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Butcher's Moon (Parker #16)

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4.4  ·  Rating details ·  1,026 Ratings  ·  110 Reviews
The sixteenth Parker novel, Butcher’s Moon is more than twice as long most of the master heister’s adventures, and absolutely jammed with the action, violence, and nerve-jangling tension readers have come to expect. Back in the corrupt town where he lost his money, and nearly his life, in Slayground, Parker assembles a stunning cast of characters from throughout his career ...more
Paperback, 306 pages
Published April 15th 2011 by University Of Chicago Press (first published 1974)
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Kemper
Jun 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a notable book in the Parker series because for a long time it looked like it’d be the last one that Richard Stark (a/k/a Donald E. Westlake) ever wrote since it was over twenty years before he finally did another one.

This one is also a personal milestone since it’s the last Parker novel that I haven’t read before. Westlake died a few years ago, so that means it’s the last new Parker novel I’ll ever read.

Stupid death.

As a personal ending point for me, it’s a humdinger though. Parker ha
...more
Dan Schwent
Sep 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
Short on cash, Parker and Grofield return to Tyler to get some money Parker stashed in an amusement park. But the money isn't there and signs point to the local mob, which is in the midst of a power struggle. Whichever party comes out on top had better remember that when Parker is owed money, he always collects, one way or another...

I'd been waiting for over six months for Butcher's Moon to be reprinted by University of Chicago Press. Was it worth the wait? Hell yes!

Butcher's Moon was the last
...more
James Thane
First published in 1974, this is the sixteenth book in Richard Stark's acclaimed series featuring Parker, the amoral antihero criminal mastermind. While the book can be read as a stand-alone, it is really the capstone of the series to that point and the last Parker novel that would appear until Comeback, a full twenty-three years later.

The original plan seems simple enough: Two years earlier (in Slayground), Parker and several confederates hit an armored car in the Midwestern town of Tyler for $
...more
Jim
Apr 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
June 2017 Review I'm giving this an extra star. I still think the end was overblown, but I liked it better this time. This time I read it directly after Slayground for reasons that are obvious if you've read it. I highly recommend reading all the other Parker & Grofield books first. This one wraps them all up with a bow.


April 2015 Review Twice as long as the preceding books, I was worried that Westlake had gone all Stephen King or something. He didn't. Still the same tight prose that I love.
...more
Mohammed
Mar 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I can see why this was the last one written of the original series. Stark perfected the Parker story,formula. The writing,the many different viewpoints,the characters,the pace,the story,the heists. This is Parker at his most cold blooded and brutal,his smartest. He is so hardcore,ruthless when he takes on his enemies. The action,the twists, is breakneck,believable and thrilling.

It is not only the best in the series, its a massive novel and an alltime great. It was truly the Parker novel to end a
...more
John Culuris
May 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-star
I wonder if I would still feel the same sense of closure if I didn’t already know it would be over twenty years before Parker would “comeback.” (Of course this is not counting his appearance as a character in a novel within the Dortmunder novel: Jimmy the Kid; a book I don’t consider a part of the Parker progression but still plan to read one day.) Butcher’s Moon immediately brings to mind The Hunter, where we first met Parker. Somebody has money that belongs to Parker and he’s going to get it b ...more
Dave
How good is the sixteenth Parker novel "Butcher's Moon"? It's so damn good that, after reading it, people sat around with their hands folded for twenty-three long years, staring at the walls and waiting for the next Parker book. This book reminded me of the first and third Parker books when a young Parker decides the Outfit owes him money and there will be nothing but havoc until he gets his money. In fact, here, Parker even has the head of the local outfit call Karns and ask whether or not he s ...more
F.R.
Mar 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I actually quite like those later Parker novels, but you can see why Richard Stark may have preferred to go out on a nitroglycerin bang with this one. The phrase that follows is normally a trite old cliché, but in this case is genuinely true – this is the Parker novel to end all Parker novels. ‘Butcher’s Moon’ rolls together all the attitude, themes and even the various crews of the earlier books into an genuinely thrilling read.

