When… (fifty years of Parker)

Why is the cover of that bit of bureaucracy posted above?

Because that’s the bit of bureaucracy that contains this:

The hunter, by Richard Stark, pseud. New York, Pocket Books,   155 p. (Permabook edition, M 4272) © Richard Stark; 15Dec62; A607387

Fifty years ago today, a fresh-faced guy in a Chevy offered [...]

London Paperback & Pulp Bookfair 2012

Since Trent’s currently in the process of confirming, cataloging, and showcasing every single sleaze paperback Donald E. Westlake ever wrote (under various pseudonyms), I thought I’d take the opportunity to draw the attention of British VWoP readers (and any vacationing Americans) to a forthcoming event where there’s guaranteed to be a [...]

Westlake Score and review: 361 by Donald E. Westlake

NB: A version of this post also appears on Existential Ennui.

As anyone who’s been following my books blog Existential Ennui for a while will know, I’ve been avidly collecting Donald E. Westlake first (and other) editions—both his “own-brand” books and his Richard Stark, Tucker Coe et al pseudonymous works—since 2010. [...]

Like having a scorpion in the room: an interview with Darwyn Cooke on Richard Stark’s Parker: The Score

score cover

Introduction

Darwyn Cooke does one in-depth interview for each volume in his series of comic book adaptations of Richard Stark’s [pseudonym of Donald Westlake] Parker novels. (Here are the interviews for The Hunter and The Outfit.) For his new one, The Score, he was kind enough to invite The Violent World of Parker to conduct the interview. “I thought it was time I geared whatever big interview I did more towards Don’s [Donald Westlake’s] fans, rather than my own,” he told us.

For better or worse, he got what he asked for. Nick and I managed two conference calls with Darwyn across three countries, three time zones, and two continents.

There are minor spoilers sprinkled throughout, but nothing, I think, that will affect the enjoyment of the reader of either Darwyn’s great adaptation or its source material. (I did remove one major spoiler, although not for this book.)

Thank you for sitting down with us, Darwyn, and thank you for your immense contributions to the violent world of Parker, and to The Violent World of Parker.

Dear reader: Dig in. I think you’ll find it as fascinating as Nick and I did.

Interview

Nick: [Opening after some green room chatter] Speaking of The Score: How was it this time? How did you find it? How did you adapt to it this time out?

Darwyn: There’s sort of a built-in need to find a way to make each one better than the last. That usually adds to stress and anxiety and all sorts of things you can’t control, but the more I work with Parker, the more comfortable it gets. It’s a pretty easy ride now.

I know how I feel about the character and I know how people have reacted to it, so I feel really free just to go ahead with it? And, in every case with Parker I’m just out to please myself. And that happens to be pleasing other people, so that’s great.

I’m never sitting there worrying about what it is I’m doing. It’s just a very comfortable, really gratifying job now.

We’re like old buddies.

Continue reading Like having a scorpion in the room: an interview with Darwyn Cooke on Richard Stark’s Parker: The Score

Guest slot: The Wolf Man, by Christopher Lyons

Let’s keep the introductions to a minimum this time: the first part of Chris’s two-part guest essay, “The Man Who Doesn’t Wink,” can be found here, so go read that (if you haven’t already) to get yourself up to speed. As before, we welcome your comments, even more so now [...]

Guest slot: The Man Who Doesn’t Wink, by Christopher Lyons

It’s guest slot time here on The Violent World of Parker. Trent has of course hosted guest posts before—one of them by me, no less, in my pre-co-blogger days—but now I’m muscling in on the act as well—partly because it saves me writing anything (apart from this intro), but mostly because [...]

Review: The Cut, by George Pelecanos

(NB: A version of this post also appears on Existential Ennui.)

I’ve a particular reason for cross-posting this review on The Violent World of Parker, as well as on Existential Ennui. I mean, George Pelecanos being ostensibly a crime novelist, and Donald E. Westlake/Richard Stark being an acknowledged influence on Pelecanos, [...]

Dan J. Marlowe and Earl Drake, 1: The Name of the Game is Death (alias Operation Overkill)

(NB: This post also appears on Existential Ennui.)

In 1962, one of America’s leading genre publishers issued a paperback original by an author who’d only been a novelist a few years, but already had a handful of successful, critically praised crime works under his belt. Starring a violent career criminal who operates under [...]

Review: The Mercenaries (1960, a.k.a. The Cutie / The Smashers) by Donald E. Westlake

Let’s return to Donald E. Westlake’s debut novel (“official” debut, that is; he had other pseudonymous sleaze works published before it), 1960′s The Mercenaries, a signed, inscribed British first edition of which I blogged about just over a week ago. I mentioned in that post that Violent World of Parker proprietor [...]

Review: Darwyn Cooke’s Parker–The Martini Edition

Darwyn Cook Parker Martini Edition

People are cynical about repackagings, and they should be. How many cuts of Blade Runner are there now? I think there’s a box set to collect them all. And I will fully acknowledge that when I first heard about this project, the song that popped into my head was “Paint a Vulgar Picture” [...]