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Money for Nothing

3.6 of 5 stars 3.60  ·  rating details  ·  415 ratings  ·  50 reviews
* Put a Lid on It, Donald E. Westlake's most recent novel, was published in Mysterious Press hardcover in 4/02. It will be published in mass market paperback in 3/03 to tie in with the hardcover release of MONEY FOR NOTHING.
*Westlake's critically acclaimed The Hook (Mysterious Press hardcover, 3/00) won a "Book World Rave" for 2000 in the Washington Post Book World and has
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Published December 14th 2008 by Grand Central Publishing (first published 2003)
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Ethics pop quiz: Let’s say you started receiving a check for a $1000 every month from a company you never heard of. The check is valid. You had no idea why you were getting the money. You make a few efforts to contact the company but the address is incomplete and no one ever answers a phone number listed on the check. Would you go ahead and start depositing them? Really? You wouldn’t? Come on. It’s free money! Go ahead. What’s the worst that could happen? You’re going to do it? Good for you.

Josh Redmont is just an average guy who loves his wife and son but finds himself in a terrible predicament because he didn't have the moral fiber to do the right thing seven years earlier. At that time, he began receiving monthly checks for $1,000 from "United States Agent". He did try to phone and write to notify them of their error, but the information provided in the mailing was incorrect. So he did the easy thing and just kept cashing the checks, $1,000 a month for seven years. Little does h ...more
Bruce Reid
The new year sadly rolled in with the loss of one of our best writers. Money for Nothing rambles a bit too much and takes too many unlikely turns to rank as topflight Westlake, but it proves again how effortless he could make the tough stuff seem. Even the opening premise (years of untraceable checks whose origins our hero has grown out of concerning himself with) has that marvelous stamp of familiarity pivoted slightly out of skew. And I'll sorely miss any chronicler of human nature observant a ...more
Westlake wrote both straight and comedy. This book was a comedy.....Once a month for the last seven years Josh Redmont would receive a check for $1000. Issued by something called "United States Agent" The checks followed him wherever he moved and he could not return them because there was no clear return address.. Josh had stopped thinking about the checks till one day he was approached by a stranger. The stranger says:"I am from United States Agent. You are now active."
Nov 12, 2009 Spiros rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone looking for a humorous story about domestic terrorism
Once again, fooled by packaging: since the cover of this book reminded me of the design of Westlake's Dortmunder books, I jumped to the conclusion (albeit, helped by the fact that this was the only Westlake on the shelves at St. Marks Bookstore which I hadn't read) that this was a Dortmunder novel. Consequently, I spent the first few chapters trying to figure out how Andy Kelp was going to insinuate himself into the procedings.
In the event, and once I got over my disappointment, I found this to
A very entertaining read by the late, lamented past master of these caper novels. A young New Yorker (Josh) receives a mysterious $1000 check from "U.S. Agent" with a return address (no number) of K Street, Washington DC, and a phone number that no one ever answers. He needs the money desperately, so he cashes the check. The next month he receives another. This goes on for 7 years, long past the time when an extra thousand a month means much to him. A premise that's hard to buy, you say, but Wes ...more
If a suspenseful page-turner is what you are looking for, then Money For Nothing definitely fits the description!! You will be hooked from page one. It's about a man who recieves a check in the mail every month without knowing why or where the money is coming from. Then one day he finds out just what he has to do since he accepted the money... and he wishes he never deposited the checks in his account. It's so good and you wish it never ends. This book should be made into a movie! Definite read.
Erik Grotz
A guy starts receiving $1000 checks every month from "US Agent" -- a source he cannot get a hold of, to either find out why, or return the checks. So he starts depositing them. This lasts a whopping seven years until the reason unfolds and he becomes 'activated' by foreign agents in a plot to kill a emissary. Good dialogue throughout, plot twists and turns, but as a big fan of Mr. Westlake this one was just okay.
This is my first experience with Westlake and I picked up the audiobook at my library sort of by default - there weren't many "newer" titles on the shelf! I actually really enjoyed it. It's true that the character development was limited, but I liked that I never had a clue how this story (that everyone else has already described in detail, so I won't) was going to end or even what was coming next. It's pretty enjoyable to listen to a book with a plot I can't figure out.. and rare! It was an odd ...more
Westlake is one of my favorite authors, especially the Dortmunder series. This book got off to a great start, but sagged a bit toward the end as it got more improbable. Still I enjoyed it.
An Odd1
"Money for Nothing" is by Donald Westlake. The author scares and gladdens simultaneously. What if you accepted money since your hungry student days, then suddenly found the cost was fatal, including to yourself?
Greedy spy Mr. Nimrin sought to pad his own pockets by adding false sleeper agents to the payroll, but his carelessness diverted earnings to the designated targets. For 64 months, Josh cashed $1000 cheques. Now a loving parent of a toddler, this office drone must work for terrorist assas
The recent death of crime fiction pioneer Donald Westlake has been a clear reminder to me that I haven't read nearly enough of his stuff. This is a lot of why I picked up "Money For Nothing," just to begin familiarizing myself more thoroughly with his work. It was such an awesome book, though, that I ended up having more fun doing so than I ever could have foreseen.

"Money For Nothing" begins with a young man named Josh Redmont, who begins receiving $1000 checks in the mail every month apropos o
First, in terms of a broad-brush perspective, this is just a delightful book. If you have some kind of spring break coming or perhaps a Memorial Day weekend where you’re going to be away and just want a fun, somewhat zany book to get you through perhaps the more boring parts of your weekend, this one just may do that for you.

