Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Getaway Car -- Donald E. Westlake

I've been a fan of Donald E. Westlake's fiction almost since he began to write. I didn't read the early mid-century erotica or his first few novels under his own name, but I was right there starting around 1965 when he published The Fugitive Pigeon, at which point I went back and read all the earlier ones.  I picked up the Richard Stark books about that time, too, and of course kept up with those as they appeared afterward.  I read his novels as by Tucker Coe and Samuel Holt, and other things, too.  So you could say that I'm a fan, and I'm very happy to have this new collection.

The Getaway Car is all nonfiction.  Some of it you may have read before, as it's stuff like introductions to books or essays that appeared over the years in various places, but some of it appears here for the first time (letters, snippets of autobiography).  It's all fascinating, because Westlake couldn't write anything that wasn't even if he tried.  It's hard to say what my favorites are, but the autobiographical material is great.  And I love the essay on Peter Rabe and the comments on Rex Stout, because I'm so much in agreement with most of what he says.  His short appreciation of Lawrence Block is terrific, as are his conversations with is pen names.  What the heck, it's all terrific.  And did I mention fascinating?  Indeed I did.  Let me put it this way.  You need this book.  You're going to love it.  Trust me on this.  Little in-joke there, but I'm not kidding.  This is essential reading.   


Anonymous said...

Let's jsut say there is no way I am NOT ordering this one.


Ed Gorman said...

I'm reading it for the second time. It really is one of the finest books I've ever read about a writer and his writing.

George said...

I ordering THE GETAWAY CAR now.