It is my great pleasure to welcome you to The Violent World of Parker, version 3.0!
This project started about ten years ago, on a crummy little Geocities site. I eventually moved it to a hosted domain, but, for a variety of reasons, I was never able to keep it up like I wanted to.
I had planned on a major revamp starting late winter or early spring (an addiction to football knocks September through December out for other hobbies), but the tragic death of Mr. Westlake (and Mr. Stark, and Mr. Coe, and Mr….) prompted me to move my plans up–I wanted both to pay proper tribute to a life and career that has given me so much pleasure and have information available for people made curious by hearing or reading news about Westlake’s death who were then prompted to explore his world and works. So here we are! This is a happy occasion for me on the sad one-month anniversary of Donald Westlake’s passing. I hope you find some enjoyment here as well.
It was a lot of work migrating or creating close to one hundred pages, so I’m sure it’s not perfect. There are probably some broken links, some misdirected links, and plenty of other mistakes. Please let me know if you find anything wrong. No error too small!
Details below the fold…
Improvements to the Site
- Blog. I’m very excited about having an easy way to keep you up-to-date on the latest Parker/Stark/Westlake happenings as well as to ramble on about other semi-related subjects, including sometimes covering crime fiction outside of this universe. How busy the blog is depends on what’s in the news or what I stumble across, but it will be a lot more active than my old news section. Feel free to send me tips if you come across something that you think ought to be covered. The blog also offers the ability to comment on posts, plus an RSS feed you can add to any RSS feed reader.
- Easier navigation. The front page contains a detailed description, but the navigation is pretty intuitive. There are tabs at the top that will take you to the different sections of the site. Pages on books, movies, and so on can be accessed there. Individual pages on books or movies have the option to drill down for further content, for example cover galleries.
- New media content. I’ve added dozens of new cover scans, and organized them somewhat coherently, although there is still work to be done. When available, I’ve embedded trailers to the films. There are other goodies scattered throughout if you look around.
- Better information on the books. The page on each book now contains an image of the first edition, not some random image I happened to have laying around. In addition, each contains the opening paragraph of the novel. I’m not the only one who’s noticed how great those openers usually are, grabbing you immediately; I enjoyed compiling them all here. In addition, I’m working on listing all printings of each book with a cover scan for each. I’ve recently revised my remarks on The Hunter, and added a detailed synopsis for when you need your memory jogged. Other books will follow.
Coming Soon (or eventually)
- Even more new cover scans. If I waited until I had them all uploaded to launch, it would take several more weeks. I have dozens of covers from foreign editions that I will be adding a few at a time as I am able. The amount of information out there has increased hugely since the last time I put serious work into the site, so I’m finding new images all the time.
- Expanded information on books. I’m going through them all, switching back and forth between the early ones and the later ones. The later ones often got very little coverage on the site, and some of the coverage of the early books is woefully inadequate. I hope to expand the coverage of the early books and get minimal coverage of later books during the first round, then get full coverage of the later books during the second (it seems to take multiple readings for me to do this properly).
- Detailed synopses. Lots of people have requested these. As I mentioned, I have a new one up for The Hunter, and my old ones are still out there for The Black Ice Score and The Damsel. It will take forever to get this done, but eventually I hope to have a detailed synopsis of each book. (By the way, I hate writing these things. If you read a book and are inspired to write a detailed synopsis, send it to me and save me the trouble! My synopsis of The Hunter is a pretty good example of what I think these should look like.)
- Lots of other stuff. I’ve got a bunch of old e-mail sent to me by readers that had good ideas for the site that were never used. I’m going through these slowly, and pulling out stuff that fits into the new layout. Random stuff that I can’t make fit, I’ll just throw onto the blog. I’ll be expanding sections regularly based on suggestions both old and new, plus whatever else pops up in the future. (Apologies to those of you who thought your e-mail went into the void. It didn’t! I still have them all. Thank you, and again, I’m sorry.) I’ve also got some surprises planned, if they can be made to work.
Some things I would like
- Suggestions for a new template. The layout is perfect, but the header is not terribly attractive and the designer isn’t very friendly (I posted a comment in an appropriate place asking how many pixels wide an image could be and rather than answering my question or even ignoring it, he or she deleted it). I am looking for an attractive, user-friendly WordPress template with a very similar layout. I’m an amateur with this stuff, and although I’m trying to learn, it could take a while, so if I can find an off-the-shelf solution, that would be great. I especially want to get rid of the dates on the static pages.
I think I’ve found one that I like. What do you think?
- Scans of missing covers or improved scans of existing covers.
- Introductions to out-of-print editions. Right now I know I need the intro to the Gregg Press edition of The Score and the Payback movie-tie in edition of The Hunter, but there may be introductions out there that I’m not even aware of. All the introductions I have are posted, so if you don’t see it, I don’t have it.
- Unproduced screenplays. I know there’s one out there for Comeback by A Simple Plan author Scott Smith, and Brian Garfield wrote one for Butcher’s Moon. There may be others out there–do you know of any? I’ve got one for The Green Eagle Score that I would love to share–anyone know how to get in touch with Alex Ignon, writer of Mel Gibson’s Ransom, so I can ask him for permission?
- Produced screenplays. Produced screenplays would be fine, too, again if I can get permission to post.
- Movie memorabilia. Images of posters, lobby cards, or anything else that might be of interest.
- Mise à Sac. This French movie, based on The Score, appears to be lost. Let’s find it! Subtitles would be nice, but are not required–I may know how to get it subtitled if a copy in decent shape (in any format, including film) can be found.
- Anything else of interest. Let’s get it all in one place, for research purposes, posterity, and the enjoyment of Parker fans.
I really want this site to be a one-stop shop for all things Parker–a virtual museum of sorts. Your feedback, suggestions, and tips are actively encouraged. I can be reached at the Contact Me link on the right sidebar.
Thank you for dropping by, and for those of you who have been checking in for years, thank you for your patience.