The Score (Parker, #5)
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The Score (Parker #5)

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  1,402 ratings  ·  148 reviews
You probably haven't ever noticed them. But they've noticed you. They notice everything. That's their job. Sitting quietly in a nondescript car outside a bank making note of the tellers' work habits, the positions of the security guards. Lagging a few car lengths behind the Brink's truck on its daily rounds. Surreptitiously jiggling the handle of an unmarked service door a...more
Mass Market Paperback, 213 pages
Published 1964 by Pocket Books (first published 1963)
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Best Noir
460th out of 497 books — 503 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,058)
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David
Well, let's see here. There's been a lot of Richard Stark hoopla around our little corner of Goodreads lately, and I am proud to offer this review as minor corrective to the unbridled enthusiasms unleashed herein. Despite whatever I may say in the course of this review that might lead you to believe otherwise, I did actually enjoy this book. But it is slight, insubstantial, and clunky at times. I'd like to say, with some slippage in the analogy, that it's the equivalent of watching one of those...more
brian
a small town in north dakota sits deep in a narrow valley. a single road the only way in or out. parker and eleven men head down at midnight and methodically take over the tiny police department then the fire department then the phone switchboard. once the town's defenses have been neutralized and communication is cut off from the outside world, the team knocks over the town's two banks, the jewelry store, and then robs the town's entire payroll. a heist to the extreme! forget one bank, one stor...more
Dan Schwent
An amateur named Edgars hires Parker, Grofield, and ten others to help him with an outlandish plan: to rob an entire North Dakota town! Things go smoothly until it turns out Edgars has ideas of his own...

After reading five of the Parker novels, I figured out why love them so much. It's two aspects: Parker's superb ability to plan heists and trying to figure out how the inevitable double cross is going to go when it happens. The Score illustrates this nicely. As usual, Parker's cruel professional...more
Greg
The first place Parker heads to in The Hunter when he gets to New York City to seek revenge on being double-crossed and beginning Stark's series of novels is the Wall Street area. The Score's basic premise is a group of criminals go to a small factory town in North Dakota with the purpose of robbing every business in town of all it's money during one night. Nowhere in the book is it ever mentioned what will be left of the town after Parker and his friends steal all of the payroll money from the...more
Kemper
When Parker first hears about the plan to loot all of Copper Canyon, he thinks it’s insane. How can you rob an entire city? However, when he sees the details and realizes that this is an isolated town that could be completely cut off and it’s police force neutralized, Parker starts thinking that it just might be possible, if he can find the right men for the job.

A solid crew is put together, a plan developed, and even the amateur who came up with the idea, Edgars, seems smart and willing to let...more
Jim
I think I've hit my limit of Parker books for now. The formula was a bit too predictable, although this was his most ambitious job yet. Unfortunately, I guessed most of the high points pretty much from the beginning. Still, the details were fun to follow & Parker is a wonderful anti-hero. While I have #6, I'm missing the odd numbers after that through #12. I'll see if I can't get them for another Parker marathon at another time.
Krycek
Parker, bored with hanging around at the beach, decides to check out another larcenous job opportunity, but there's something hinky about the guy organizing the whole thing. Against his better judgement, Parker deals in because the payoff could be big. This time Parker and the gang knock off a whole town! But you know what happens when things seem to go too smoothly...

I've read Parker #1, #3 and now #5. You'd think I was hitting all the odd ones first. Nah. That's just what my local library has...more
Eric
Sep 08, 2011 Eric rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Crime fiction fans
Recommended to Eric by: Free download on Amazon.com
Shelves: crime
This best comparison for this book is Ocean's Eleven, if it were more hardboiled than flashy and the goal was to steal an entire town instead of a casino. Yes, you read that right, an entire town -- not the town's bank, jewelry store, or mining payroll, but all of them simultaneously. What could possibly go wrong?

This is the first Parker book I have read -- in fact, it is the first I have read by author Richard Stark/Donald Westlake. I enjoyed reading about Parker and would definitely read anoth...more
Jane Stewart
Weak 3 stars. There wasn’t enough suspense or the unexpected.

