QUICK CHANGE by Jay Cronley


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Cronley's sports-oriented farces (Fall Guy, Screwballs) have been marginally musing, but this derivative attempt at crime comedy is just plain feeble. The hero is a guy named Grimm who dresses in a clown suit and robs a bank, assisted by cohorts Phyllis (""great legs"") and numbskull Lackey. But Grimm accidentally shoots the sprinkler system and starts a downpour, so he hustles everyone into the vault, makes hostage demands, and then disappears (by quick-changing himself into being one of the hostages). Despite this getaway, however, the comedy of errors escalates: Lackey is such a nitwit that he can't find the West Side highway; the trio winds up in Harlem at a deadly gambling bar; and when they get to Grimm's apartment, a former crime-colleague ambushes them and grabs $30,000 of the bank loot. So, while incompetent Police Chief Rotzinger mounts a campaign to find them, the bumbling trio takes a wild cab (Grimm's car has been demolished by firemen) and then a bus to the airport. And after more imbroglios they finally land in England, but a stewardess has made off with their cash-filled suitcase; so we last see them once more doing the clown caper on an English bank. Lame and leaden stuff: re-read The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight--or anything by Donald E. Westlake--instead.

Pub Date: June 19th, 1981
ISBN: 0806137738
Publisher: Doubleday