The Hunter (Parker #1)
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...more
4.5 to 5.0 stars. I haven't read oodles of crime fiction but this is certainly one of the best I have read so far. Parker is a pinnacle of the noirish, badass main character. He's simply superb. In this first installment, Parker returns to New York to “even up the score” with some former crew-mates who double-crossed him and left him for dead. Uh…BIG MISTAKE (for them). Now Parker is out for payback and it's pretty much lights out for his former assoc...more
I wrote an absolutely brilliant review of The Hunter: A Parker Novel last night. Trust me, it really was. Then it simply vanished. The laptop hiccuped and all those wonderful words went off to where good words go to die.
Richard Stark was a guy I had never heard of until I joined goodreads group Pulp Fiction. Donald E Westlake, I had heard of. I was in Junior High School when I read Fugitive Pigeon. It was a stitch, althou...more
Wow. I'd been looking forward to reading Richard Stark's Parker books for quite some time and I'd say I'm hooked with the first one. Parker's a relentless force of nature with few redeeming qualities. The writing shows just how versatile a writer Donald Westlake was, powerful yet...more
A professional thief, Parker was betray...more
The first book in the Parker series is a clear illustration for me of the need for half-stars here on Goodreads. I know three stars means a positive reaction, but often people interpret it as a mediocre book, and The Hunter may be flawed as far as I'm concerned, but it is definitely not mediocre. It has in fact most of the elements to make it a classic in its genre: a powerful lead, a heist gone bad, betrayal among crooks, women trouble, surprising twists towards the end.
Parker is a prof...more
Feb2013: An excellent first book of a very good series by Donald E. Westlake writing as Richard Stark. Parker is a great character. He's almost robotic in his cold logic & self-centeredness. He wants what he wants & allows very few emotions to get in his way. Others fidget while they wait, but Parker never does. He's big, strong & obviously has some training in fi...more
He knew he was hard, he knew that he worried less about emotion than other people.
Calling Parker hard is something of an understatement. H...more
Parker is one angry man, he's been crossed, left for dead, thrown in jail for vagrancy, had to cross an entire continent and now he's a hunter who wants payback at point blank range.
Knowing a little about this series of books and how highly fellow pulp fans rate the first book, published in 1962...more
The first half of The Hunter is near perfect. Parker hits New York City, entering the town with a rumbled ill-fitting suit and a very pissed off look on his face huffing it over the George Washington Bridge. The image of him stomping in to the city with just the thought of killing his ex-wife and Mal, the couple who shot and stole forty something thousand d...more
By part two of this book I was experiencing what I can only describe as some sort of anticipatory excitement...not exactly blood lust, more the kind of feeling you get when you've lit a firework and are waiting for it to explode, or that...more
While I’ve read all of Darwyn Cooke’s tremendous graphic novel adaptations as well as watched the late 90s movie “Payback”, I’ve yet to check out the original source material - Sta...more
Westlake passed away in 2008 at the age of 75 after writing almost 100 books.
His writing, which was spectacular in its simplicity, was so clean and clear with no 'fluff' whatsoever.
But Parker, his famous character, is not for everyone since he's is the quintessen...more
Ever since reading The Ax by Donald Westlake, I've been interested in reading more of him, and of his alter-ego Richard Stark. Especially since learning how much of a fan Stephen King is, and how half of his alter-ego's name is in tribute to the good Donald's.
This is a very fast-paced novel, and very harsh for its time (early 60s).
Parker is a 1st degree asshole. Tough to like, yeah, but his story is irresistable.
He. Kicks. Ass.
We are first introduced to him as a lone figure...more
If you ever thought about double crossing someone, you best make sure you know who you're dealing with. If his name starts with a "P" and ends in "arker"...don't. This was my first attempt at Westlake/Stark and what a ride! The pace is relentless and the style suits Parker himself: no extra fluff, straight to the jugular and best with a bottle of vodka. The economy in the prose is brutal and efficient. If you don't like it, screw you. Oh and I took your stuff while you were thinking ab...more
You know, Donald Westlake and I have a lot in common. We both write under a pen name. Both of our novels feature moments of shocking violence. We both…write under pen names.
Okay, so maybe we aren’t so alike after all. But man, could that guy write.
I’ve been hearing about the Parker books for years (quick recap for the uninitiated—Westlake is the author’s real name, Stark is the pseudonym, Parker is the ch...more
But through all that, I still found myself rooting for him, as it becomes clear he does have a code -- he doesn't kill cops, bodyguards, underlings or innocents that find themselves in his way (intentionally) -- and more i...more
First in the now epic 'Parker' series started by Donald E. Westlake under the name Richard Stark in the early 60's. While the single minded juggernaut that is Parker may not be the first protagonist with absolutely zero redeeming traits he is definably the longest running. It has always amazed me just how interesting a man with no emotion, morals or regret can be. Parker is the definition of shallow, a one dimensional man with a one t...more
"His hands, swinging curve-fingered at his sides, like t...more
Once again, I go backwards into a series…
Well, not precisely, as I started reading about Parker with the second book, The Man With the Getaway Face, thinking that the first volume was made of unobtainium. But, the Inter-Library-Loan system has come through once again!
Since I did not “cheat” and read about Parker outside of the books (and others’ reviews of the books I’ve read) I was unaware of some critical “backstory”.
For example, Parker is married when the series starts (althoug...more
Parker is like Rorschach if Rorschach had no redeeming qualities... other than the ability to kill people with his bare hands. and only killing bystanders by mistake.
In high school a teacher explained to me that the reason boys like indiana jones more than james bond is because bond sleeps with every woman but at the end when women throw themselves at jones he goes to sleep. I...more
A very cold book about a very hard man. Master thief Parker has been left for dead, betrayed by his partner and his wife, and now he's out for revenge. If you like sociopathic heroes, this is the noir for you, particularly if you also appreciate a spare, efficient prose style.
"The Hunter" has been filmed twice: 1) the stylish, nihilistic cult-classic "Point Blank" with Lee Marvin, and 2)the vicious, misanthropic "Payback" with Mel Gibson. Both are worth watching.
Hard to believe that Richard Stark is a pseudonym for Donald Westlake who writes such humorous novels. The Parker novels are anything but. In this, one of the first Parker stories, he has been left for dead, shot by his wife, saved only by his silver belt buckle (!!!). Parker would not hesitate himself t...more
I found this book thoroughly unpleasant, with no sympathetic characters and only laughably stupid straw men for Parker to prove his toughness agai...more
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