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The Hunter: A Parker Novel (Parker Novels Book 1) by [Stark, Richard]
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The Hunter: A Parker Novel (Parker Novels Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Length: 208 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

"Westlake knows precisely how to grab a reader, draw him or her into the story, and then slowly tighten his grip until escape is impossible."-Washington Post Book World

"Elmore Leonard wouldn't write what he does if Stark hadn't been there before. And Quentin Tarantino wouldn't write what he does without Leonard. . . . Old master that he is, Stark does all of them one better."-Los Angeles Times

"If you're looking for crime novels with a lot of punch, try the very, very tough novels featuring Parker. . . . The Hunter, The Outfit, The Mourner, and The Man with the Getaway Face are all beautifully paced, tautly composed, and originally published in the early 1960s."-Christian Science Monitor

"The Parkers read with the speed of pulp while unfolding with an almost Nabokovian wit and flair. . . . Original editions of these books, and even later reprints, change hands for scores or hundreds of dollars on the Net, and it's excellent to have them readily available again-not so much masterpieces of the genre, just masterpieces, period." -- Richard Rayner "Los Angeles Times" (09/14/2008)

"Reveal[s] what a sexy brute [Parker] was." -- Marilyn Stasio "New York Times Book Review" (10/05/2008)

"Richard Stark's Parker novels . . . are -- John Banville "Bookforum"

“Parker represents the antihero with dubious morals. Stark’s clever plot structure, moving back and forth in time, is totally engrossing.”--"Library Journal"""  ""    --Marilyn Stasio"New York Times Book Review" (10/05/2008)

“Writing a couple of years ago . . . John Banville reckoned the Parker novels to be ''among the most poised and polished fictions of their time and, in fact, any time.'' That''s high praise from an impeccable source, and Banville is right to single out the technical excellence of these books. The Parkers read with the speed of pulp while unfolding with an almost Nabokovian wit and flair. . . . Original editions of these books, and even later reprints, change hands for scores or hundreds of dollars on the Net, and it’s excellent to have them readily available again—not so much masterpieces of the genre, just masterpieces, period.”—Richard Rayner, "Los Angeles"" Times"
"" 
 
"" 
"" 
 
"" 
--Richard Rayner"Los Angeles Times" (09/14/2008)

“Glitters with seemingly effortless intricacy, being aimed at one episode—a stunner, the kind of moment in fiction that really does have you leaping from your chair and exclaiming in surprise and glee.”—Richard Rayner, "Los Angeles"" Times", on "The Hunter"
"" 
 
--Richard Rayner"Los Angeles Times" (09/14/2008)

“Parker is refreshingly amoral, a thief who always gets away with the swag.”—Stephen King, "Entertainment Weekly"
"" 
"" 
"" 
"" 
--Stephen King"Entertainment Weekly" (09/12/2008)

“Parker . . . lumbers through the pages of Richard Stark’s noir novels scattering dead bodies like peanut shells. . . . In a complex world [he] makes things simple.”—William Grimes, "New York Times"


"" 


"" 


"" 


"" 


 


"" 
--William Grimes"New York Times" (08/28/2008)

“Whatever Stark writes, I read. He’s a stylist, a pro, and I thoroughly enjoy his attitude.”—Elmore Leonard    --Elmore Leonard

“Richard Stark’s Parker novels . . . are--John Banville "Bookforum "

“Parker is a true treasure. . . . The master thief is back, along with Richard Stark.”—Marilyn Stasio, "New York"" Times Book Review""" "" "" "" --Marilyn Stasio "New York Times Book Review "

“Donald Westlake’s Parker novels are among the small number of books I read over and over. Forget all that crap you’ve been telling yourself about "War and Peace" and Proust—these are the books you’ll want on that desert island.”—Lawrence Block     
 --Lawrence Block

“Richard Stark writes a harsh and frightening story of criminal warfare and vengeance with economy, understatement and a deadly amoral objectivity—a remarkable addition to the list of the shockers that the French call romans noirs.”—Anthony Boucher, "New York"" Times Book Review"""  "" 
"" 
"" 
--Anthony Boucher "New York Times Book Review "

"Parker represents the antihero with dubious morals. Stark's clever plot structure, moving back and forth in time, is totally engrossing."--"Library Journal""" "" --Marilyn Stasio"New York Times Book Review" (10/05/2008)

"Richard Stark's Parker novels . . . are--John Banville "Bookforum "

"Glitters with seemingly effortless intricacy, being aimed at one episode--a stunner, the kind of moment in fiction that really does have you leaping from your chair and exclaiming in surprise and glee."--Richard Rayner, "Los Angeles"" Times", on "The Hunter"
""

--Richard Rayner"Los Angeles Times" (09/14/2008)

"I wouldn''t care to speculate about what it is in Westlake''s psyche that makes him so good at writing about Parker, much less what it is that makes me like the Parker novels so much. Suffice it to say that Stark/Westlake is the cleanest of all noir novelists, a styleless stylist who gets to the point with stupendous economy, hustling you down the path of plot so briskly that you have to read his books a second time to appreciate the elegance and sober wit with which they are written."--Terry Teachout", Commentary"--Terry Teachout "Commentary "

