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Bank Shot (Dortmunder #2)

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  1,832 Ratings  ·  121 Reviews
With the help of an unusual set of cronies, bank robber John Dortmunder puts a set of wheels under a trailer that just happens to be the temporary site of the Capitalists' & Immigrants' Trust and hauls it away. But when the safe won't open and the cops get close, Dortmunder realizes he's got to find a place to ditch the "bank".
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published April 1st 1972 by Simon & Schuster (first published 1972)
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Dan Schwent
Andy Kelp darkens Dortmunder's doorstep with a proposition: rob the Capitalists' and Immigrants' Trust bank. The bank is under renovation and business is currently being done out of a mobile home. Together with his usual crew of Murch, Murch's Mom, Kelp, and some newcomers, Dortmunder plans to make off with the entire bank, trailer and all. How hard could it be?

I should create a shelf called Why The Hell Isn't This Still in Print? Westlake's early Dortmunder books would be all over it. Bank Shot
Dortmunder has had a long dry spell as far as opportunities to steal valuables, and the gloomy thief has been reduced to running a scam pretending to sell encyclopedias door-to-door. However, his friend Kelp has a nephew, Victor, who has an idea for a job. Victor has an obsession for old school pulp fiction and is a former FBI agent who had to leave the Bureau after trying to promote the idea that the feds needed a secret handshake.

Despite his over-excitement at working with an actual crew of pr
Mar 13, 2017 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, mystery, humor
Hard to believe this book was written 45 years ago, but the deadpan humor, the plot twists and turns and the lovable quirks of the Dortmunder crime gang stand up just as well as ever.

Dortmunder, the planner of his shifting bunch of career criminals, is suspicious from the start of one of his crony's nephews, Victor, a former FBI agent (thrown out for pushing his idea for a secret handshake) who has his eye on a bank job in Long Island. Except in this case, the bank is temporarily set up in a tra
Apr 15, 2013 Mike rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone

Bank Shot is book number two in the adventures of John Dortmunder and friends. In one sense it is also the second caper they attempt. But in The Hot Rock they had to plan and execute six heists; each in a different place and often with the same goal. That book is longer both because of the complexity and the exposition to “meet” the gang. In this book, we only meet two new characters and the job is completely different.

Since I originally read the author in his Richard Stark/Parker alias, I was u
Book Concierge
Master criminal planner Dortmander is reduced to selling encyclopedias to the housewives living on Long Island when his friend Kelp tells him about a “sure thing.” Seems Kelp’s nephew Victor is a former FBI agent who has noticed a perfect opportunity – a local bank is undergoing major renovation and so operations have been temporarily moved to a mobile home in a nearby vacant lot. All they have to do is hitch the trailer to a truck and they can steal the entire bank!

Westlake created a wonderful
Jason Reeser
Dec 02, 2008 Jason Reeser rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not as funny as The Hot Rock, the first Dortmunder book, but a satisfyingly fun little book. And the end was fantastic. Westlake manages to keep hope alive for the thieves but always keeps an undercurrent of fatalistic despair that reminds you this will never work out for these guys. Loads of fun.
Vintage Dortmunder. What if you tried stealing a bank instead of robbing the bank? Funny, crabby, and wise.
Sep 09, 2008 Johnny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Yes, I know this novel was the basis of a 1974 movie with George C. Scott. No, I hadn’t read it before. Yes, I sort of knew the premise of bank robbers who decided it was easier to steal an entire bank rather than merely rob it. The truth is, I had never actually seen a mobile home functioning as a bank until I moved to the Atlanta area. I certainly didn’t have confidence enough to put my money in the little bank in the mobile home, but I wouldn’t have expected anyone to steal the whole bank.

Jan 02, 2009 Marni rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
On the sudden and unexpected passing on Donald E. Westlake:

The Bank Shot was the first of many Donald Westlake books I have had the pleasure of reading. I can't even remember how many years ago that it was that I first read this, or how I came upon him in the first place. I don't think I was shelf browsing at the library, I think I bought it used, read it, and was hooked. And I would best that it was at least 25 years ago, so I have been reading Westlake intermittently for almost half my life.