After a particularly bad streak, Parker remembers that he stashed s
...more
Jane Stewart
Great suspense. Great read. A lot of killing. I was smiling a lot at the end.

This is one of the best Parker books. It’s better if you read Slayground before this. This continues that story. This is sooo good. Great revenge! Parker takes on a local mob. They are no match for Parker. They are like children next to him.

I was intrigued with a comment in the Forward by Lawrence Block. When Stark was writing the first Parker novel, Block asked Stark if he knew where the story was going. Stark said “So
...more
Tim Niland
Mar 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011-reads
Is this the greatest Parker novel ever? Now that I've picked my jaw up off of the floor, I'm certainly leaning in that direction. Richard Stark (aka mystery writer Donald Westlake) sends his greatest creation, the master thief and and ultimate anti-hero Parker, back to an amusement park where he stashed $73,000 during a previous adventure (the novel Slayground.) When Parker and his partner in crime Grofield arrive to find the money missing, Parker will stop at nothing to get the it back, no matt ...more
Erik
Dec 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
“Running toward the light, Parker fired twice over his left shoulder, not caring whether he hit anything or not.”

Easily the best Parker novel, wrapping up the preceding fifteen novels in a neat little ultraviolent package.
Piker7977
May 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
The fallout from a two year old armored car robbery (Slayground) has left Parker in a tight spot. When he goes looking for his lost loot, he finds it missing. He wants his money but the "organization" who was at odds with Parker over the heist claims they don't have possession of it. So where does this leave our main man? Driving with part time thief and actor Grofield to the city of Tyler in order to reclaim Parker's money and be on their merry way. Only it's not quite that simple. The town is ...more
Jeremy Hornik
Mar 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
The last Parker written before the long break. It's got characters from like ten books in it, but it still all works. He wants his money. People should give it to him.
Randy
Apr 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The last of the Parkers for me. And my favorite of the series.

Parker is on one of those occasional dry spells and decides to retrieve the money he'd hid from a previous job so that he could manage his escape from the pursuing police and their criminal associates(Slayride). He gets his partner from the job, Grofeld, and when they get there, in the amusement park, the stash is gone.

He knows the people who were looking for him back then and goes to them for his money.

At the time, it was the last Pa
...more
David
Mar 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: noirboiled
The Hunter + The Score = Butcher’s Moon. For more than two decades, it seemed that Butcher’s Moon would be the last Parker novel, and I have to admit that some small part of me wishes that it were, as it makes a perfect coda to original series of novels (and is even richer still if you have read the Grofield novels, too). Having said that, however, I will relish reading Comeback, and I will not feel obligated to wait 23 years before I do it.
K
May 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This, the 16th in the Parker series, was pretty grim, longer than average, and on the whole, a bit less enjoyable for me than earlier works in this series.
I really enjoy the complex, but nevertheless, rather sociopathic Parker- a tough character who is guided by his own sense of fairness, but is just as ruthless as anyone when it serves his purpose.
He and a colleague venture into a small but predictably corrupt town to recover a stolen cache that Parker had stashed some time before. Unfortunate
...more
David Joseph  Mikels
This is my favorite series of crime books Parker never gets old. I hope they make more movies of the Parker series. Ashton Kutcher would be a spot on match for Stan Devers, just as Jason Statham was perfect for Parker
John Hood
Jun 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Bound: Three More the Hard Way

Parker is Back to Kick Your Ass

SunPost Weekly March 31, 2011 | John Hood
http://bit.ly/gdPw6B

Seems like only yesterday I was heralding another stack of Richard Stark re-racks and basking in the black and blue of it all. Alas that was last August, which is far too many yesterdays to let lapse before we do it all over again. No, don't worry. This won't be a repeat. Not really. It will though be another call for you to hit your local book joint and pocket a fistful o
...more
Eric_W
Nov 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Parker is short of cash and pissed. He knows where he had hidden a stash and takes Grofield, the actor/theater director/thief along to help retrieve it from a carnival ride where he had hidden it several years before. Problem is that the money is gone so suspecting it was found by a local mafia boss, Frank Lonzini, he decides to get it back.

