Thursday, January 01, 2009

Donald Westlake 1933-2008

passed away today.

He was one of the definitive American writers of the late twentieth century and certainly the most versatile, genre or not.
Westlake's novels and characters were funny, savage, sinister, slapstick and entirely unforgettable.
For the first couple years of my time I enjoyed hand selling his stuff above everything else, because the shock and instant widening of the eyes after thumb nailing some of his plots was like what a crack hit must be like; and while I've railed for years that too much of his early stuff, and a couple of beauties are only available in hardcover, but the University of Chicago Press has brought back the early Richard Stark novels (Westlake's best pseudonym).
A sad day, but his work (any of it) can put a smile on your face.

With the New Year the hope around the little blog here is more substantial posting and more frequently.
Some smatterings once a week and more substance in between.
I'm going to make the time for this largely by cutting into the time spent on Facebook (a great thing for a week or so, tedious after that) and more judicious use of web time generally.
Looking back on 2008, I've not done the amount of reading that I've been able to do in previous years, and thus I found myself not as ready for the fall avalanche when all those catalogs came in.
Not so this year.

Still, a bad start.

Posted by David

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