Author Donald Edwin Westlake was born July 12, 1933 in Brooklyn and was raised in Albany, New York. After writing a lot in his teens, he got rejected two hundred times; he would finally make a sale in 1954. He would sell more stories here and there over the years while going to college. He would later spend two years in the United States Air Force. While living in New York City, he wrote on the side and worked at a literary agency. In 1960, he started writing full time, and it was this year that he sold his first novel under his own name (the novel was called “The Mercenaries”). He was married three times, the third to a well regarded gardener and writer of two non-fiction books. The Westlake garden has been opened many times for viewing by the public in the summer. He died New Year’s Eve, 2008 from a heart attack while he was about to go to a dinner with his wife while they were on vacation in Mexico. He was 75 years old.
Order of Parker Series
|2||The Man With The Getaway Face||1963|
|9||The Green Eagle Score||1967|
|10||The Rare Coin Score||1967|
|11||The Black Ice Score||1968|
|12||The Sour Lemon Score||1969|
|22||Nobody Runs Forever||2004|
|23||Ask The Parrot||2006|
Order of Dortmunder Series
|1||The Hot Rock||1970|
|3||Jimmy The Kid||1974|
|9||What's The Worst That Could Happen?||1996|
|11||The Road To Ruin||2004|
|12||Watch Your Back!||2005|
|13||What's So Funny?||2007|
Order of Sara & Jack Series
Order of Mitch Tobin Series
|1||Kinds Of Love, Kinds Of Death||1966|
|2||Murder Among Children||1967|
|4||A Jade In Aries||1970|
|5||Don't Lie To Me||1972|
Order of Sam Holt Series
|1||One Of Us Is Wrong||1986|
|2||I Know A Trick Worth Two Of That||1986|
|3||What I Tell You Three Times Is False||1987|
|4||The Fourth Dimension Is Death||1989|
Order of Alan Grofield Series
|4||Lemons Never Lie||1971|
Order of Donald E Westlake Standalone Novels
Order of Donald E Westlake Non-Fiction Books
|1||The Getaway Car||2014|
Donald E. Westlake was quite a prolific author, writing over a hundred novels. His work was mainly crime fiction, specializing in comic capers; there are some brief forays into other genres, one of which includes science fiction. Westlake released work under his own name and under pen names, the biggest of which is Richard Stark. Under the Stark name, he wrote about Parker, who starred in 28 novels. Other characters he wrote about include Phil Crawford, Dortmunder, Mitchell Tobin, Grofield,Sam Holt, and Sara Joslyn. Dortmunder is the comic flip side of Parker, and once said that a novel he wrote (“The Hot Rock”) was supposed to be a Parker, but kept turning funny. It became book one of the “Dortmunder” series. He also wrote stand alone novels and some short stories. Westlake also wrote some screenplays that include “Cops and Robbers”, “The Stepfather”, and “The Grifters”.
DONALD E. WESTLAKE AWARDS
He is one of three authors to win three Edgar Awards in three categories; in 1968 he won for “God Save the Mark” (best novel), in 1991 for “The Grifters” (best screenplay), and in 1990 for writing “Too Many Crooks” (best short story). The Mystery Writers of America named him a Grand Master, which is their highest honor. Westlake was nominated for an Academy Award for the work he did on “The Grifters” in the best adapted screenplay category.
DONALD E. WESTLAKE BOOKS INTO MOVIES/TV
Many movies have been made based of Westlake’s work. “The Hunter” has twice been made into a movie, once called “Point Blank” (with Lee Marvin playing Walker, who was supposed to be Parker) and the second time it was called “Payback” with Mel Gibson playing Parker but his name was changed to Porter. Jason Statham played Parker in 2013, in a movie that was based off of “Flashfire”. “The Hot Rock” was adapted in 1972, with Robert Redford playing Dortmunder. In 1973, Robert Duvall played Parker (named Macklin in this picture) in “The Outfit”.
BEST DONALD E. WESTLAKE BOOKS
For those readers looking to get into novels by Donald E. Westlake, this section will help with that. It will go over the novels “The Hot Rock” and “Bank Shot”.
The Hot Rock: This is the first novel in the “Dortmunder” series and was released in the year 1970. Introducing John Archibald Dortmunder, who does not carry guns, nor does he allow his crew to carry them. After he gets out after his recent stay in jail, he has another score. It is a large gem that is called Balabomo Emerald that has a worth of about half a million dollars. His client on this one is the United Nations ambassador of Talabwo (an African nation). Akinzi currently has the gem, and they are the neighbor of Talabwo. They will get 150,000 in cash when they are able to deliver the stone. All of the planning and preparations go well, as is the execution. But the results of the heist are terrible. That is because Dortmunder has the worst luck of any thief there is.
Bank Shot: This is the second novel in the “Dortmunder” series and was released in the year 1972. John Archibald Dortmunder has been working on a scam selling encyclopedias until he can pull of his next big heist. This newest mark is wise to what is going on, and he has to get out quick. He may have a lead on the next con, the Main Street bank is working out of a mobile home, for just a short time. All he has to do is get past the seven guards and get the bank on wheels rolling and drive off. Simple plan. One that goes wrong.