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
But still isn't as bad as Parker, the protagonist (of sorts) in this crime favorite. The plot is pure "dick lit": Guy gets thrown over by wife Lynn, and Mal--(wannabee bad ass who has a penchant for whores) for forty thousand dollars in a heist. Heist goes swell. Fallout...not so much. Lynn actually shoots five bullets in Parker but the most deadly bullet hits his engraved "p" belt buckle and saves his life...even with the house burning down to the ground. Whoa.
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
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
There is something compelling about the sense of how little the characters who crawl around the contours of this novel realize how completely inhuman they all are. They live their lives like various species of carnivorous fish stuffed into a too small aquarium. In a lot of ways, The Hunter seems out to prove the point that, there is a lot to be...more
A professional thief, Parker was betray...more
At first I wasn’t sure if I would like this. Parker kills a couple innocents who happened to be in his way. But I really enjoyed the last third or so when Parker took on the mafia/syndicate. He tells them who he’s going to kill if he doesn’t get his way. And then he does it. The story is a little shorter than most novels. The author is a good storyteller. I like the way he writes.
One thing a little...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
Everyone in this story is an unpleasant character, but they are shown to be weak or strong, not in what they have but in what they want and what they're willing to...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
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
Then I kept hearing about this Richard Stark. And I said to myself, I know that name, where do I know it from? Then I remembered! It wa...more
(1962)...also published under the title payback...kindle...strange how it opens on the 1st "page"...i like looking at the pages before a story begins...published date, noted...dedicated to whom?....doesn't say...hmmm.
kindle cover, a shapely woman in the foreground, black silhouette, a man in a...are those called fedoras?...also...more
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
Cognitive dissonance. College-level psychology may teach the technical details of the term, but experience usually schools us all in a far more primal understanding of it early on. We learn quickly that cognitive dissonance is best friends with perplexity, confusion and denial. It wrinkles the brow, raises your blood pressure and knots the muscles in your neck. It likes to show up when you realize that, yes, you just intentionally cut off that person in rush-hour traffi...more
"His hands, swinging curve-fingered at his sides, like t...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