RARA-AVIS: Fissures in hardboiledness

From: Mbdlevin@aol.com
Date: 28 Apr 2002

Mario writes:

<< This very interesting discussion brought to mind an
 apparent fissure in Parker's hardboiled armor: in _The
 Score_, why does he do nothing to stop Grofield from
 picking up the telephone operator and taking her with him?
 Letting a stranger, and a witness at that, come with the
 crew is very unlike Parker. The circumstances were the
 worst possible, as those who have read the book will know.
 Could it be that Parker feared a confrontation with
 Or that self-preservation and carrying off the job was more
 important to him than arguing the point?

I think the latter is the answer, at least initially. Everything happens fast; Grofield brings the woman. At the hideout, Parker asks her some questions to see if she is tough enough, and if the answers turn out wrong, he plans to throw her over a cliff into a canyon (I think this is about right). What is out of character -- if you want consistency across the series -- is that Parker would work with Grofield again after such an unprofessional gaff. Westlake, as has been discussed here before, thought Parker was so out of character in "The Jugger," where he goes to help Joe Sheer, that the book was a failure. I think Westlake might be wrong. Parker is worried that Sheer might expose him and wants to make sure that doesn't happen. More on this topic at: http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Nook/5171/books/jugger.html Maybe out of character as well is Parker's rescue attempt of Grofield in Butcher's Moon.


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