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

From: David L. Wilson (dwilson@sccn.net)
Date: 02 Jan 2009

  • Next message: jacquesdebierue: "RARA-AVIS: Donald Westlake, An Appreciation"

    I found the novel I was looking for though it's got another fellow's name on the cover, Alan Marshall. It reads like Westlake to me.

    The last words of SINLAND are the ones I remember:

    "I wonder what he was like inside.

    "I'll never know, I guess, but that doesn't make much difference. Finding out what's inside yourself is enough of a victory for any man."

    I think in one moment the balance shifted, and the ranks of the dead in this business have become much more accomplished, more skillful in the dark beauty of crime writing, than those of us who remain. I have a habit of pulling books from the shelves, reading a few pages, maybe a chapter, a hello to old friends and they are always there, always ready for this one-way conversation. I get as much pleasure in rereading Westlake as I've had in confronting his plots for a first time. Now he has joined the past and that great tug-of-war between this day and the past has become a mismatch.

    David Laurence Wilson

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