This wasn’t as good as some of the others in the series, but it was ok. I’m intrigued with Parker, and that keeps me reading.

Edgars has an idea for stealing from several businesses at the same time in a North Dakota town. He tells a guy who brings in Parker to plan and run it. It will require 12 to 20 guys.

The ending was weak. Things felt hanging and not wrapped up well. I would have liked a different ending for some of the good guys w...more
Ed
I've been a long fan of Richard Stark's (aka Donald Westlake) hardboiled Parker the thief series. THE SCORE is set in a boxed-in Western town where Parker and a large gang hit several banks and the mine's payroll at once. A clever twist is dropped into the last part. Parker is like Mr. Spock, all business and no time for humor or fools. One of the gang members, Alan Grofield, appears later in LEMONS NEVER LIE published by Hard Case Crime.
V.
A fantastic read. The heist is absoloutely outrageous. The pacing and action are beautifully judged. The plan is masterful, and the inevitable double cross is diabolical.

Turns out there was a French New Wave movie made of this one, would love to see it but doesn't look like it's been released on any format, so not much chance.

Highly recommended for fans of hardboiled caper fiction.
Jeff
This Parker gets five stars because of the description of the methodical techniques described in pulling off the perfect score. Like with other Parker novels he is almost thwarted by those unknown variables that seem to crop up in the execution of any job. But Parker is the consummate professional at his craft, which is always a pleasure to read about.
James
"Shut up, Grofield."
Tim Niland
Master thief and anti-hero Parker is getting antsy and bored. So when the call comes offering him a chance to head up to Jersey City to hear about a potential job he takes it. And what a job it is - the plan is to immobilize an entire small North Dakota town and rob it blind. Even for somebody like Parker, who has ice water in his veins, this is an audacious plan. Can a dozen men really take out an entire town and get away with the loot? This was another exciting fast-paced Parker adventure, Sta...more
Mark
Jul 19, 2014 Mark rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of mystery noir
Recommended to Mark by: ed lynskey
Another outing in Parker land and it involves of course a robbery as expected. The scale of the robbery this time makes the book an original. An amateur hires Parker and some of his colleagues to rob an entire town! As this is quite an concept it takes a larger crew as usual to pull this off. And while there still is a big unexpected surprise at the end it is Parkers' professionalism that saves the payday.

Another very strong tale from the Parker series as written by Richard Stark / Donald E. Wes...more
Randy
Parker was bored when he got the call from his broker for a new job. He didn't like it from the start. An amateur named Edgars brought the deal. A small town in a box canyon, one way in and out, a highway patrol station on the main road by that one way.

He was gradually convinced. A small town with a curfew and a tiny police force. Two banks, a mine with a substantial payroll, jewelry stores. Hit it late at night while everyone was in bed, only a handful of people to deal with.

It would take a lar...more
Alex
This is the original hard boiled tough guy. Stark (Westlake writing as Stark) boils the essence of a smart no-nonsense tough guy down from the work of the greats that wrote detective and crime fiction before him, and created Parker. Forget the movies you may have seen - be they timeless classics or modern dreck - and do yourself a favor and read these. If you like crime fiction you have to check these books out. The Chicago Press has re-released them in sharp stylish new paperbacks that are inex...more
Pete Morin
I am embarrassed to admit that I'd never heard of Richard Stark, and only recently discovered he is a pseudonym for Don Westlake. I have read everything written by Dashiel Hammett, Raymond Chandler, John D. MacDonald, Ross Macdonald - and missed Stark entirely. I must not have been paying very close attention.

Stark's prose is every bit as tough and gritty as all of them. His Parker character doesn't take his hat off to nobody - not even Phillip Marlowe.

This is noir at its best. No question.

