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Bryce Proctorr has a multi-million dollar contract for his next novel, a wife who is trying to extract the last pound of flesh (but money will do just as well) from him in an ugly divorce, a fast-approaching deadline, and a serious case of writer's block. Wayne Prentice is an author drifting ghost-like through a world that has forgotten his novels; he's gone through two pseudonyms, has watched his sales plummet, and is wondering whether the academic life might be better than this, all things considered. When the two meet by chance in the New York Library, Proctorr has a proposition: if Prentice will give him his unsold manuscript to publish under Proctorr's name, the two will split the book advance fifty-fifty. But as in all Faustian bargains, there is a significant catch: Wayne must kill Bruce's wife.
The murder itself is almost insignificant, a small and sordid endeavor. The novel's real appeal lies in its shadowy reflections of the links between the two protagonists: a bond has been created that neither can break--nor wants to. Westlake cleverly questions the boundaries between actual and vicarious experience, fact and fiction. The novel is strikingly self-referential as it plays with the irony of authors trying to "compose" their own realities: "There are moments in almost any novel when it's necessary to move a character from one point to another, so that you can go on with the story, and this was like that." But what happens when the characters, instead of dutifully obeying the wishes of their creators, strike off on their own in unanticipated and fearful directions? --Kelly Flynn --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
I do not need to summarize the plot. You can see that above. I found this to be one of the most compelling books I have read in a long time. Read morePublished on Nov. 26 2001 by David Pope
_The Hook_ leaves you hanging would have been more clever, but inaccurate, since, by the end of the book you've long since stopped caring about any of the characters. Read morePublished on Oct. 25 2001 by John Mayer
I bought it on last wednesday in Holland and finished it sunday.
Remind I'm Dutch, so I read a bit slower than the most of you. Read more
I enjoy this author and I particularly liked The Ax which was a real departure from his Dortmunder series, which I also like. (the review is in here somewhere if you care). Read morePublished on June 7 2001 by John R. Linnell
This book is a textbook example of a good idea gone wrong -- not anywhere near enough character development or detail to make the story believeable or compelling. Read morePublished on May 27 2001
This is the first book I've read by the author, but I definitely enjoyed his style. The story would make a great movie. I'd recommend it as a beach read, too. Read morePublished on May 7 2001 by Chelle
I started The Hook with much anticipation, having loved The Ax. The Hook starts out well, but gets muddled in the middle, but has a terrific end (if somewhat predictible). Read morePublished on April 18 2001
In Donald E. Westlake's "The Hook," the title refers to the (b) definition of the word, something intended to attract and ensnare, specifically the "hook" in a... Read morePublished on April 17 2001 by Amazon Customer
I have read other Westlake books and, after reading The Hook, he needs to stay with his Dortmunder series. Read morePublished on Feb. 14 2001 by Leonard P. Bazelak