Unfortunately, Parker and Grofield find themselves in the midst of a mob leadership fight. All they want is to get their money back and leave town, but event
...more
Martin
Jul 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is great! Intended as the last Parker book, Butcher's Moon is by far the longest and best of the original 16-book series. It brings in elements from past stories, and thereby makes the Parker-verse a more cohesive whole. There is quite a bit of humour in there, too, which is surprising. Many characters are 'brought back' for a final go-round: Wycza, Devers, Ducasse, Wiss & Elkins, Webb, Handy McKay, Grofield, Mackey*, and more.

It is a direct sequel to Slayground, which should be re
...more
Mark
Sep 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My god, this is one of the best heist novels ever, and it's also my favorite Stark of the bunch. But here's the thing: you can't read it first, or it will make no sense. It's a "greatest hits" book of Parker's capers. It has to be the last, or just about the last, book you read in the original series prior to Comeback. And that's really all I can tell you about it, lest I ruin any of the surprises.
Jeff
May 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Someone stole Parker's money and he wants it back.

I guess this was the Parker novel to end all Parker novels. Double the length of the previous novels and double the action.

This is sequel to Slayground, in which Parker doesn't have his money stolen--yet. But things happen when you stash money away for two years.

This and Slayground together make up my favorite Parker novels.
Andreas
Jun 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent!
Adrian
Mar 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Voy a tener que crear una sección en Goodreads de ediciones añejas de género negro cuyas traducciones son un crimen peor que el que se narra.
Douglas Debner
Jun 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Master criminal Parker has hit a string of bad luck, like a recent additional alarm installed on a jewelry store foiling the job. So Parker decides it is time to collect cash he hid while making his escape from a job two years ago. The local crooks and their dirty cops were the ones trying to take down Parker 2 years ago because they wanted the cash for themselves. Still Parker found a safe place to stash the money. So, when Parker returns to find his money missing he knows it could only have be ...more
Herzog
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series, mystery
This was so good! Parker gathers up most of the characters from the previous books in this series for a big finale to recover the money that he'd left in an amusement park from an earlier caper. Things don't go smoothly (imagine that!) and Parker has to resort to some unusual measures to attempt to recoup the money. This is Parker at his absolute best and does an excellent job of tying together this portion of the series. I'm really looking forward to the next book following a 20-year hiatus.
Russ
Feb 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best Parker novel!!
David
Feb 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another great Parker Novel. I will read more of the series.
Alex Gherzo
Jan 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Butcher's Moon is the last of Richard Stark's initial Parker run and it's a suitably epic finale. While a few chinks in the armor keep it from being one of the best in the series, it's still a great entry and a worthy finale should it have worked out that way (luckily, it didn't).

After walking away from his last several heists empty-handed, Parker returns to Tyler, the town where he had to leave behind his swag in Slayground, to collect his money. When it's not where he left it, Parker informs
...more
Aaron Schmidt
Feb 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Every book in the Parker series thus far had been building to this installment. It starts by picking up where "Slayground" left off, plays out like a combination of "The Outfit" and "The Score," and ends with a little more destruction and death than "The Hunter." I was tempted to call this a summary book, almost as though Westlake thought he'd be leaving Parker's character for good, but it definitely has its own nuances that make it stand out as more than just a wrap-up novel.

It's important to n
...more
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Other Books in the Series

Parker (1 - 10 of 24 books)
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  • The Man With The Getaway Face (Parker, #2)
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  • The Jugger (Parker, #6)
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“I'm only the messenger!"
"Now you're the message", Parker told him and shot him.”
8 likes
“You don't have any claim on the money, and there's no proof I ever saw or touched or spent a dollar of it. You want to take me to court?"
"You're in court right now," Parker said.”
4 likes
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