Now...more
Stuart Langridge

You probably haven’t ever noticed them. But they’ve noticed you. They notice everything. That’s their job. Sitting quietly in a nondescript car outside a bank making note of the tellers’ work habits, the positions of the security guards. Lagging a few car lengths behind the Brinks truck on its daily rounds. Surreptitiously jiggling the handle of an unmarked service door at the racetrack. They’re thieves. Heisters, to be precise. They’re pros, and Parker is far and away the best of them. If you’r

...more
Steve Isaak
Parker works - with eleven other professionals - his most audacious theft yet, a town-wide multiple target job. As in previous Parker novels, Stark's prose is blunt, cool-toned and streamlined, with no wasted words. As always, there are character-based complications, all of which make the writing more entertaining. Worth owning, this.

Followed by The Jugger.

#

The resulting film, Pillaged , was released stateside on November 15, 1967. Alain Cavalier directed and co-scripted the film. Claude Sautet...more
Patrick McLean
The Parker novels are tremendous. And well worth the attention you give them. Even if this is not your genre, these books are such good examples of the genre that being well-rounded means reading at least one of them.

There is no other character in literature like Parker. So many other characters are derivative of Parker, that I feel like you really get something from reading it in the purest form. I think it was Stephen King who said that these books constitute a genre unto themselves. But, whoe...more
David
In The Score, Richard Stark plays to the greatest strength of the Parker series: His ability to imagine, in fascinating and believable detail, the working life of a professional thief. The narrative focuses tightly on the planning, execution, and immediate aftermath of Parker leading a gang of men into Copper Canyon, North Dakota, to rob the town--or at least as much of the town as is worth robbing. Of the first five Parker novels, The Score is the purest and most self-assured.
Bartbeaty
Read this yesterday on a flight to Grande Prairie, Alberta and then wished that I'd read it on the flight out of GP instead. The descriptions of a small ND town in the 1960s so ably fit the look of northern Alberta today that I found myself wondering what it would take to knock over the whole place. I liked this one a lot, but wished he'd pushed harder the theme of the girl at the hideout and the problems that can arise from such situations. All we got was the tease
Benoit Lelievre
Is there such a thing as a bad Parker novel? They all range from great to Brett Hart's excellence of execution kind of good. THE SCORE is more of a display of literary hardboiled power than a novel, but holy...is it AWESOME or what? A dozen professional thieves, an impossible job to pull (robbing an entire town) and our favourite obsessive compulsive crazy person/bank robber, feeling the call of the muse. No outward grudges or anything, just the work...that's what it was supposed to be anyway.

TH...more
Tosh
"The Score" is not my favorite Richard Stark novel, due that the characters are a tad dull to me, and there seems to be a lack of energy in the narrative. But saying that, there is no 'bad' Stark book. This book reads easy and is perfectly formalized in that it doesn't deeply disappoint, but for the Stark connoisseur this is the house brand instead of the expensive stuff. But still... It is Richard Stark, and there are no replacements for this writer.
Alberto
One of the best Parker books to date, reading them in order. Grofield and Wycza, my favorite sidekicks.
The only complaint is that in the University Of Chicago Press edition, the foreword is the same than in book #4 of the series, some kind of mistake, I suppose.
Dan
Dec 01, 2011 Dan rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2011
I picked this one out b/c I was looking for a bedside read, and it was free on the Kindle. It wasn't particularly stunning, but it was fast-paced and tightly plotted. I'd read others in this series if they were as free as this one was.
Bruce
As usual, Westlake does not dissapoint. just when things are looking good, it gets dark. not the dark humorous you're used to in books under his own name, but a dark twist. Great read!
Erica
I think someone other than the French should recognize the genius of this book and make a movie out of it.
liz
Jan 31, 2008 liz rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: parker
Parker works with a big crew so his stone cold managerial style is showcased. And they rob a whole town, which is dope.
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The Sons of Literacy: The Score by Richard Stark 33 30 Jun 11, 2014 07:07PM  
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The Hunter (Parker, #1) The Man With The Getaway Face (Parker, #2) The Outfit (Parker, #3) The Mourner (Parker, #4) Backflash (Parker, #18)

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