Greg's Reviews > 361

361 by Donald E. Westlake
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's review
Nov 02, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: crime-fiction, hard-case
Read from November 01 to 02, 2011

Two stars is a little harsh, and it's probably a better book than the last Hard Case novel I read, Two for the Money, but I'm judging this against other Donald Westlake books, and not against other crime books.

So far this is my least favorite of Westlake's books. There are some good moments in it, but then there are some awful ones. His dialogue is kind of tinny here and there are moments when he goes overboard with needless descriptions of rooms and people that make me think he was getting paid by the word for this novel.


For a similar period novel I enjoyed The Cutie more. He had better control over the novel in that one, and I would have guessed that 361 was an earlier attempt, and Westlake was still getting his voice and all of that writerly stuff, but according to publication dates this followed The Cutie by two years.

Book report time.

A guy gets out of the Air Force. Riding home with his dad a cream colored Buick pulls up alongside them and a man with a mustache opens fire on them. His dad dies, he gets his ankle jacked up and loses an eye. When he gets out of the hospital he vows revenge. He learns some family secrets and the Mafia, the Mob, the Syndicate, the Outfit, Costa Nostra, Wise Guys, Good Fellas, Italians with Broken Noses and Cauliflowered ears etc., make an appearance. Some stuff happens.

On the plus side there is possibly one of the best accidental killings in any book within these pages. Who knew eye sockets could kill?

Oh, and Plattsburgh shows up, including some real life places in that shitty little town. Plattsburgh represent, 518!

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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by karen (new)

karen eye sockets are terribly dangerous.

Greg This is how he does it, it's not really a big plot spoiler or anything, but I'll put it in spoiler anyway...
(view spoiler)

message 3: by karen (new)

karen that is the most amazing thing i have ever read.

message 4: by karen (new)

karen that is the second most amazing thing i have ever read

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