Eric_W's Reviews > The Hunter

The Hunter by Richard Stark
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Apr 15, 2010

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bookshelves: mysteries-and-thrillers
Read on April 15, 2010

I'm pretty sure I saw this many years ago as a movie and a little research indicated I was right: Point Blank (1967) and Payback with Mel Gibson (1997?). I believe I only saw the Gibson version.

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 to double-cross his partners, but he's nevertheless peeved and embarks on revenge tracking down Mel who had conspired with Lynn, his wife.

The writing is a little stark (sorry, couldn't resist) but more than competent, and despite the archaic nature of the content it's like surrendering to the early fifties world of noir. Grab a couple of these for any trip. You will not be disappointed as they will make you forget just about any economy airline seat.

I wish they would bring out the whole series as ebooks so they would quite going out of print only to be resurrected a few years later.
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Pinky Few years back, prior to Gibson's (less-effective) remake, I got hooked on these--and had a devil of a time tracking down the old paperbacks. But man those old little mass-markets look cool, and there's something fantastic not just reading such diesel-fueled precision prose but doing so with a dingy tattered paperback and its garish cover.

Eric, see Point Blank -- it's outstanding, and Parker is always Lee Marvin in my mind's eye...

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