pretty much a dead man. It's his third crime and, according to California law, that gives him "life without the possibility of parole". Killing a Hell's Angel also makes him a dead man on any prison yard in California. That's when the DEA makes Kearney an offer: impersonate the late, legendary dope smuggler Bobby Z so that the agency can trade him to Don Huertero, northern Mexico's drug kingpin, for a captured DEA agent. Tim Kearney bears an uncanny resemblance to Bobby Z, and, with some training, he might be able to pass.Or not. But, really, what choice does he have?
So, he's off to a compound in the middle of a desert that's been designed by Huertero's number-two man to look like the Arabian fort in his favorite movie, Beau Jeste. ("The Santa Fe thing had been done to death.") Kearney's surprised when he meets Bobby Z's old flame, Elizabeth, who was never mentioned in his training, and the son she claims belongs to him. It's a short vacation by the pool before Kearney's on the run from drug lords, bikers, Indians, and cops...and the kid's along for the ride. Some of the pursuers want Bobby Z, and some want the considerably less legendary Tim K. Whether he pulls it off, whether he can keep the kid and the girl and his life, makes for a hilarious, fast-paced, and truly touching novel.

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What the Critics Say

"Winslow juggles black humor, excellent dialog, and numerous plot twists with the ease of an accomplished veteran." (Library Journal)
"Darrell Larson is absolutely terrific....Larson's portrayal of drug world characters is full of sarcasm, wit and clever humor." (AudioFile)
"For all the nasty stuff that Mr. Winslow throws at Bobby/Tim, he maintains the virtue of a comic-book superhero...playing an exciting game of adventure that is good, clean, mindless fun." (The New York Times Book Review)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Abridged Too Far

This was potentially an excellent read. The story is interesting, the author has form. Unfortunately, the book has been abridged so far that it reads like a screenplay and jumps all over the place.
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- Mick

Abridged version does Winslow's work NO justice

Having thoroughly enjoyed several of Don Winslow's other audiobooks, I figured I would give the The Death and Life of Bobby Z a shot. I did realize I was buying and abridged version of the book; what I did not realize is what an injustice the abridgement does to the story. Rather than the detailed and well-spun tales of previous Winslow books I listened to, this one served up little more than chopped up scenes with varying degrees of connectivity.
I was left wishing that Audible has a full version I could purchase, instead. No such luck. I am thankful (and I am certain Winslow would be as well) that this was not my first purchase of one of this author's books because, if it were, I doubt that I would have ever sought out another. To make matters worse, the narration did absolutely nothing to bring any value to the time I invested in listening to this version of The Death and Life of Bobby Z.

My recommendation; do not waste your time, credit, money on an abridged version . . . at least not this particular book. I'll chalk it up to being a lesson learned. That being said, I would not let this abridged version taint my enjoyment of Winslow's other books.

I hope you find this review helpful in making your reading and listening choices easier.
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- Bill Beaulac

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-06-2007
  • Publisher: Random House Audio