Mark Finn at The Cimmerian: Rest in Peace, Donald Westlake

I want to highlight this obituary by Mark Finn, because he was the gentleman who introduced me to Parker, Stark, and Westlake in the first place.  Also, because it’s very good.

The thing that I most admired about Westlake was his ability to plot, and plot deftly, without ever a […]

Wallace Stroby’s Westlake Obituary

Crime novelist Wallace Stroby sends along his farewell to Donald Westlake:

While reading a draft of my first novel, THE BARBED-WIRE KISS, [agent Knox] Burger called me out of the blue to criticize my tendency to write overly terse, in a manner he found inappropriate for the […]

Writing Lessons from Richard Stark

In this farewell post, author David Isaak points to this 2007 piece from fellow novelist Tim Stretton.  Tim’s brief post covers, among other things, what lessons aspiring writers can learn from The Hunter.

For example:

Choosing a narrative voice which supports the protagonist’s character is essential.

Stark/Westlake almost […]

Two More Westlake Tributes

Wall Street Journal: Otto Penzler of the Mysterious Bookshop memorializes Donald Westlake.

One rush hour, I was reading Westlake’s novel “Drowned Hopes” on the subway when a scene became so absurdly comic that I began to laugh. As it progressed, I became utterly incapable of controlling the laughter. Passengers began […]

Bill Kristol Remembers Donald Westlake

William Kristol, of the Weekly Standard and Fox News’ “Special Report,” has been promoting Donald Westlake at every opportunity for ages.  I seem to remember that his recommended reading lists always included “anything by Donald Westlake,” and he told the L.A. Times that Westlake should receive the Nobel Prize for literature:

Enough […]

Charles Ardai’s Westlake Obituary

From Time:

As no one before him, Westlake played both the light and dark sides of the street–alternating witty, ingenious capers with tales of breathtaking cold-bloodedness–and taught two generations of writers how to stylishly pull off one perfect crime after another. Like Parker, Westlake was the consummate pro.

Ardai (publisher […]

Made in U.S.A. Finally Gets Its American Debut

Just added to the obituaries page, from the L.A. Times: “Hollywood Rarely Did Donald Westlake Justice.”  This contains the news that Made in U.S.A. (based on The Jugger) will have its American debut next week.  Will video follow?

Next week, the first-ever film adaptation of Westlake’s work, “Made […]

New Obituaries and Tributes

New obituaries and tributes added.  I can’t possibly post them all, so check out Sarah Weinman’s roundup for another list.  And please do e-mail me if you find one that’s particularly interesting or just plain good.

New Obituaries Page

I have started a new page devoted to obituaries and tributes to Donald Westlake.  It’s pretty much just a placeholder at the moment–due to time constraints I am unable to flesh it out right now.  There will be a lot more there by this time next week, I promise, so check back.  […]

Awful News: Donald Westlake Has Died

I have just received word that Donald Westlake died on December 31st, 2008, of a heart attack. He was 75.

This is a bit overwhelming. When someone has been around for your entire life, it is natural (for me, anyway) to just assume he will always be there.  This was […]