Re: RARA-AVIS: Early Westlake

Mark Sullivan (
Tue, 12 Jan 1999 19:44:29 -0500 (EST) I picked up a new Carroll and Graf edition of Westlake's Pity Him
Afterwards about a year or two ago, so it may still be around. I also
liked Mercenaries and Killing Time from his early years. I don't
remember much of the plot, but I do recall liking his God Save the Mark,
a con book which was more humor than hardboiled.

The Dortmunder books never did much for me either. My problem with them
is clearly illustrated by Jimmy the Kid, which alternates chapters of an
otherwise non-existent Parker book with the Dortmunder Gang's screw-up
attempts to replicate it. Parker is great, dark, hardboiled stuff
(although I never bought that Parker would involve himself in a
kidnapping), the Dortmunder light comedy.

You can't go wrong with the Richard Stark/Parker or the Tucker Coe/Mitch
Tobin books.


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