Monday, February 20, 2012

'The Comedy Is Finished,' A Time-Capsule Crime Caper By The Late Donald E. Westlake

I've been reading Donald E. Westlake's crime novels since I was a teenager. I believe I read my first Westlake novel, The Busy Body, in the early 1960s.

So I think it was good of him to leave us with a posthumous crime novel called The Comedy is Finished. I have a copy of the novel and I plan to read it soon.

I also like that Westlake's publisher, Hard Case Crime, uses  old-school crime book covers that feature beautiful, half-naked girls and guns. I recall vividly the thrill of picking up many a paperback crime thriller with these provocative covers when I was a teenager.    

Patrick Anderson's review of Westlake's novel appears in the Washington Post.

“The Comedy Is Finished” is one of the best Westlake novels I’ve read. I think it has one major problem that arises from its appearing three decades after it was written, but that won’t bother everyone. No dates are mentioned, but the story is clearly set in the late 1970s. Five Vietnam-era radicals — think of them as remnants of the Weathermen — kidnap a famous comedian called Koo Davis, who, like Bob Hope, is famous for his film comedies, USO shows and snarky humor. The terrorists announce that they’ll kill the supposedly beloved comedian unless the authorities release 10 other radicals from prison.

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

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