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Bad News Mass Market Paperback – Mar 1 2002


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (March 1 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446610844
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446610841
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 11 x 2.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,366,520 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Mass Market Paperback
There are very few writers who can sustain a humorous novel. It is a talent wildly under-appreciated until one seeks out those few examples of truly funny books: currently, David Lodge, last century, P.G. Wodehouse. A few others. And then there are the Dortmunder novels by Westlake, who takes the mystery genre and turns it into clever, lovable, hilarious adventures of these star-crossed robbers.
This one, his most recent, returns to the level of his earlier ones, those memorable ones like the serial robberies in HOT ROCKS and "bank-robbing" taken too literally in BANK SHOT and the un-robbery of WHY ME?
These are shamelessly shallow feel-good lovable entertainments: a rare accomplishment for any novelist in any period. This one, about DNA and Native Americans' casinos, is a splendid hoot.
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By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on June 30 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Donald E. Westlake does a brilliant job here of using comedy to display the ironies of life in proving that Murphy's Law (anything that can go wrong . . . will) is still in effect.
John Dortmunder is well known to Westlake fans as the break-in specialist who constantly faces unexpected misfortune to foil his "can't-miss" plans. Never has Dortmunder had so many plans upset as in Bad News. This book is my second favorite in the series, after Bank Shot.
The book's opening would make a great short story. Dortmunder is about to walk off with $1,000 worth of camera equipment from a discount store when every alarm and light in the place go off. Using his wits, he quickly improvises an alibi that will leave you chuckling for days.
Having lost that $1,000, Dortmunder agrees to Andy Kelp's offer of a job digging up and moving a body from a nearby cemetery. Andy got the job over the Internet, and it turns out that John and Andy are viewed as expendable by their "employers" -- Fitzroy Guilderpost and Irwin Gabel. In the process of protecting themselves, John and Andy decide that they should try to cut themselves in on whatever the caper is really all about.
Eventually, they become "partners" with the two, plus their accomplice, Ms. Shirley Ann Farraff, who operates under the nom de guerre of Little Feather Redcorn, the supposed last of the supposedly extinct Pottaknobbee tribe who have a potential one-third ownership of a Native-American casino on the reservation in upstate New York. They plan to pull an "Anastasia" and prove that Shirley Ann is a Pottaknobbee by burying one of her relatives in the grave of one Joseph Redcorn on Long Island. Dortmunder quickly spots lots of holes in the plan and tries to fix them.
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By A Customer on March 30 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Bad News," is the first Dortmunder novel I have read. I loved it! The characters are indeed lovable. I will be reading some more of these novels.
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By D. C Washington on Nov. 26 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am new to the Dortmunder series and I have been listening to several as books on tape (Don't Ask, The Hot Rock, Good Behavior, Bank Shot, Nobody's Perfect Jimmy the Kid) all in the last few months (as well as Put a Lid on it and The Axe) I had never heard of Dortmunder or Westlake and never read fiction. So as a novice to the genre I have to say that I find Mr. Westlake to be a remarkable communicator. His writing brings me into the action and I laugh out loud and feel the tension as if I was sitting there with the gang. I am hesitant to disagree with those more experienced reviewers when it come to this series but I found this book to be the best of the lot (understanding I think all of the are 5 Stars).....I think maybe because of the order I have been reading I was getting a little too comfortable with the Dortmunder formula and this one seems to take me just enough out of that formula to keep me going. I love Mr. Westlakes development of characters (although some of the Indian characters were his weakes) and the twists and turns that are his trademarks ( I also read The Axe and it was GREAT). I strongly encourage you to read this book or listen to it on tape...you will not be disappointed!! The only weak part for me was the regular guys at the bar scene that I so look forward to....but even that was good. Read this book and any of the others in the series...I am pressing on to try and finish all of the Dortmunders series in the next few months!!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
There are some things that are certainties: death, taxes, and on a lighter note, that a new book by Donald Westlake will be a good thing. In Bad News, the latest in his Dortmunder series, Westlake is as consistently great as always.
In this novel, the hapless burglar is recruited into doing some grave robbing for a group of con artists. The con artists are certain that Dortmunder and his pal Kelp are just a couple of dumb crooks, but they are smart and pros...just very unlucky. Soon Dortmunder and his usual gang are involved in a scam to get part ownership in a successful Indian casino, taking them out of their usual field and into the new area of grifting.
The irony that pervades this and the other Dortmunder novels is that Dortmunder winds up working harder as a thief and with less rewards than if he got a legitimate job. The idea of honest work, however, never even crosses his mind. In this book, once again, the simple jobs get ever more complicated and the payoffs are never as great as hoped.
This is a fun book and a funny one, a fast and entertaining read. For those who like a good caper novel, this is a book to read, another delight from one of the masters.
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