Monday, April 18, 2011

Hard Case Crime Update from Charles Ardai

Lost Donald E. Westlake Novel Discovered

Hard Case Crime to Publish THE COMEDY IS FINISHED

New York, NY; London, UK (April 18, 2011) – Hard Case Crime today announced the discovery of an unpublished novel by acclaimed mystery writer Donald E. Westlake. THE COMEDY IS FINISHED, which Hard Case Crime will publish as its lead title in 2012, tells the story of an aging, politically conservative comedian kidnapped by a domestic terrorist group that threatens to kill him unless the government frees some of their imprisoned comrades. Westlake, who died on New Year’s Eve 2009, was a three-time winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Award, received an Academy Award nomination for the screenplay of The Grifters, and was named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America, the organization’s highest honor. THE COMEDY IS FINISHED will be only the second novel ever to be published in hardcover by Hard Case Crime, the award-winning line of mystery novels published by Titan Books.

6 comments:

  1. Anonymous11:46 AM

    Wonderful news.
    But do we have a clue when this novel was originally written?
    The plot seems to imply relatively recent vintage, but with Westlake you never know.

    John Hocking

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  2. John this is also from Charles Ardai: "Don began work on it in the late 1970s, but ultimately decided not to publish the book after Martin Scorsese released his movie "The King of Comedy" since Don was apparently concerned that the premise of his novel and Scorsese's film were too similar. He shouldn't have worried -- aside from both having to do with kidnapping a television comedian, the two are completely different. But he did, and the result is that there's a Westlake novel that's been sitting unpublished in manuscript form for the past 30+ years."

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  3. I always figured that there must be a trove of Westlake novels laying around. The guy was so prolific that he must have had a few shelved novels laying around and another bunch awaiting publication at his death.

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  4. This came from my basement. Don sent me his carbon to read, back when we were corresponding regularly. When Hard Case announced MEMORY as the final Westlake novel, I alerted Charles to COMEDY's existence. Ultimately I photocopied the (moldy) typescript for Charles and sent it to him.

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