"If you''re a fan of noir novels and haven''t yet read Ricahrd Stark, you may want to give these books a try. Who knows? Parker may just be the son of a bitch you''ve been searching for."--;i>Virginia Quarterly Review"--John McNally "Virginia Quarterly Review "

"Parker is a true treasure. . . . The master thief is back, along with Richard Stark."--Marilyn Stasio "New York Times Book Review "

"Whatever Stark writes, I read. He's a stylist, a pro, and I thoroughly enjoy his attitude."--Elmore Leonard

"Donald Westlake's Parker novels are among the small number of books I read over and over. Forget all that crap you've been telling yourself about "War and Peace" and Proust--these are the books you'll want on that desert island."--Lawrence Block

"Richard Stark's Parker novels . . . are among the most poised and polished fictions of their time and, in fact, of any time."--John Banville "Bookforum "

"Richard Stark writes a harsh and frightening story of criminal warfare and vengeance with economy, understatement and a deadly amoral objectivity--a remarkable addition to the list of the shockers that the French call romans noirs."--Anthony Boucher "New York Times Book Review "

"I wouldn't care to speculate about what it is in Westlake's psyche that makes him so good at writing about Parker, much less what it is that makes me like the Parker novels so much. Suffice it to say that Stark/Westlake is the cleanest of all noir novelists, a styleless stylist who gets to the point with stupendous economy, hustling you down the path of plot so briskly that you have to read his books a second time to appreciate the elegance and sober wit with which they are written."--Terry Teachout "Commentary "

"Parker is a brilliant invention. . . . What chiefly distinguishes Westlake, under whatever name, is his passion for process and mechanics. . . . Parker appears to have eliminated everything from his program but machine logic, but this is merely protective coloration. He is a romantic vestige, a free-market anarchist whose independent status is becoming a thing of the past."--Luc Sante "New York Review of Books "

"The University of Chicago Press has recently undertaken a campaign to get Parker back in print in affordable and handsome editions, and I dove in. And now I get it."--Josef Braun "Vue Weekly "

"Whether early or late, the Parker novels are all superlative literary entertainments."--Terry Teachout "Weekly Standard "

"If you're a fan of noir novels and haven't yet read Richard Stark, you may want to give these books a try. Who knows? Parker may just be the son of a bitch you've been searching for."--John McNally "Virginia Quarterly Review "

"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."
--H. J. Kirchoff "Globe and Mail "

"Writing a couple of years ago . . . John Banville reckoned the Parker novels to be 'among the most poised and polished fictions of their time and, in fact, any time.' That's high praise from an impeccable source, and Banville is right to single out the technical excellence of these books. The Parkers read with the speed of pulp while unfolding with an almost Nabokovian wit and flair. . . . Original editions of these books, and even later reprints, change hands for scores or hundreds of dollars on the Net, and it's excellent to have them readily available again--not so much masterpieces of the genre, just masterpieces, period. . . . . "The Hunter" glitters with seemingly effortless intricacy, being aimed at one episode--a stunner, the kind of moment in fiction that really does have you leaping from your chair and exclaiming in surprise and glee."
--Richard Rayner"Los Angeles Times" (09/14/2008)

"Parker is refreshingly amoral, a thief who always gets away with the swag."
--Stephen King"Entertainment Weekly" (09/12/2008)

"Parker . . . lumbers through the pages of Richard Stark's noir novels scattering dead bodies like peanut shells. . . . In a complex world [he] makes things simple."
--William Grimes"New York Times" (08/28/2008)

Writing a couple of years ago . . . John Banville reckoned the Parker novels to be 'among the most poised and polished fictions of their time and, in fact, any time.' That's high praise from an impeccable source, and Banville is right to single out the technical excellence of these books. The Parkers read with the speed of pulp while unfolding with an almost Nabokovian wit and flair. . . . Original editions of these books, and even later reprints, change hands for scores or hundreds of dollars on the Net, and it s excellent to have them readily available again not so much masterpieces of the genre, just masterpieces, period. . . . . "The Hunter" glitters with seemingly effortless intricacy, being aimed at one episode a stunner, the kind of moment in fiction that really does have you leaping from your chair and exclaiming in surprise and glee.
--Richard Rayner"Los Angeles Times" (09/14/2008)"

Parker is refreshingly amoral, a thief who always gets away with the swag.
--Stephen King"Entertainment Weekly" (09/12/2008)"

Parker . . . lumbers through the pages of Richard Stark s noir novels scattering dead bodies like peanut shells. . . . In a complex world [he] makes things simple.
--William Grimes"New York Times" (08/28/2008)"

Whatever Stark writes, I read. He s a stylist, a pro, and I thoroughly enjoy his attitude. --Elmore Leonard"

