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

From: tomarmstrongmusic (tom@tomarmstrongmusic.com)
Date: 12 Mar 2009

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

    Just joined this group a few months back, and have been taking its recommendations to heart. I bought the recent reprints of the first three Parker novels and was completely wowed - those are just fantastic reads. So I went to the library and got my feet wet with Westlake proper with "The Hot Rock", and while it didn't knock my socks off like the Parker books did, I got a kick out of it. Afghanistan bananastan indeed. I think someone on here mentioned that a lot of the comedy comes from how the characters talk past each other, missing their fellows' sarcasm or annoyance. He gets a lot of mileage out of that stuff and it makes for a fun read. I'll get around to "The Bank Shot" when I am in the mood for that flavor of goofiness again.

    Other recommendations I want to thank y'all for were the Margaret Millar Stark House reprints - jeez louise those were good, that lady could nail a character with one metaphor faster'n a speeding bullet - and Dave Zeltserman's "Small Crimes" which I just finished. Terrific!

    Stark House has to be my fave publisher at the moment. I loved the Wade Miller books, and the Benjamin Appel too. "Brain Guy" is a weird piece of prose, but the story and characters stuck with me for weeks afterward; and "Plunder" was just plain nasty, lean and mean, I really dug it. I'll be starting Russell James' "Underground" on my train ride home today.

    So thanks everyone, for keeping me in good reading!

    Tom Armstrong www.tomarmstrongmusic.com

    --- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, "foxbrick" <foxbrick@...> wrote:
    > 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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