The more things change, the more they stay the same . . . This is not a comment about Donald E. Westlake’s chilling novel from 1997, the work under consideration today. Instead, it is a comment about the subject matter he tackled in that particular volume and its relationship to today. The Ax is a […]Read more "Considering Westlake: The Ax"
Trista and I have always had a lot of fun going to the movies together. Whether we were writing for our Alamo Cinema Massacre column or not, we would often hit the cinema at least once a week, sometimes more. When she had to endure bed rest for the last several months of pregnancy, it […]Read more "Movie Mondays: Rawhead Rex"
The adventures of John Archibald Dortmunder (the beleaguered and bewildered crook who hates his middle name and ends up in the oddest escapades) have taken some strange turns (starting in the first volume of the series, in fact). The Hot Rock might have been slender in terms of page count, but it was no less […]Read more "Considering Westlake: What’s The Worst That Could Happen?"
Synopsis: As a child, Danny Torrance (Roger Dale Floyd) survived a hellish experience at a haunted Overlook Hotel in the mountains near Boulder, Colorado. Though he and his mother Wendy (Alex Essoe) managed to escape, the hotel’s ghastly occupants would not leave him alone. They followed him wherever he went, even all the way to […]Read more "Movie Mondays: Doctor Sleep"
I never would have expected Donald E. Westlake to tackle a Universal Monster movie for one of his comic crime capers. Sure, he made mention here and there about Dracula, Frankenstein, etc., often using old horror movies as a method of comparison for some of his characters or their behaviors. However, with Smoke he tackles […]Read more "Considering Westlake: Smoke"
Synopsis: The tide delivers castaway Jenn (Kiersey Clemons) and her dying friend Brad (Benedict Samuel) onto the tropical island like a miracle. However, not all miracles are the godsends they seem to be. Jenn soon discovers that she is alone in the wilds, forced to survive in ways she never had to before. Exploration of […]Read more "Movie Mondays: Sweetheart"
For whatever reason, Donald E. Westlake stopped his publication of multiple books per year for a while starting around 1990. Where previous years had seen two, three or, in some more prolific times, as many as six or seven volumes finding their way into print (often employing numerous pseudonyms), he moved away from this model. […]Read more "Considering Westlake: Baby, Would I Lie?"
Synopsis: When Don Koch (Phil “CM Punk” Brooks) decides to kick off a second chance for happiness with his family by renovating a house in the suburbs, he does not expect to find himself facing rotting drywall, weird clogs, slinky lingerie hidden behind wooden paneling, electric outlets that seep some kind of slime, and other […]Read more "Movie Mondays: The Girl on the Third Floor"