Debra Daniels-zeller
Apr 05, 2013 Debra Daniels-zeller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I didn't know this story was also made into an old movie with George C. Scott but, I'm ordering it on Netflix now. I used to read Westlake's books in the 1990s, so when I saw this bargain on Kindle, I couldn't resist. Westlake books have never let me down because his humor is kind of snarky and his books are hilarious. I laughed out loud so often reading this book, people asked what I was reading. The book is a bit slow to get going and throughout the book it has some slow parts, but all the cha ...more
Nov 22, 2010 Spiros rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who doesn't mind laughing uncontolably on a cross-country airline flight
Donald Westlake's second Dortmunder novel: not quite rounded into vintage Dortmunder form, but some moments of pure over-the-top slapstick, particularly those involving the hapless Continental Detective Agency flatfoots in the towed mobile home/trailer. Many crooks could plan a bank robbery; only Dortmunder would be unlucky enough to have to work out how to steal a bank.
Richard White
Not really a four star more like three, but what the hell, it's Don Westlake and Dortmunder so what's not to like. Sit back and enjoy. This was somewhat of a celebration for me being my 100th. book read this year. Westlake never dissapoints.
Jun 15, 2013 George rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-mystery
Αυτό είναι μόλις το δεύτερο βιβλίο του τρομερού Ντόναλντ Γουέστλεϊκ που διαβάζω, μετά το ξεκαρδιστικό Βοήθεια! Με κρατούν φυλακισμένο που είχα διαβάσει πριν από τρία και πλέον χρόνια. Ο Γουέστλεϊκ έχει γράψει με το ψευδώνυμο Ρίτσαρντ Σταρκ την πασίγνωστη αστυνομική σειρά Πάρκερ και με το κανονικό του όνομα την σειρά Ντόρτμουντερ και διάφορα άλλα άλλων σειρών και εκτός σειρών.

Είναι εντελώς ακατανόητο σε μένα γιατί δεν έχουν μεταφραστεί κάποια κλασικά του έργα που σίγουρα είναι πιο ποιοτικά από ά
Jul 24, 2013 Eric_W rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
We all miss Donald Westlake, the creator of so many delightful books of which this is a fine example in the Dortmunder series. Dortmunder is a thief and con-man (he's been collecting deposits on encyclopedias when he runs into a little trouble). This time he's approached by his friend Kelp, who, with his his ex-FBI agent nephew, Victor, have the perfect bank robbery all lined up. It seems while a new branch bank building is being built, the bank has moved across the street to a mobile home. The ...more
Mar 20, 2012 Zora rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
The thing is...beneath Westlake being so very funny at so many obvious levels, he's being funny at levels it takes three readings to see. Here, it's in the character of Victor, the nephew who was fired from the FBI for suggesting a secret handshake ("it was political, right Victor?"), and who only joined the FBI because he loved the pulps, he loved spy stories, the radio serials, dime novels, all the fictions about the FBI. (He even makes his own radio serials...twenty years after radio drama di ...more
Susan Katz
Why steal just the money when you can steal the whole bank? In this outing, the Dortmunder gang steals a temporary bank housed in a mobile home. Of course they repaint it with water-soluble paint and of course it rains. Of course they hide it in the ashes of a burnt-out diner and of course the police drop by to order coffee and danish.
Jan 08, 2009 B rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
John Dortmunder, the incompetent criminal, schemes to steal a bank, the whole thing as it's a temporary mobile one. The usual problems and his crazy solutions ensue. Very funny.
Think of it as an opportunity to find out what would have happened if the Keystone Cops had turned to crime.
Dec 06, 2007 Odis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the earliest and best in the hilarious Dortmunder series - very funny crooks!
Dec 11, 2013 Eggp rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How to steal a bank
step one: wheels, then... you know what?
Don't even bother.
May 17, 2017 Harold rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Westlake is an amazingly consistent writer. The second Dortmunder novel continues in character as an ersatz, non violent Parker. The humor as shown in the first book, continues unabated in this one, and I presume the entire series. I'll be on my third Dortmunder soon - if not next.
Mar 19, 2017 Sam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Eduard Spacil
Druhé Dortmunderovo dobrodružství bohužel nehýří tolika nápady jako jednička (přeci jen se tam vloupávali každou chvíli někam jinam) a až na konci se pořádně rozjede. Doslova. Ale pořád to stačí na to, abych si chtěl přečíst i další díly.
Oct 30, 2016 Jenny rated it liked it
I'm not totally sure why the cover of this book features a Magic 8 ball, but it's a quirky cover for another quirkily fun book by Westlake.