Richard Stark s Parker novels . . . are among the most poised and polished fictions of their time and, in fact, of any time. --John Banville "Bookforum ""

Parker is a true treasure. . . . The master thief is back, along with Richard Stark. --Marilyn Stasio "New York Times Book Review ""

Donald Westlake s Parker novels are among the small number of books I read over and over. Forget all that crap you ve been telling yourself about "War and Peace" and Proust these are the books you ll want on that desert island. --Lawrence Block"

Richard Stark writes a harsh and frightening story of criminal warfare and vengeance with economy, understatement and a deadly amoral objectivity a remarkable addition to the list of the shockers that the French call romans noirs. --Anthony Boucher "New York Times Book Review ""

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.
--H. J. Kirchoff "Globe and Mail ""

About the Author

Richard Stark was one of the many pseudonyms of Donald E. Westlake (1933-2008), a prolific author of noir crime fiction. In 1993 the Mystery Writers of America bestowed the society’s highest honor on Westlake, naming him a Grand Master.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 347 KB
  • Print Length: 208 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press; Reprint edition (15 Sept. 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001CDWFD4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #160,233 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
If you know anything about Donald Westlake's alter ego - Richard Stark - and his series of brutal, brilliant, STARKly written crime thrillers, then you will know that the protagonist, Parker, has been played on screen by Lee Marvin, Robert Duvall, and Mel Gibson. But to know who Parker really is, where he came from, where he's going, and the lengths he will go to get what he wants, you need to start here. The Hunter opens the series with a bang, and even though Parker is a nasty piece of work, you will just love the guy. The perfect anti-hero. This particular edition by Chicago University press is well worth it. Lovely edition, cool cover. First of a lovingly produced series of hard crime thrillers. Unmissable if you are serious about pulp fiction.
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Format: Paperback
For anyone unable to locate a copy of Point Blank, seek no further; this is it with the original title. The Lee Marvin film didn't do it justice, taking too many liberties due to Parker being considered just a little non-PC for a movie anti-hero of the time. In the more recent version, Payback starring Mel Gibson, Parker's character was much closer to Stark's version, although reviews called him "a small-time crook." As the book explains, Parker has no experience of stealing anything small!

One thing always puzzles me though...Hollywood has filmed several Parker books, but always insist on changing his name. curious. Jim Beatson.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I came to the Parker novels via Westlake's Dortmunder series, the more cheery, incompetent alter-ego of Parker. Although some of the sardonic lines that Parker comes out with parallel the witty wordplay in the Dortmunder series, as a whole things are a lot more grim. It's a bit like the difference between the film Get Carter (violent, filled with death and painful consequences) and the film people *think* Get Carter is (a knockabout jolly from the 1960s with Michael Caine that provides you with cool posters to decorate your walls).

It's not that it's not good - it's well written, and unlike the Dortmunder novels there are few enough characters that you can pick it up very easily - but it's grim. You have people accidentally choking to death, suicides, stranglings and innocents being deprived of all their savings. This isn't the sort of book you'd read for a cheery respite from a stressful day.

On the other hand, my 6-week year old daughter appeared to enjoy The Hunter just as much as any of the Dortmunder books that she's had read to her so far. And it does have a plot that's a lot more entertaining than most of the books that are aimed at a pre-schooler.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Keep it simple, wait for the doublecross, and kill people. Less a book, more a film script. This title, together with The Man with the Getaway Face and The Outfit are an essential trilogy in any collection of crime fiction novels.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Coming from the Darwyn Cooke adaptations, I first read this book in comic form a few years ago.
Now reading the original text it loses none of the atmosphere or brilliance.
Each chapter powers along, insisting you read "just one more" part. The simplistic writing style is perfect for a crime/action book, keeping the plot focussed and engaged. Desperate to check out the next in this series.
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Format: Paperback
I decided to read this book based on the reviews. I hadn't realised the film Payback with mel gibson was loosely based on the novel. Parker the main character, isn't a particularly nice person, but by the end I was right behind him. Non stop fast action, no messing with loads of superfluous words, just a great, great storyline. I read this in 5 hours, I literally couldn't put it down. I loved it, in fact im on with the next one in the series which follows on where the story ends. I can't say much more apart from superb!! If you manage to get a copy you won't be disappointed.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The story zips along at a good pace, occasional skipping backwards and forwards in the time-frame to add interest. The book can be criticised for its misogynist tendencies, but this, sadly, is true to the period - early sixties, Mad Men and all that. Readers who like, say, Elmore Leonard or Jim Thompson, are probably going to like this. It's a good place to get started on Richard Stark/Donald E Westlake. The Hunter is also of interest for providing the story for the great John Boorman film Point Blank. And the Kindle transcription is good.
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I'd imagine this was amazing when it first came out. Sadly, we've seen so much since then that it seems dated and the concepts are a bit old and tired. I wish I'd read it years ago - because it would have seemed new and fresh. I'm not entirely convinced by the hero's motivations either. I wish he'd either go for regular guy or out-and-out villain.
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