Wednesday, June 15, 2022

The Hunter (by Richard Stark, aka Donald E. Westlake) - Review by SE

During a Writing Class I took last year via the Muse Writing Center (The Craft of Heroic Fantasy Fiction) author Howard Andrew Jones suggested I read Donald E. Westlake (aka Richard Stark)'s Parker series to (1) to add variety to my steady dose of Sword & Sorcery [this is a dark, noir crime thriller .... not fantasy adventure] and (2) experience reading economical writing and optimal information flow (ie "reveals").

This was a blast. Granted, some of the misogynistic 1960 perspectives did not age (nor should it this case it reinforces the protagonist Parker's culture). I can see why this expanded in 1 24 book series. Parker is our protagonist, but he's a tough criminal. His exploits are James Bond-like, in that he is a lone rogue constantly thinking on the fly; otherwise, his intentions are entirely self-serving.

As HAJ indicated, this was not only fun to read, but it is a fine example of an entertaining book that also demonstrates highly-efficient prose; each sentence delivers only what it has to, and Stark/Westlake perfected when to add detail (i.e. Brand names or key adjectives). Also perfected, chapter-to-chapter information reveals; the reader only receives what they need, but five chapters in you'll realize that each section unravels key context from all the prior ones.

Splendid. I'm not sure if I want to read all 24! However, I heard the first three comprise a story arc, so I plan to read the next two.