I agree, Dirty Money, is not up to old-time Parker standards, I just reviewed the audiobook version...
And, I've just finished listening to the excellent SOMEBODY OWES ME MONEY, which is also available as an audiobook. I'll have a full review of that up shortly.
--- On Tue, 7/22/08, Ron Clinton <email@example.com> wrote:
From: Ron Clinton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: RE: RARA-AVIS: Dirty Money by Richard Stark
Date: Tuesday, July 22, 2008, 9:51 PM
I finished both of these within the last couple of weeks, and agree they're
an interesting study in contrasts and illustrate a writing talent of
grandmaster proportions (as if any more evidence was actually needed).
I have to say, though, the last couple Parker novels have been moderate
disappointments, and this one joins their ranks. I understand this is the
third of a trilogy of sorts, so I hope the next Parker will set a higher
standard and harken back to the masterful novels that came before.
Too many characters, a shallow plot with a subdued tone, and a narrative
that, at times, seemed to meander more than advance. DIRTY MONEY was not
the lean and mean Parker of old; this Parker seemed as tired and plodding as
the narrative drive of the novel itself. I'll grant you it's still worth
reading for the Parker fan in most of us...but I doubt it'll garner any news
fans into our ranks.
For yet another (and better) take on Westlake, his five Tucker Coe novels
featuring the disgraced and depressed Mitchell Tobin are quite good. They
walk a middle path between the breezy Dortmunder novels (and SOMEBODY OWES
ME MONEY) and the Stark novels, and are compelling mysteries that, through
Tobin's character, have much to say about the human capacity for shame and
> -----Original Message-----
> From: rara-avis-l@ yahoogroups. com [mailto:rara-avis-l@ yahoogroups. com] On
> Behalf Of davezeltserman
> Sent: Tuesday, July 22, 2008 3:39 PM
> To: rara-avis-l@ yahoogroups. com
> Subject: RARA-AVIS: Dirty Money by Richard Stark
> This latest Parker book is a nice entry in the series, with a a great
> last line. Kind of interesting reading this right after the Hardcase
> Crime reprint of Westlake's "Somebody Owes Me Money". You couldn't
> have more different protagonists between Parker's efficient and deadly
> career criminal and Chester Conway, the schlemiely cab driver hero of
> Somebody Owes Me Money who's only trying to keep mobsters from killing
> him while at the same time trying to figure out how to collect the
> $930 owed him. It would also be hard to have more different styles of
> hardboiled crime--from the breezy, somewhat comedic style of Somebody
> to the terse, little honor among thieves style of Dirty Money. The one
> thing both books have in common is the characters act intelligently
> and there's a logic driving the story, as well as constantly
> increasing complications that the protagonists face. Westlake is truly
> one of the greats in crime fiction.
> --Dave Z.
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