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

From: JIM DOHERTY (jimdohertyjr@yahoo.com)
Date: 13 Mar 2009

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    Re Todd's message below:

    "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."

    Most of you probably already know this, and our new member, Mr. Trent, could probably give you more details on the metamorphisis, but for those of you who aren't aware of it, THE HOT ROCK started out as a dead serious Parker novel. Westlake's original idea was to see how Parker would handle the frustration if he had to steal the same item over and over again. But the book kept, as Westlake later put it, "wanting to be funny," and a Parker novel just CAN'T be funny.

    Rather than risk having his diamond-hard gangster come off as ridiculous, Westlake created a comedic doppelganger, Dortmunder, the master criminal with constant hard luck who became his most popular series character.

    By the way, when Mr. Trent introduced himself, although he mentioned the address of his very good website, he didn't provide a link. Here it is:


    Great site. Heartily recommended for Parker fans.



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