Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Point Blank vs. The Hunter vs. Payback

From: Brian Thornton (
Date: 02 Aug 2007

brainfreiz wrote:

> In the first Parker book, Parker is walking into NYC across like the
> Washington Bridge and Stark cuts into the POV of a commuter who just think to
> himself "Boy, that guy looks mean." Then its back to Parker and the commuter is
> never heard from again.

Your point is well-taken, but that description of what actually happens at the beginning of THE HUNTER/PAYBACK (same book) is wrong. Here's the first paragraph:

"When a fresh-faced guy in a Chevy offered him a lift, Parker told him to go to hell. The guy said, 'Screw you, buddy,' yanked his Chevy back into the stream of traffic, and roared on down to the tollbooths. Parker spat in the right-hand lane. lit his last cigarette, and walked across the George Washington Bridge."

So there's nothing from an individual commuter's POV, per se, and nothing ostensibly about how tough he is. Westlake/Stark does go on to talk about how the "office women" collectively were drawn to him because of his flinty badness and how the "office men" barely noticed him because he didn't have a car, and if they did notice him they either dismissed him as a bum or recalled back when they didn't have a car and thought they were empathizing with him, but didn't understand that it wasn't the same thing (paraphrase here).

By the way, I wrote a brief review about this classic about four (?!) years ago for Al Guthrie's "Noir Originals" site. I got Resnick's first name wrong, but I did talk about how Westlake came up with the idea for Parker , among various and sundry other aspects of the novel.

The entire review is available at:

All the Best-

Brian Thornton

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