RARA-AVIS: Richard Stark Month

From: Mbdlevin@aol.com
Date: 03 Nov 2000

Right before Bill made his Stark month announcement, I had just finished reading a half dozen Parker books. If it weren't election season in the U.S., we probably could have and should've had one day in the month officially declared Richard Stark Day by the U.S. Congress. I almost never read a set of books in quick succession, and I am still trying to figure out what makes the Parkers so great. I admire Westlake's ability to invent new variations within the boundaries he has carved for himself (though I suppose that is true of any good writer of genre fiction). There's something about that Parker too. In earlier discussions, there was much talk of Parker's professionalism. It's not just professionalism. It's competence (since there are incompetent professionals). Stuff that goes wrong is outside Parker's control and he quickly acts to bring it back into control (in Backflash he explains that he does not like to gamble because it puts you in a situation you cannot control). Even when things go sour--as they always do--they go sour in anticipated ways--which doesn't mean the books lack suspense, but that we as readers feel competent too in seeing the chaos coming. Doug

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 03 Nov 2000 EST