Josh and Eve Redmont seem like decent young people who love one another deeply and who are devoted to their two-year-old son. Years before he was married, Josh used to visit
This was my first encounter with Donald Westlake writing under his own name (I'd previously read one of his Richard Stark novels) and I quite liked it; I suspect he and Elmore Leonard owe a lot to each other, though Westlake (at least here) is more comic and less violent than Leonard. Still, they're both mining that same vein of crime-comedy, a vein I find very appealing. In this one, NYC adman Josh Redmont suddenly finds himself "activated" as some kind of agent for a foreign power, an assignme ...more
Robert J. Sullivan
osh Redmont works for an ad agency in Manhattan, is married, and has a young son. His life is typically American, with no secrets, no dark corners, except for one small item; once a month, he gets a check for $1000 from a source he doesn't know and can't trace. This little secret turns around and bites him, involving him in a murderous international plot where the stakes are his life and the lives of his family.

Westlake has a proven record for both serious noir thrillers and light comedies. This
This is NOT a Dortmunder novel.
Proving the old adage that there's no such thing as the windfall promised by the title, Westlake starts this funny divertissement with an intriguing premise: Mr. American Everyman, young, ambitious, decent, honorable husband and father, has been receiving a check for $1,000 once a month

It ll had to do while I wait for 4 more Dortmunders on hold.9-27-10

josh redmount is no john dormeyer.
i immediately missed the humor.
couldn't finish it. I skipped to the "doggerel in
Another fast, entertaining Westlake story. One of my favorite lines is italicized (italics added by me) at the end of this paragraph:
When Tina swept back in, at about five-thirty, she was as radiant and invigorated as ever, though now burdened with any number of bright shopping bags. She dropped them on the coffee table in front of the lumpish Josh and on the sofa next to him, surrounding him with intimations of a more gladsome world. The names he could see on the shopping bags were Ferragamo,
I picked this up assuming it would be similar in tone to Westlake's Dortmunder series. Based on that assumption, it was sadly serious. If i hadn't had that assumption, i probably would have just accepted it as a basic thriller, rather than looking for something that simply wasn't going to be there. as it was, the assumption wasn't going anywhere, so i didn't enjoy this as much as i should have. i feel i should apologize to the author. :)
Blair Hodgkinson
An entertaining romp with clever twists and humour.
This book is a slow starter but gets better. It is actually a quick read for a spy-type thriller. The main character has been receiving checks for $1,000/month for seven years without knowing who sent them. When he finally finds out,it is not an answer he wanted to hear. The plot moves quickly once he finds out who the sender is. It seems a bit far-fetched as it goes along but overall it is a satisfying read.
Yves Boydens
Very fun to read, nice characters!
Sam Reaves
For seven years a young man receives mysterious checks in the mail for no apparent reason; after a token attempt to find out who's sending him the money, he just banks it and forgets about it. Then one day a stranger approaches and tells him, "You're now active." He's about to find out what he was paid for, and he's not going to like it. Classic Westlake premise and execution.
Brooks Jones
Just as good as the Dortmunder books I've read, this one starts with an irresistible premise: a regular guy begins receiving a check for $1000 every month for no reason. Eventually, our hero gets dragged into the world of assassins, spies and AK-47s. As usual, Westlake blends suspense and violence with liberal dashes of humor, making this a very enjoyable read.
Probably one of the better opening chapters in the history of crime fiction, but overall this one is not Westlake at the top of his game. Great premise, but the story didn't move as quickly as Westlake's best do, and in some ways I felt this one didn't know if it wanted to be a comedy or a thriller. Still, even a middling Westlake is better than most . . .
Traduction française de Money for Nothing.

Livre divertissant mais qui nous sort de la tête assez rapidement une fois terminé.

C'est l'histoire de Josh, un homme qui reçoit pendait 7 ans un chèque de 1000 $ tous les mois. Il les encaisse et en profite jusqu'au jour où...

L'idée de base est bonne, il y a de bons rebondissements, mais sans plus.
Rob Warner
LOVED this book. A plausible, exciting, unpredictable thriller that would also make a great movie. Westlake has concocted a scenario that moves along and sucks you in and keeps you reading until the end. The story stumbles a bit at the end--feels a little rushed and "out there"--but if you like page-turning thrillers you'll enjoy this book.
Mike Jensen
Mar 19, 2011 Mike Jensen marked it as books-abandoned  ·  review of another edition
I was hooked by the early chapters which set-up a possibly ingenious plot, but events grew increasingly unlikely until a burly man was able to pass himself off as a woman on page 75, and I said, “Enough!” It does not help that the protagonist makes such obviously stupid choices. Sorry, page 76, but I do not need you in my life.
Quite a quagmire the protagonist falls into. It seems more intractable than any other Westlake book I've picked up. I need to reread the climax of this book because so many things were happening at once, and it was hard to follow along in French.
Denise M.
Sep 13, 2009 Denise M. marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
AKA: Alan Marshall, Alan Marsh, James Blue, Ben Christopher, Edwin West, John B. Allan, Curt Clark, Tucker Coe, P.N. Castor, Timothy J. Culver, J. Morgan Cunningham, Samuel Holt, Judson Jack Carmichael, Richard Stark, Donald E. Westlake
Josh Redmont has been recieving a $1,000 check every month for no apparent reason for 7 years. Then one day Josh is approached and told he's now active. This starts a spy story with plenty of Westlakes trademark humor. A fun read.
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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...
The Hot Rock (Dortmunder, #1) Bank Shot (Dortmunder, #2) The Ax What's The Worst That Could Happen? (Dortmunder, #9) What's So Funny? (Dortmunder, #14)

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