RARA-AVIS: I've finally begun THE HOT ROCK...

From: foxbrick (foxbrick@yahoo.com)
Date: 11 Mar 2009

  • Next message: jacquesdebierue: "RARA-AVIS: Re: I've finally begun THE HOT ROCK..."

    The first Dortmunder novel, of course, by Donald Westlake...and what surprises me most is how broad the comedy is, at least in the early chapters that Westlake apparently set aside for a while. (I've read a number of Dortmunder stories, out of order, but the latter-day works are somewhat subtler.) Haven't seen the film version yet, either, as I was consciously putting that off till after reading the book.

    Also notable is that Dortmunder here is a Korean War vet, which I believe is at least soft-pedalled in the later stories...it's tough when one sustains a series over decades, without wanting your character to age as quickly as one's self does. Travis McGee, Fritz Leiber's characters Fafhrd and Mouse/the Gray Mouser, and a number of others (particuarly of late) have been allowed by their creators to grow older along with their characters, which has a certain effect on the series...slowing that down has a different, not worse, effect, but it can make reading the whole series in a lump a bit dislocating...

    Todd Mason

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