Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Getaway Car

The Getaway Car: A Donald Westlake Nonfiction MiscellanyThe Getaway Car: A Donald Westlake Nonfiction Miscellany by Donald E. Westlake
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Getaway Car is a collection of Donald Westlake's nonfiction work.

I arrived really late to the Westlake party. In fact, when he died, I think I'd only read a handful of his books. Since then, however, I've probably read 25-30 more and thus I was interested in this collection.

The Getaway Car offers up letters, introductions, and essays Donald Westlake wrote during his lifetime. He covers a wide range of topics, like how he wasn't able to support himself writing science fiction in a scathing letter to Xero, a sf fanzine, to his trials and tribulations involving Hollywood. Along the way, he covers such diverse subjects as Lawrence Block, Rex Stout, Peter Rabe, and his wife's tuna casserole recipe.

I liked this book as it shows Westlake was a clever guy no matter what he was writing. There wasn't a lot of meat to it, however. It was kind of thin and some of the selections seemed included to pad the page count.

That being said, I did enjoy a lot of it. It makes me want to read more Peter Rabe, for instance. It also drives home the point of how unknown and unappreciated Westlake was by the general public. With 90 novels under his belt, he was the James Patterson of his era, with the added bonus of actually being a good writer.

Three out of five stars. Maybe 2015 will be the year of the great Parker re-read.

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