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The Outfit: A Parker Novel

The Outfit: A Parker Novel

Ratings:

3.87

(60)
|Views: 2,722|Likes:
Published by UChicagoPress
You probably haven’t ever noticed them. But they’ve noticed you. They notice everything. That’s their job. Sitting quietly in a nondescript car outside a bank making note of the tellers’ work habits, the positions of the security guards. Lagging a few car lengths behind the Brinks truck on its daily rounds. Surreptitiously jiggling the handle of an unmarked service door at the racetrack.
They’re thieves. Heisters, to be precise. They’re pros, and Parker is far and away the best of them. If you’re planning a job, you want him in. Tough, smart, hardworking, and relentlessly focused on his trade, he is the heister’s heister, the robber’s robber, the heavy’s heavy. You don’t want to cross him, and you don’t want to get in his way, because he’ll stop at nothing to get what he’s after.
Parker, the ruthless antihero of Richard Stark’s eponymous mystery novels, is one of the most unforgettable characters in hardboiled noir.  Lauded by critics for his taut realism, unapologetic amorality, and razor-sharp prose-style—and adored by fans who turn each intoxicating page with increasing urgency—Stark is a master of crime writing, his books as influential as any in the genre. The University of Chicago Press has embarked on a project to return the early volumes of this series to print for a new generation of readers to discover—and become addicted to.
In The Outfit, Parker goes toe-to-toe with the mob—hitting them with heist after heist after heist—and the entire underworld learns an unforgettable lesson: whatever Parker does, he does deadly.
 
“Westlake knows precisely how to grab a reader, draw him or her into the story, and then slowly tighten his grip until escape is impossible.”—Washington Post Book World
 
“Elmore Leonard wouldn’t write what he does if Stark hadn’t been there before. And Quentin Tarantino wouldn’t write what he does without Leonard. . . . Old master that he is, Stark does all of them one better.”—Los Angeles Times
 
“Donald Westlake’s Parker novels are among the small number of books I read over and over. Forget all that crap you’ve been telling yourself about War and Peace and Proust—these are the books you’ll want on that desert island.”—Lawrence Block  
You probably haven’t ever noticed them. But they’ve noticed you. They notice everything. That’s their job. Sitting quietly in a nondescript car outside a bank making note of the tellers’ work habits, the positions of the security guards. Lagging a few car lengths behind the Brinks truck on its daily rounds. Surreptitiously jiggling the handle of an unmarked service door at the racetrack.
They’re thieves. Heisters, to be precise. They’re pros, and Parker is far and away the best of them. If you’re planning a job, you want him in. Tough, smart, hardworking, and relentlessly focused on his trade, he is the heister’s heister, the robber’s robber, the heavy’s heavy. You don’t want to cross him, and you don’t want to get in his way, because he’ll stop at nothing to get what he’s after.
Parker, the ruthless antihero of Richard Stark’s eponymous mystery novels, is one of the most unforgettable characters in hardboiled noir.  Lauded by critics for his taut realism, unapologetic amorality, and razor-sharp prose-style—and adored by fans who turn each intoxicating page with increasing urgency—Stark is a master of crime writing, his books as influential as any in the genre. The University of Chicago Press has embarked on a project to return the early volumes of this series to print for a new generation of readers to discover—and become addicted to.
In The Outfit, Parker goes toe-to-toe with the mob—hitting them with heist after heist after heist—and the entire underworld learns an unforgettable lesson: whatever Parker does, he does deadly.
 
“Westlake knows precisely how to grab a reader, draw him or her into the story, and then slowly tighten his grip until escape is impossible.”—Washington Post Book World
 
“Elmore Leonard wouldn’t write what he does if Stark hadn’t been there before. And Quentin Tarantino wouldn’t write what he does without Leonard. . . . Old master that he is, Stark does all of them one better.”—Los Angeles Times
 
“Donald Westlake’s Parker novels are among the small number of books I read over and over. Forget all that crap you’ve been telling yourself about War and Peace and Proust—these are the books you’ll want on that desert island.”—Lawrence Block  

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Publish date: Sep 15, 2009
Added to Scribd: Dec 03, 2009
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reservedISBN:9780226772899
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erickibler reviewed this
Rated 4/5

From the early sixties comes this Parker novel by Donald E. Westlake, writing as Richard Stark. This one's the third in the series, and probably the most inventive one thus far in the series. Parker (a coldly logical criminal) decides he's done being stalked by The Outfit, and resolves to show them he's not to be fooled with. He sends out word to professional heist men across the country asking them to hit Outfit targets. What follows is a suspenseful vengeance tale as well as a detailed description of several of these heists. I tend to like crime procedurals better than police procedurals. The way a smart criminal sets up and executes a crime is often more interesting than how a cop solves it. That's why I like these Parker books. Parker himself? Not the kind of character you like. But it's interesting as hell to watch him work. Check out Ed Brubaker's graphic novel series "Criminal" for more such stuff.
smiler69 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
Contains spoilers if you haven't read the previous book in the seriesAfter the fiasco following our antihero Parker's attempt to evade the Outfit by getting a new face, he decides to get them off his back once and for all by hitting them where it really hurts: all over the place. Parker had threatened one of the Outfit bosses that he would call on all his thieving buddies to rob the organized crime organization at their various facilities if they didn't play fair, and here he makes good on his promise. He writes to dozens of his pals and soon sets in motion a string of robberies at various bars and gambling outfits that adds up to the millions of dollars in losses for his enemies. The question is, if he manages to get his way, can he put a stop to what he started?
iayork_1 reviewed this
1963 Parker Adventure Good, but Not as Good as Later Novels: The Outfit is a thinner than normal Parker adventure by Westlake writing under his Richard Stark penname. Although the 1963 Parker character is pretty similar to Parker in the post novel Comeback modern era crime adventures he is rougher written in The Outfit with Westlake not showing the intelligence Parker has that he does in other novels. Although Westlake goes into great detail with the crimes against The Outfit by other criminals he doesn't do so to much of an extent with crimes and confrontations involving Parker himself, which is a bit disappointing and if he had done so would have probably made The Outfit the usual length. Chapters are also a lot longer in The Outfit than modern novels. The Outfit definitely isn't a bad read and any fan of this series is going to enjoy it but to be honest you'll enjoy other Parker adventures a lot more.

In The Outfit, with a new face courtesy of a plastic surgeon Parker is not amused when a hired assassin interrupts his relaxing vacation. Parker declares war against the head of American organised crime who contracted the hit. Sending word to all his criminal acquaintances across the USA that they have a green light to hit the soft targets where the proceeds of the mafia are stored as he will get the blame, the powerful mafia outfit starts to take some major hits. Parker of course cannot rest until the head of the organisation has a bullet in his.

As well as other Parker adventures also check out under Westlake's own name his masterpiece solution to being unemployed, The Ax. His novels Corkscrew and the Scared Stiff are also brilliant!

I would also recommend James Pattinson (Pattinson not Patterson), a British author who writes very similar style novels which are also short chaptered and simple but enjoyable reads for those who have read everything Westlake has written so far but want more of this sort of reading. Feast of the Scorpion, Wild Justice, A Car for Mr Bradley, The Time of Your Life, Homecoming The Animal Gang and Crane all have criminal characters very similar to Stark's Parker character. Check them out.
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