New eBooks, New Fans and New Pages

September 22, 2013 in Books, Housekeping by pewestlake

Don’s seventh grandchild

After a hiatus as I moved my family from Brooklyn to the Hudson Valley and witnessed the birth of my “way above average cute” daughter (according to a third party, honest!), I’m busily trying catch up on the latest DEW-related news and updating this website as quickly as possible. On to the report.

New eBooks from our friends at Mysterious Press:

“Donald E. Westlake wrote under several pseudonyms—and we’ve just released eBook editions of books he wrote under the names Tucker Coe, Judson Jack Carmichael, Timothy J. Culver, and J. Morgan Cunningham. We’ve got The Scared Stiff, which was published under the name Judson mysterious_press_1Jack Carmicheael (though the pseudonym was dropped for the UK release), and Ex Officio, which he published as Timothy J. Culver. Then we’ve got the five Mitchell Tobin novels he wrote under the name Tucker Coe (Kinds of Love, Kinds of Death; Murder Among Children; Wax Apple; A Jade in Aries; Don’t Lie to Me). Finally, we have Comfort Station, which he published as J. Morgan Cunningham. The book included a blurb from Donald Westlake (and it read “I wish I had written this book!”). Comfort Station is incredibly rare, and we’re thrilled to be offering it as an eBook—as well as the rest of these titles. Because, as the Los Angeles Times pointed out, ‘under any name, Westlake was a grandmaster.’”

Check out the new collection here.

New fans:

Darwyn Cooke’s graphic adaptations of the Parker novels and the recent release of the newest installment in the long, intermittent history of Parker movies has opened a doorway to a new set of fans…

outhousers“At Comic Con today, IDW announced another Parker book from superstar creator Darwyn Cooke. Adapted from the classic series by crime novelist Donald Westlake under the pseudonym Richard Stark, Parker is beloved by indie comics hipsters and has been nominated for and won multiple Eisner and Harvey awards. This new graphic novel, the fourth in the series, is an adaptation of Slayground, and is set in an amusement park that’s closed for the winter where Parker finds himself involved in “a deadly game of cat and mouse,” similar to Avengers Arena, but good.”

Read more here.

…and the graphic novels are serving as a springboard to discover Westlake and original Parker novels…

A few years ago I read the graphic novel adaptation of Donald Westlake’s The Hunter, and loved it. It was my introduction to the prolific crime novelist’s work. When I recently picked up his 1970 novel, The Hot Rock, I expected it to have the same grim tone as The Hunter. But the first scene set me straight: the anti-hero of the story, John Archibald Dortmunder, is getting out of prison after serving time for a failed caper. The prison warden, pleased at Dortmunder’s good behavior while being incarcerated, extends his hand to shake Dortmunder’s. Dortmunder lets go of the mucus-drenched tissue paper he’d been holding in his right hand and shakes the warden’s hand, smearing it with his snot.

Read the review here.

After reading Donald Westlake’s The Hot Rock (read my review), a humorous crime novel about a gang of professional thieves who repeatedly bungle a jewel heist, I picked up Westlake’s The Hunter, a much less funny, but equally enjoyable, 1962 novel about a sociopathic thief named Parker, who is the main character in many of Westlake’s crime stories. [...] At one point while reading The Hunter I contemplated abandoning it because I was bothered by Parker’s psychotic disregard for human life, but two reasons kept me going. One, the people that Parker is going after are even more despicably inhuman than he is. And two, Westlake is such a terrific writer I couldn’t stop myself from reading to find our what happens.

Read the review here.

New pages:

The old Miscellany page always kinda sucked, so it is with great pleasure that I unveil its replacements:

Reviews, Tributes & Mentions will be updated regularly as new articles and tidbits spring up;

Interviews and Other Thoughts will be updated as more discoveries are made.

Also, keep an eye out for the sneak peek of the sortable bibliography table next week. It’s only a sneak peek because I’m working chronologically and I’m only up to the late-60s right now! Still, after a not-quite-exhaustive investigation, I hope to finally put to rest the speculation about at least a few early titles (under pseudonyms) that may or may not be authentic Westlakes. Stay tuned!

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