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The Hot Rock [Paperback]

Donald E. Westlake
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 1 2001 Dortmunder Novels
The Hot Rock introduces John Archibald Dortmunder, the thief whose capers never quite come off, as he and his convict friends plot to steal the fabulous Balaboma Emerald.

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About the Author

DONALD E. WESTLAKE has written numerous novels over the past thirty-five years under his own name and pseudonyms, including Richard Stark. Many of his books have been made into movies, including The Hunter, which became the brilliant film noir Point Blank, and the 1999 smash hit Payback. He penned the Hollywood scripts for The Stepfather and The Grifters, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Screenplay. The winner of three Edgar awards and a Mystery Writers of America Grand Master, Donald E. Westlake was presented with The Eye, the Private Eye Writers of America's Lifetime Achievement Award, at the Shamus Awards. He lives with his wife, Abby Adams, in rural New York State.

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Customer Reviews

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Greatest Comic Heist Novels July 31 2003
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
If you have not yet read The Hot Rock, you have an amazing treat ahead of you. With brilliant plotting, amusing characters and a strong sense of irony, The Hot Rock makes side-tickling fun of just about everything you can imagine. This book also introduces the character, John Archibald Dortmunder, who stars in the marvelous series of books that followed this one.
Dortmunder is about to get out of prison on parole, and is looking forward to the $300 that another inmate will pay him for his old cell. That plan is scotched when the warden decides to personally escort Dortmunder out of the prison. So there he is with regret for his lost $300 and poor prospects. Then it gets worse! A Cadillac chases him onto the sidewalk against a wall. And that's just the first three and a half pages!
Dortmunder's old pal, Andy Kelp, has lined up a job that requires Dortmunder to do the planning for the caper. A former British colony in Africa has recently become two independent nations, Talabwo and Akinzi, each run by a different tribe. The Akinzi have possession of the Balabomo Emerald, worth $500,000, and the UN Ambassador from Talabwo, Major Patrick Ito, is offering $30,000 a man (for up to five men) to retrieve the emerald which is now residing in the New York Coliseum at a Pan-African display. Dortmunder needs money, so he decides to take the job . . . if the major will pay a little walking around money in the meantime.
Soon, Dortmunder has developed a brilliant plan that requires some special props, which the major provides. Into the Coliseum go four of the five, and three return . . . minus the emerald. After this setback, the plot starts to get really complicated.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not so hot product March 15 2010
I was expecting a lot less predictable, from the second trial we can forsee the result, I must admit the end was unexpected and funny
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5.0 out of 5 stars This Is The One! May 24 2006
By A Customer
Format:Audio Cassette
The Hot Rock started me on the Westlake road, and I've never looked back. The plotting is meticulous, the characterization is smooth, and -- what has captured me for over 30 years -- the setting is enveloping. I can still feel that damp heatless trailer in the rain, feel the impatience of the card playing colleagues as they wait for results, and long for hot coffee.
Since The Hot Rock I've read every Westlake I could get my hands on; I've never been disappointed. And Westlake as Richard Stark is equally good, if decidedly more frightening. This man can WRITE!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Mr Westlake is a Jewel Nov. 26 2002
This was the first in the Dortmunder series that I can see my review of Bad News to get the full sense of how I feel about these books. To not be redundant I will just say you can not go wrong in reading anything by Mr. Westlake and you will not be disappointed in the telling of the Dortmunder capers and the characters you meet along the way. I have enjoyed them as books on tape!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Donald Westlake-Best Caper Novelist on Earth March 9 2002
By P. Pace
Who could resist the characters Westlake draws (for instance getaway driver Roger Murch who, with his taxi-driving mom, in their off hours sit in their garage and listen to audio recordings of the Indianapolis 500), or the ever-escalating outrageous situations he puts his characters in (such as stealing an antique train to pursue their crooked lawyer through the ornamental gardens of a loony bin). I love Westlake's writing for its sheer fun and respect his masterful craftsmanship as a writer. Another plus: he uses correct punctuation and good grammar.
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