Dortmunder and Co. are back - without Greenwood (who apparently scored his own TV series!) and Chefwick (who hijacked a subway car to Cuba - and with new characters Victor and Herman (and Dortmunder's new spitfire of a girlfriend, May).

Victor, Kelp's nephew, brings up an idea to his uncle to steal a bank that is temporarily in a trailer while the bank buildi
Serena.. Sery-ously?
Come per miracolo, ho trovato questo volume (e il successivo, "Jimmy the Kid - Come ti rapisco il pupo", letto e amato) su una bancarella ad un prezzo irrisorio.. Non mi sembrava vero e appena il cervello ha registrato l'informazione che l'occhio gli stava fornendo (con segnale lampeggiante :D) mi ci sono fiondata in modalità ninja e li ho arraffati :DD
Westlake è un genio, mai trovata una banda di ladri più sgangherata degli Ineffabili cinque, giuro!!! Vi innamorerete a suon di piani folli (in q
Quentin Feduchin
"just the best dry wit.."
The Dortmunder Novels number at least six, though I haven't checked lately. This one is number two. The novels are basically about some minor criminals and Dortmunder himself plans the capers.
Dortmunder is good at it and his plans are detailed. Donald Westlake appears to write the stories quite seriously and with a dry realism that almost connects them to real life. One can imagine the quite accidental things that people do and the silly mess-ups they cause. In his dry w
Jul 11, 2015 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book in the "Dortmunder"series by Donald Westlake. Westlake also wrote the "Parker"series about a hard-boiled, cold-blooded criminal, named, well, Parker. Parker is all business and a ruthless killer when he needs to be. Dortumunder, on the other hand, is just a cut above an idiot. "Bank Shot" is part of a series of comic novels about a gang of bumbling thieves that are a delight to read.

In "Bank Shot", most of the gang from "The Hot Rock" is back for a new caper with some ne
Feb 07, 2009 Rob rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked Westlake a lot when I was a teenager. Returning to this recently, I feared disappointment. It starts slowly and could have used tighter editing (quite a few not particularly apt similes are in the book, along with some lines explaining the obvious), but once the story gets rolling, which takes about twenty pages, there are at least a handful of places where I laughed out loud and numerous others where I smirked along. Basically, pretty much all the jokes work, and it's a comedy crime sto ...more
Aug 25, 2011 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Most capers include toting guns into a bank, holding tellers at gun point and making a mad dash for the getaway car. In this Dortmunder outing, our anti-heroes skip all this pomp and circumstance by simply stealing the entire bank. What makes this particular book a good one is the involvement of family members and Dortmunder's girlfriend May.

Another hilarious character (and family member) is introduced who enjoys recording all the action onto a tape player. Since the caper is not as exciting in
Oct 25, 2012 Bob rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

This second installment of Donald E. Westlake's "Dortmunder" series combines familiar, bumbling criminals, a reluctant, curmudgeonly mastermind, and oblivious members of the constabulary, to lighthearted comedic effect. This is a Robert Redford caper movie in novel form, with Bugs Bunny dialogue, only slower and with less Mel Blanc-sy voices; in contrast, however, Robert Redford and Bugs Bunny always come out on top. Here, you get the feeling after each episode falters that John Dortmunder will
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Donald E. Westlake (1933-2008) was one of the most prolific and talented authors of American crime fiction. He began his career in the late 1950's, churning out novels for pulp houses—often writing as many as four novels a year under various pseudonyms such as Richard Stark—but soon began publishing under his own name. His most well-known characters were John Dortmunder, an unlucky thief, and a ru ...more
More about Donald E. Westlake...

Other Books in the Series

Dortmunder (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • The Hot Rock (Dortmunder, #1)
  • Jimmy The Kid (Dortmunder, #3)
  • Nobody's Perfect (Dortmunder, #4)
  • Why Me? (Dortmunder, #5)
  • Good Behavior (Dortmunder, #6)
  • Drowned Hopes (Dortmunder, #7)
  • Don't Ask (Dortmunder, #8)
  • What's The Worst That Could Happen? (Dortmunder, #9)
  • Bad News (Dortmunder, #10)
  • The Road To Ruin (Dortmunder, #11)

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