RARA-AVIS: Re: Donald E. Westlake, Mystery Writer, Is Dead at 75 (NYT obituary

From: harry.lerner@mail.mcgill.ca
Date: 02 Jan 2009

  • Next message: jacquesdebierue: "RARA-AVIS: Re: Donald E. Westlake, Mystery Writer, Is Dead at 75 (NYT obituary"

    I recently read DANCING AZTECS and he really had a gift for putting the human condition into practical and humorous perspective. He will always be missed.

    Best, Harry

    Quoting "David L. Wilson" <dwilson@sccn.net>:

    > Oh boy, this one hurts. Westlake and I had several friends in common
    > and all of them spoke affectionately and respectfully of him,
    > always. His personality was as large, it seems, as the shadow from
    > his prose. Everyone else was in second place. I very much hoped to
    > meet him and add him to my series of interviews with crime writers
    > but we were never in the same place at the same time. A great
    > writer who may be my all-time favorite, who convinced me again of the
    > undying beauty of the novel and the mystery form. For many years
    > there's been no one who I'd seek out in the bookstores like
    > Westlake. A new Stark was an event for me. Just a great great
    > loss. I have so few heros left.
    > Death seems to have greeted him as a professional, swift and sudden,
    > without emotion or hesitation. A Westlake moment. Despite his
    > subjects, and the controlled mayhem of his characters. Westlake was a
    > writer of elegance and compassion. I was pleased last week because
    > I'd found a copy of his first novel. I was going to quote from
    > another of his books but I've pulled it out often enough that it
    > wasn't filed with its cousins, a book he did not claim but that I
    > returned to, on occasion, because it filled me with a great sense of
    > love and balance, a recognition that we are all in this same game
    > together. It consoled me and made some of life's challenges easier
    > to bear.
    > This is the life of a writer. You will touch the lives of those you
    > have never met. You will help them through their own private hells
    > and they will weep, someday, when you are gone.
    > I'll have to go and reread some of my favorite memories with the
    > guy. He left us so much.
    > David Laurence Wilson

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