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The Jugger: A Parker Novel (Parker Novels) Paperback – April 15, 2009
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“The UC Press mission, to reprint the 1960s Parker novels of Richard Stark (the late Donald Westlake), is wholly admirable. The books have been out of print for decades, and the fast-paced, hard-boiled thrillers featuring the thief Parker are brilliant.”
(Stephen King Entertainment Weekly)
(John Banville Bookforum)
(Marilyn Stasio New York Times Book Review)
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Picture Smalltown U.S.A. Friendly folks, picket fences, nicely clipped lawns, tree shaded lots, porch swings, and you have Sagamore. Now picture deadly purposeful Parker strolling down the sidewalks. Neither one of them are quite ready for the other. Alas for Parker, there is no heist this time, Joe is already dead, and the local and state police are taking far too much interest in Charles Willis. Parker has to put his superb planning abilities in high gear to settle the natives, and solve the mystery of Joe's alleged buried fortune. Parker's sole interest in this is to get Charles Willis back to Miami unknown and uninvestigated.
This is a fine Parker outing where Parker is the only one in Sagamore with good sense, and with much exasperation has to lead the law to the truth. To get the job done, a few homicides happen, and a left over lady with "the eyes of a pickpocket and the mouth of a whore" helps him out. "The Jugger" is best read after you have read a couple other Parker novels for background. For all other Parker aficionados, this is choice.
Parker travels to Joe's retreat, a tiny town in Nebraska, and discovers that Joe is dead. Since he visited the town using his alias name, he realized that he was now exposed. But what happened to Joe? Why did Joe beg him to come? The Jugger is the story of how Parker survives this major threat.
Investigating Joe's death, Parker learns that several people are convinced that Joe had a large treasure stash and all of them want to find the money and get a large cut. Parker, who believes his old friend never had such a treasure, stays around to try to save his "safe" alias. This is the toughest job Parker has had. Can he save himself?
The Jugger is a violent, action packed thriller. Parker's clever and sometimes desperate actions lead to excitement and intrigue. I highly recommend The Jugger.
As other reviews have noted, Westlake has admitted regrets about the Jugger...Parker appears to have gone soft. I don't agree.
The Jugger is consistent with theme of Parker as a flawed human being and master criminal with many qualities. Parker is smart, clever, perceptive about people and human nature, amoral, and only violent when he needs to be. Anyone who is skilled in their craft or business will respect Parker's expert craft as a criminal.
Parker lives in the moment like any good sales person. Not the past. Not the future. Though he respects only dependable people he has worked with in the past. Bozzo's and other undependable types get written off or killed. Mess with drugs, alcohol, or women during a job means you are a Bozzo and are undependable. Parker also plans financially. He pays income taxes to establish legitimacy, stashes cash everywhere like a squirrel, and only "works" enough to replenish his cash. The smart criminal.
About the story: As with other Parker stories, nothing is as it seems, and all the pieces come together by the end of the story. One of Parker's dependable ex-crime partners is in trouble and unclear why. Parker travels to Nebraska not because he cares about his friend--he has no friends--but fear that something might leak about himself and his own criminal past. Parker leaves nothing to chance, so he quickly decides he must travel from his motel "home" in Miami to Nebraska.
The rest of the story is Parker figuring out what happened and not allowing any loose ends that might lead back to him.Read more ›
Parker, a jugger is a safecracker, although I haven't seen that slang anywhere else..
Joe Sheer is a retired jugger. But, he's still connected to the life. He knows everyone and has many good ideas. For Parker, this guy Sheer is his contact when he disappears into his Charles Willis identity. Someone wants to contact Parker about a job, they don't go and blow up his safe identity. They call Sheer. Sheer contacts Parker or holds the info till Parker makes contact. It's like having a private mail drop. So what happens when something goes wrong with this private mail drop? What happens if someone gets the drop on old man Sheer and finds out that Charles Willis is Parker. Well, all kinds of trouble and enough to fill a whole book.
The Jugger is the sixth Parker novel and not considered to be one of the best. Westlake himself has had misgivings about this one, deciding after it was published that Parker wouldn't have gone to Sagamore to help anyone, but it's been pointed out that Parker's goal was preserving his clean identity of Charles Willis, a Parkerian selfish motive. This one differs from the other Parkers in that there wasn't a caper he was pursuing or escaping from, but Parker still had a mission here. When his contact ( Joe Sheer) went missing, Parker needed to know if anyone was on to Parker's own identity.
It has some amusing bits when Parker gets to town and every yahoo he meets thinks Parker is after the same thing they are, but Parker just plays along.
Particularly good was the creation of the character of Captain Younger, who, even for a bumbling small town cop, has a fascinating backstory.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Parker is great. This is not one of his best, but still a fast paced, interesting read.Published 6 months ago by S. Bahles
As always the ultimate anti-hero Parker takes care of Parker. His character is consistent and business-like, intelligent but not intellectual, savage but only when it has a... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Bob Rose
The Jugger may be among the best of Richard Stark's (i.e., Donald Westlake's) Parker books even though reputedly the author didn't think so. Read morePublished 15 months ago by M. Buzalka
These are not necessarily well written books, but they are very readable and very entertaining. Like candy to me and will read the entire series.Published 23 months ago by Marv Thompson
Not bad, but kind of a clusterf***. The premise is very seducing, Parker's trusted man Joe Scheer has recently passed away and left an intangible treasure and a bunch of greedy... Read morePublished 24 months ago by Benoit Lelievre
Another great entry in a great series. You won't be find a more well written heist series than the Parker novels.Published on January 28, 2014 by Amazon Customer
Parker gets caught out using an ID he'd rather keep secret.
Again, he deals with it, but things don't work out too well.
Another part of the series. Read more
The Parker novels are enjoyable. Hardly great literature, but a fun, light read.
They're short, though. Read more