Title: The Handle
Author: Richard Stark (Donald Westlake)
Cover artist: Harry Bennett
Yours for: Not For Sale [part of my "Parker PBO" collection]
Best things about this cover:
- The best thing about any Stark cover is the fact that "Stark" is on the cover.
- What a weird picture. It's like these people are standing on the deck of a listing boat, and there is a slight anomaly or disturbance off the port bough.
- Never been a big fan of Harry Bennett's work—bit too sloppy and unsexy for me. But James Garner's lookin' pretty good here, and she has a certain elegant something, and Flat Top Thompson over there has a nifty weaselyness about him. It's a motley assortment of folk, but interestingly rendered.
- I picked up this book and one other Stark PBO during my recent west coast excursion (the reason for this blog's two-week hiatus). I paid too much, but my steely collector's resolve melts in the presence of Stark. Stark is my kryptonite. I got these at Powell's Books in Portland, which is also my kryptonite. Just a magnificent bookstore. Kind of overwhelming, actually. If I were to leave there without a book, it would feel like a kind of failure. I've decided I need to own first editions of all the Parker novels. I currently own ... four, I think. Lots of work left to do (which is the whole Fun of collecting).
Best things about this back cover:
- Not much here.
- An odd and not-that-provocative raised quote.
- I have not yet read this one. I am currently reading my way through the whole set of Parkers, in order. Finished Man with the Getaway Face on vacation; now part-way into The Outfit. Westlake is one of those writers who never lets me down. Clean, direct, smart, funny prose and dialogue. Effortless. I'm so glad he was so prolific, because it means I still have years of Westlakian good times ahead of me.
He had brought the bourbon bottle along and used it sparingly to rinse out his mouth when it became too dry, but he soon saw he wouldn't be able to survive too long without water.
This makes me sad for the bourbon.
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