Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Thieves' Dozen (Dortmunder, #12)” as Want to Read:
Blank 133x176
Thieves' Dozen
Donald E. Westlake
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Thieves' Dozen (Dortmunder #12)

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  377 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Featuring Westlake's hapless hero John Dortmunder, this original compilation of short stories ties in to the author's latest Dortmunder hardcover, "The Road to Ruin."
Published April 1st 2004 by Warner Books (NY)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Thieves' Dozen, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Thieves' Dozen

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 569)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
It turns out that short stories about luckless professional thief John Dortmunder are just as enjoyable as his novel length adventures.

As the late Donald Westlake explains in a brief introduction, he never planned for Dortmunder to be more than the main character in a single novel, but that turned into a very successful series. Over the years, he’d have the occasional odd idea that wasn’t enough for a novel, and somehow found that he’d written enough short stories for a collection.

Most of these
So I read this excellent piece a while back in Grantland about Donald Westlake, and then found this very persuasive reader's guide to his work, which I, at least, found pretty useful; we seem to share the same aesthetic. (I also discovered from my 30 minutes of research that Ethan Iverson, the piano player from the Bad Plus, a band I kind of like [semi-ironic jazz covers of prog classics], is in his spare time a noir scholar, which is heroic.) Anyway, so I made my way through a lot of Westlake. ...more
This is an interesting read, mostly on a meta level; it's fascinating to see how structurally different these stories are from Westlake's full-length Dortmunder books. Basically, this book is an excellent education in how to craft short stories as opposed to novels.

So on that level, the book is awesome. Unfortunately, a lot of the things I truly love about the Dortmunder series don't work as well in short form; there can't be any complicated plotting, for example, and the partners in crime mostl
Read this immediately after reading "The Empty Hours" by Ed McBain. Liked both of these books, but I think I prefer the short-form for stories with characters I am not familiar with or grown to love. Having read a bunch of Dortmunder books, I felt like most of these stories, while clever and funny, didn't capture the essence of Dortmunder which, besides being a good name for a cologne, is the idea that crime doesn't pay and if it does it isn't worth the time you spend trying to get paid.
Sep 15, 2010 Spiros rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who finds the name "Diddums" ("it's Welsh") hysterically funny
Yes, I am desperate for Dortmunders: they are almost all out of print. It was with reservations that I desperately clutched at this slim volume when I chanced upon it at Aardvark; I couldn't imagine the brilliance that is Dortmunder translating into the short story format, since the glory of Dortmunder lies in the slow, inexorable build-up.
Needless to say, I was selling Westlake short; these stories represent a pure distillation of Dortmunder, including a story generated when some evil Hollywood
Robert J. Sullivan
Westlake is off and running from the title on in this collection of eleven stories, ten featuring that criminal mastermind-of-ill-fortune John 'Didums' Dortmunder, and one with Dortmunder's doppelganger. (Really, did you expect Dortmunder to not shortchange you on a dozen?)

John, with and without various members of his gang, tries to steal a 600 pound bronze statue, a horse, a famous broach, among other portable items of value, breaks into a bank in the middle of a hostage crisis, and, novelty of
I just love Dortmunder, or Diddums (it's Welsh), and all the gang. The regulars at OJs always make me laugh out loud. These stories are a smattering of Dortmunder, but still grand.

On a literary landscape filled with cunning criminal masterminds, Donald E. Westlake's John Dortmunder is in a league of his own. With no scam too outrageous to contemplate, and no plan too simple to go wrong, this quirky career thief has stolen everything from money buried under a reservoir to a ban
When you are done with the Dortmunder novels, you still have the Dortmunder short stories to read. Will you enjoy them? Of course. Would you trade them for one more novel? Of course.
Philippe Escaffre
Douze nouvelles drôles et bien troussées, avec pour héros John Dortmunder, multi-récidiviste du plan élaboré voué à l'échec...

'Je ne sais pas comment ça se passe pour les autres, mais moi, je suis incapable de penser à ce à quoi je suis censé penser. Les nouvelles de Dortmunder s'étaient succédées, sans être attendues, sans être particulièrement nécessaires, mais à partir du moment où je décidai que je devais en écrire une autre, plus aucune idée! J'avais franchi plus de la moitié du ruisseau, i
A great collection of short stories by Donald Westlake. Highly recommended for all Dortmunder fans!!
this original compilation of short stories ties in to Westlake's latest Dortmunder book.
I don't usually read short stories. In this case, the characters flow from story to story.
I like that continuity.
An easy to read volume.
wonderful comedy. great cold/flu book to read.
Joan Lloyd
This collection of short stories has been my introduction to Dortmunder, his thief/con man who's delightfully likeable and charming and give a giggle or two along the way. A great way to begin ventures into this loveable character. I intend to read more soon.
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
Canard Frère
Compilation rapide à lire et divertissante de nouvelles tournant autour de Dortmunder. Un peu moins poissard que d'habitude, Westlake lui offre ici plusieurs occasions de retrouver le moral au gré d'intrigues sympathiques.
Mark Schlatter
A fun, light read. This is my first exposure to Westlake's more humorous work; almost everything else of his I've read has been Parker novels. I will probably pick up some Dortmunder stuff in the future.
How did Dortmunder begin? Did you know there was a time that Dortmunder almost was no more? Read this book of 12 short stories and enjoy Donald Westlake all over again.
Jason and I love the Dortmunder series. These short stories did not disappoint! Full of "punny" one-liners and capers gone wrong. A fun read!
F Short stories Very funny stories featuring the bungling professional criminal, John Dortmunder, and his gang of inept associates.
a fun read for those who know Dortmunder; probably not the best way to get introduced to him
Jan 31, 2012 Shirley marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
12 short stories featuring John Dortmunder, unemployed jewel thief with a conscience.
Not all the stories were five star, but to have a whole collection is outstanding.
I'd rather have some Dortmunder than no Dortmunder.
I don't think I've read this one yet.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 18 19 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Deadly Edge (Parker, #13)
  • The Rich and the Dead
  • Richard Stark’s Parker: The Score
  • Wallet of Kai Lung (Kai Lung #1)
  • Murder At Madingley Grange
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)
  • Bank Shot (Dortmunder, #2)
  • 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 Hot Rock (Dortmunder, #1) Bank Shot (Dortmunder, #2) The Ax What's The Worst That Could Happen? (Dortmunder, #9) Drowned Hopes (Dortmunder, #7)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »