Reader reviews for The Hunter: A Parker Novel

A fast and relatively short read - 208 pages. Not surprising for a crime novel of its vintage. Thoroughly enjoyable even if the hero (as in central character) is a very nasty man. Was made into a movie as Point Blank with Lee Marvin and Angie Dickinson which seems very appropriate to me! In a way Parker reminds me of Reacher - remotely.A great quick read.
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canonical pulp: very tough guy with no remorses playing hard, in a straight-forward story, fast-paced and action-packed. I am not really into the genre, but this book was pretty well written and was enjoyable light reading.
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Although there is considerable charm to this noirest of noir crime books, and the furious pace and stylistic dialogue notwithstanding, the problem I have with it is that the protagonist is written as a psychopath. I quite like anti-heroes, and have a soft spot for hard men (you'll pardon the pun), but I like my anti-heroes with a modicum of morality, a soupcon of sentiment, a hint of humor and heart. Parker's indifference to the women in the book is unsettling, to say the least, including the woman he "accidentally" kills. Vengeance is all well and good, I suppose, and retribution has its place, but not to be even slightly ambivalent about the suicide of his wife (even if she did shoot him and leave him for dead) leaves this reader with no choice but to conclude he has no emotions whatsoever, and such a soul-dead protagonist is of limited interest. Anti-heros are at their best when they are complicated, conflicted and are capable of deep feeling. A quick afternoon read. No more.
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The eminent Banville recommended Stark's Parker series for it's spareness and skill (transcending the genre). This is a crime thriller. American.
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What.A.Ride. When I started reading this, I didn't know that it was the source material for the 1999 movie Payback. If you liked that movie, I highly recommend this book.

The book version is a bigger rush that the screen version, because you get to see inside the characters' heads. And that almost makes the down and dirty behavior of these characters seem downright reasonable. These people see the world as a place where you got two choices: bad or worse. There is no access to any Princess Lollypop land from their world.

P.S. Richard Stark is a pseudonym for Donald E. Westlake.
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It's fast and furious. A bad-guy gets double crossed and sets out to 'fix' those who double crossed him. And that's exactly what he does, leaving a trail of bodies behind.Very similar to Child's Reacher (though Reacher is a good guy) or Block's Keller. I'm definitely gonna read more in the series and hope it stays politics and moral free.
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Read while waiting to meet for lunch. Well written, as Westlake tends to be. I found the fundamental mechanics of Mal's double-cross implausible, and that irked me. Noir should never be implausible.
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Sparse and brutal. Somehow you end up liking Parker, despite the harm he does.I love a good Noir, and this one was a quick, enjoyable read. I'll have to look at this more closely, as a writer, to understand how chopped up the narrative is (POV, flashbacks, etc.) to keep up the tension.Liked it a lot.
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In the first of the Parker series by Richard Stark—one of prodigiously prolific Donald E. Westlake's many pen names—Parker appears seemingly out of nowhere and makes his way to Manhattan to take his revenge on those who left him for dead after a heist in which some of his partners got too greedy. Originally published in 1962, Westlake clearly redefined the hardboiled genre popularized by Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler with the creation of Parker, a hard-hitting, cold-blooded murdering anti-hero who makes us believe he's serious when he says he's sworn off love for good. No detective he, but a professional thief—one of the best in the business who lets nothing stand in his way. In this case, the plan being to reclaim the money that was stolen from him by "The Outfit", the organized crime gang he takes on singlehandedly so he can secure his future. The bad guys are really creepy and the good guys just don't exist. Fast moving, violent and addictive stuff.
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One of the rare times where the movie (Payback) is better than the book. It could be that I've seen the movie first but in my opinion the movie had a darker, rarer feel to it. As many people may know the hunter (and payback) tells the story of Parker, how is seeking revenge after been betrayed, shot and left for dead by his partner and his wife. But what many people may not know, is originally this was going to be a one off book, but the authors publisher convinced him to change the ending and offered him a three book deal. This deal has lead to the series now consisting in 24 books with the same protagonist. Where the series goes; I don't know, but I am a little curious to see where it goes.
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