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I had already had the pleasure of reading a Dortmunder story, so decided to go back to this, the first in the series. Westlake's writing is excellent, his charcters are real and interesting, the plotting is wonderful. He brings all of the story lines together expertly. Then there's the humour, maybe the best part of all. Westlake is a joy to read - wish I had discovered him sooner! I encourage anyone who likes good writing, good stories, all laced with a unique brand of humour - read Westlake!
The first book in the Dortmunder series - check the author's introduction to how and when Dortmunder came about. Crime thrillers as funny as this don't come along that often, so it's incredible to discover (thanks to Amazon) that Donald Westlake wrote an entire series on Dortmunder and his perpetually cheery but (in their opinion) unfairly treated by life associates. The laugh all the way through book has a complex and ingenious plot, with human foibles and determination to the fore. Along with British authors Reginald Hill's A Fairly Dangerous Thing, and Colin Watson's Flaxborough novels, Donald Westlake's Dortmunder novels remain way ahead when it comes to the elusive art of comedy crime fiction.
Donald E. Westlake is the master of really funny crime caper novels. The movies are not as good. Our own set designers inside our heads and script editors do a much better job than Hollywood. Buy all of Westlake's novels - but watch out for getting a rupture from laughing. No kidding. And if you are as old as me you might want to try the very dated Thorne Smith 'The jovial Ghosts'. If you like that try the other novels this witty prohibition era alcoholic wrote.
Very enjoyable humerous crime caper. The opposite of his (Richard Stark) Parker. Dortmunder is wise, humerous and violent when he needs to be and Parker is cold, clinical, violent and effective. I like both styles. This was good because it was a bit of a change of style. Recommended.
The first Dortmunder novel and a great one. When something goes wrong, as it almost always does, Westlake provides an ingenious plot to recover from disaster and, when that goes wrong, yet another! A wonderful read.