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

The guy who is reading this story is awful

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

A different narrator would've been great. This guy is horrid.


What was one of the most memorable moments of The Death and Life of Bobby Z?

Where Bobby and the Kid take on all of the guys at the split rock.


What didn’t you like about Darrell Larson’s performance?

He was just bad. Poor reading, errors throughout, no emotion. He didn't bring anything to the story, but he took a ton away from it. Never will order a book narrated by him again.


What character would you cut from The Death and Life of Bobby Z?

Darrell Larson.


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- Rashanii "The Man. The Myth. The Icon."

Book Details

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