Re: RARA-AVIS: The Top 111 and Richard Stark

From: M Blumenthal (
Date: 26 Apr 2002

Mark Sullivan:

> I'm a huge fan of the Parker series, but I do understand why some are
> not taken with it. Althugh there are better than either Mourner or
> Firebreak (especially the first, The Hunter, AKA Point Blank, AKA
> Payback), if you didn't like those two, you probably won't like any of
> them.

Doug, I think Firebreak is the best of the 'new' Parkers and Mourner is certainly representative of the series. If you are asking this question at all I think you should try something else. For Westlake try The Ax or The Hook. There is his Mitch Tobin series written as Tucker Coe also. If you like Scudder you should like those, but they figure to be difficult to find His most popular books are in his Dortmunder series about a bumbling thief. They are not hard boiled by anyone's definition, but you might like them.

BTW, long time readers of this know Westlake wrote the first Parker book, The Hunter, as a standalone so he gave Parker none of the redeeming qualities Jim Blue seems to feel necessary. Parker was to die at the end, but Westlake's editor saw a possibily of this character being in a series and asked Westlake if he could let him live at the end. I've read many interviews, in which Westlake said if he knew Parker were going to be the subject of a series he would have created him diferently. Mark .

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