Ponder the age-old question that has haunted mankind since the invention of currency: How can I make a fortune without ever lifting a finger? Well, it gets an intriguing answer in Westlake’s novel Money For Nothing as well as a dark side. Josh Redmont starts out life as a struggling but basically decent guy. When […]Read more "Considering Westlake: Money For Nothing"
After releasing a couple of novels about prison and the sorts of folks who find their way inside and then out again (Put a Lid On It and Breakout), Donald E. Westlake returned with a standalone novel with an unusual byline history. Here in the states, The Scared Stiff appeared under the name Judson Jack […]Read more "Considering Westlake: The Scared Stiff"
Coming on the heels of Put a Lid On It, Breakout shows a certain train of thought Donald E. Westlake was having extrapolated onto another scenario and with a wildly different character. The opening chapters of the author’s previous political comedy (reviewed last week) shows a down on his luck crook protagonist dealing with life […]Read more "Considering Westlake: Breakout"
Perhaps only crime and humor writer Donald E. Westlake could look at a SNAFU that shook the nation and finally toppled a presidency and come to the conclusion: The problem with Watergate was the quality of the string, or as the protagonist Meehan and his lawyer exchange: “They want to stop this October Surprise, and […]Read more "Considering Westlake: Put a Lid On It"
John Dortmunder is no stranger to setbacks, hijinks, unexpected delays and bewildering circumstances. After several novels in his series, readers know exactly what they will be getting when they pick up one of his adventures. Oh, the details remain fluid and the characters—both the antagonists and the occasional new ally—are likely to offer some unexpected […]Read more "Considering Westlake: Bad News"
Donald E. Westlake’s pseudonym Richard Stark knows how to kick off his novels with incredible first lines and openings. The novel Firebreak is no slouch in that area: When the phone rang, Parker was in the garage, killing a man. His knees pressed down on the interloper’s back, his hands were clasped round his forehead. […]Read more "Considering Westlake: Firebreak"
By the time 2000 rolled around, Donald E. Westlake had been chronicling master heister Parker’s adventures for almost four decades. Sure, the Richard Stark pen name had taken a bit of a hiatus for about two of those decades, but there are only so many times you can write a criminal doing crimes, right? Even […]Read more "Considering Westlake: Flashfire"