Sunday, 4 January 2009

Richard Stark

Donald E. Westlake died a couple of days ago - not a good start to 2009. Perhaps more famous for his excellent and very funny Dortmunder novels (The Hot Rock, Why Me) it was the novels he wrote under the name Richard Stark that really influenced me. In Point Blank (originally titled The Hunter) he created the ultimate revenge story that became one of the greatest crime films ever made. But despite the brilliant inventiveness of Boorman's film there was something about the Parker character in the novels that never quite translated to the big screen. He was pursuing revenge for a double-cross he was planning himself but the other guy got there first. He was a criminal to the core, and Westlake understood what that meant.

As I've mentioned numerous times before, the Parker character was a huge inspiration for the character of Ryan in Ten Dead Men and for that I owe Donald Westlake my thanks.


Pete Regan said...

I didn't know he'd died, and I only just started reading his books. Now I feel I should watch Why Me.

Chris Regan said...

I should've posted the trailer for Why Me.