Re: RARA-AVIS: Richard Stark

From: M Blumenthal (
Date: 07 Oct 2001

Mario Taboada "ranted"

> I have to intervene here: a character cannot be totally
> predictable; otherwise he's a robot, not a character. This
> applies to Parker, too. How could Westlake have a blueprint
> for everything that Parker would and would not do
> throughout his entire fictional existence? No writer can
> have that kind of control, nor is it desirable. If, say,
> Parker falls in love with a girl he meets during a caper,
> is that out of character? If he suddenly realizes that he's
> older and weaker, or less sure of himself, and as a
> consequence softens his stance, for example by not killing
> certain people, is that out of character? Does it
> invalidate a Parker novel as a work of literature? The
> value of the Parker series lies in that it's not a cartoon
> caricature.
Mario, I found this from an from a DEW interview.:

"I spoiled a book by having him do something he wouldn't do. The sixth book in the series is called The Jugger, and that book is one of the worst failures I've ever had. The problem with it is, in the beginning of the book this guy calls him and says "I'm in trouble out here and these guys are leaning on me and I need help," and Parker goes to help him. I mean, he wouldn't do that, and in fact, the guy wouldn't even think to call him!

I remembered Westlake saying something would not be in character for Parker. Though he doesn't use the word 'character' in this quote, I think Westlake shows his feeling about it in this quote. and it pretty well substantiates my remembrance. Mark

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