Tuesday, January 06, 2009

I Had No Idea


That Donald Westlake had died on New Year's Eve.

I have never ever picked up a Westlake book and been disappointed. Not once. Unfortunately, I only reviewed one here, his third novel, 361, but it was a hum-dinger. He also wrote screenplays, two of them being two of my favorite crime films ever, the somewhat cheesy The Stepfather (the weakness being the decade, the 80s, rather than any aspect of the writing which was tighter than an ant's ass) and the smooth as cut glass The Grifters.

One of the things that really struck me about Westlake's output was that he didn't seem to ever slow down. Maybe he did a little in his last few years, but the body of work was a constant driving force over his life and his writing never pulled back from bare knuckled thrills and plotting not a whit short of genius.

Rest easy now, old man.

4 comments:

The Critic said...

Of course, someone tell me why I had to hear about this from Neil Gaiman's website and not some news org....

Chris said...

I don't think I've ever read one of his books..... Time to browse Amazon...

The Critic said...

If you like your crime hard and fast, with a few laughs in there, you'll probably love it.

Alley Cat said...

When I was growing up my entire family adored Donald Westlake books.

It seems like no matter how many of his books I read, there's always new and old books of his that I need to catch up with. He will be missed.