My name is Doug Wykstra, and this is some of the stuff I've read and watched.
The following post was taken from my Goodreads review:
The first Parker novel felt almost too archetypical, too simplistic in its conception of a crime syndicate and the one man determined enough to shoot his way through it. The sequel, while not perfect, strikes a better balance between the complex and the simple. The robbery is basic, even the plot surrounding the robbery is basic, and Richard Stark (or Donald Westlake, if we want to dispense with pseudonyms) even lets us in early on the double-cross.
The beauty and horror of Westlake’s writing comes in his understanding of Parker. One character is established as a patsy early on in the book–literally every other character knows he’s going to be killed. Parker doesn’t even try to stop him being killed, because it’s easier for his plan if the guy spends his last few days not knowing. The simple brutality of this world is breathtaking, and Stark finds a good way to turn Parker’s emotionless taciturnity into a weakness–hilariously, Parker’s near-downfall comes from not understanding why someone might find it objectionable to be trapped in a windowless basement for 17 days.
I had to admire the craft of The Hunter, even when I found it a little simplistic. Here, the admiration is a little more natural and a little less grudging. I’m definitely picking up The Outfit at the earliest possible opportunity.
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