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The Man with the Getaway Face: A Parker Novel Kindle Edition

53 customer reviews

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Length: 226 pages
Audible Narration
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Series: Parker (Book 2)

Editorial Reviews


“Westlake knows precisely how to grab a reader, draw him or her into the story, and then slowly tighten his grip until escape is impossible.” —Washington Post Book World “Elmore Leonard wouldn’t write what he does if Stark hadn’t been there before. And Quentin Tarantino wouldn’t write what he does without Leonard. . . . Old master that he is, Stark does all of them one better.” —Los Angeles Times “Donald Westlake’s Parker novels are among the small number of books I read over and over. Forget all that crap you’ve been telling yourself about War and Peace and Proust—these are the books you’ll want on that desert island.” —Lawrence Block

About the Author

Richard Stark was one of the many pseudonyms of Donald E. Westlake (1933-2008), a prolific author of noir crime fiction. In 1993 the Mystery Writers of America bestowed the society’s highest honor on Westlake, naming him a Grand Master.

Product Details

  • File Size: 221 KB
  • Print Length: 226 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0226771008
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press; Reprint edition (September 15, 2009)
  • Publication Date: September 15, 2009
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001FA0HAW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #111,926 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Larry Eischen on January 17, 2001
Format: Paperback
Richard Stark is the master of the criminal tale. THis is the followup novel to The Hunter (AKA Point Blank, AKA Payback). After his run-in with the Outfit, Parker undergoes plastic surgery in order to avoid further complications. Parker's next job is an armored car heist. The entire operation is covered in detail from beginning to end. While planning the job, Parker is tracked by an employee of the doctor who reveals the doctor has been killed. Unless the chauffeur can find the killer, the new faces of his recent customers will be revealed to the Outfit. Parker finds himself in a vise as he goes on with the heist and then has to track the chauffeur in an effort to keep him alive while also uncovering the doctor's killer. AS always for Parker, nothing goes as easily as planned, there is a double cross on the armored car job and the chauffeur gets away from him. This book is a must for those just discovering Parker through the new novels and Mel Gibson's movie. Part 3, featuring the mental meanderings of the punch drunk chauffeur, reveals the slow methodical thought processes while still carrying the story along. The plodding lackey becomes a sympathetic character, maybe the only one in the book, as we follow him on his quest for justice. This book is quite simply a classic of the genre-but then again, aren't all of Stark's novels classics?
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Untouchable on May 30, 2002
Format: Paperback
Most people who have just had their face reconstructed would be inclined to go through a period of mourning as they lament the loss of their familiar appearance. Not so with Parker. Apart from a quick glance in the mirror to make sure he looked different, he is completely unaffected.
This reaction probably best sums up this mysterious and dark character. He always prefers to take the most prudent action rather than be ruled by his emotions, giving him a cold, calculating persona. But these same qualities also make him very efficient and strangely likable.
After receiving his new appearance, Parker goes straight back to work in planning an armoured truck heist. He has some misgivings about the job because it involves someone he has never worked with before, but this is just another contingency for him to plan around. Indeed, it appears that Parker has been built with no reverse gear installed. Once a course of action has been planned, it's full steam ahead and as obstacles rise up, as they inevitably do in this caper, he deals with them head on, scarcely breaking stride.
This is the second Parker book, following his appearance in The Hunter and is a thoroughly enjoyable story. The no-nonsense attitude of Parker, whether it's going ahead with a plan or casually shooting someone in the ankle makes for very entertaining, if a little cold-blooded, reading.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By "curtcow" on March 16, 2002
Format: Audio Cassette
Donald Westlake writes of Dortmunder, a bumbling petty criminal it's really hard to like. Then as Richard Stark he gives us Parker, a much more competent crook who will kill when he has to, and surprisingly or not, a much more likeable character.
It was written in 1963 when the mob was "The Outfit", Exxon was still Esso and you took the ferry to Brooklyn, not the Verrazano Narrows Bridge. Parker gets a new face from Dr. Adler, a plastic surgeon in Nebraska who was a pre 50s Commie, then goes back to New Jersey for an armored car heist. Skim and Elma, Skim's overbearing waitress girlfriend, set up the heist, develop an unworkable plan that Parker fixes and set up a doublecross that Parker anticipates. All would be fine except Dr. Adler has been killed, and a guy named Stubbs is sent to find the killer.
The interaction between Parker and Stubbs and their search for a swindler named Wallenbaugh, now Wells, take up the rest of the story. Parker's reasons for getting to Wells and going back to Nebraska to square things come from logic only his mind could concoct, but it makes for a fun adventure.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By sweetmolly on October 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
Richard Stark (Donald Westlake), where have you been all my life? Yes, I have read and enjoyed the Westlake capers, and particularly liked the deft and humorous touches. Who would have dreamed, this same man could come up with Parker?
Parker is impersonal, a completely professional robber and sometimes murderer. He rarely murders with any passion, unless you consider "irritation" a strong enough emotion to rate as "passion." We are not told where Parker comes from or how he became the way he is. However, he is by no means a robot. He is skillfully presented with many shadings of character.
The title refers to Parker's new face. He has undergone plastic surgery to make himself more anonymous to anyone looking for him. He is quite indifferent to this new face with not a thought to whether it is an improvement or otherwise on the original. The story is a caper that begins dubiously ("too many things to watch out for"), and he is right to be doubtful. In spite of his meticulous planning (a joy to read for sheer professionalism), more and more factors clog up the works. We are saved from a bloodbath because Parker is not a vindictive man.
I marvel at the perfection of the writing; the story flows, everything fits and there are no loose ends (Parker would not stand for that.) It's a fast read, and I am now totally addicted. The Parker books are just coming back into print, and those that are not are usually available used. Come join the fun if you like your mysteries and humor very noir.
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