"You know what? The bastard blows me out of the water. This guy writes Maine like Ardai writes New York. If you're not reading him, you don't know what you're missing." --Chris F. Holm, author of The Big Reap, The Wrong Goodbye and Dead Harvest.

"Bagley's got the poet's eye, but that doesn't mean everything is prettier in his work. It means the ugly stuff is more vivid. More intense. Like a sudden switch from analog to HD. And that's a trait to very much admire in his work." --Anthony Neil Smith, author of Hogdoggin', Yellow Medicine, The Drummer and Psychosomatic.




Friday, January 2, 2009

Celebrating Westlake

I've been thinking about this since last night, and I realize I helped perpetuate our narcissistic culture by blogging about how I felt about Donald Westlake's death. Being depressed about his passing serves no purpose. Instead, we should celebrate the brilliant (and huge) body of work Westlake left behind.

Here's my suggestion: put a copy of one of Westlake's books in the hands of someone who has never read him. Give a friend a Dortmunder novel or a Parker novel (my favorites) or one of the gozillion others he wrote. Help someone discover the joy of reading Donald Westlake. Make it the literary equivalent of an Irish wake. I can't think of a better way to honor such a great writer.

I have a battered, much-read paperback copy of Bank Shot for anyone who leaves a comment asking for it (I'll throw your names in a hat and pick one out Monday). The catch is that you have to be a Westlake virgin...and I'll have to take your word for it.

6 comments:

Randy Johnson said...

I like this idea. I'm not a Westlake virgin, so I can't get in on the drawing even though that's one I haven't read.
Now if you'd been offering Butcher's Moon, the only Parker I haven't read, I might have lied and tried to get it. LOL! Have you seen the prices for that one on the used book sites?

Patrick Shawn Bagley said...

Yeah, I've seen some of those asking prices and I'd lie for BUTCHER'S MOON, too.

Stephen D. Rogers said...

I've actually never read Westlake. Sad, how many writers I haven't had the time to enjoy....

JZID said...

I've seen a lot of comments about how hard Butcher's Moon is to find. I was fortunate enough to find it through my local library. If anyone lives in Michigan check out elibrary.mel.org and you'll find there are a few copies circulating.
I think I'll give one of the few Richard Stark's I own to a lady I work with who read Stephen King.

Patrick Shawn Bagley said...

If it helps, point out to the lady that King is also a big Westlake fan.

Patrick Shawn Bagley said...

Stephen, BANK SHOT is all yours if you want it. E-mail me.