Powell's Richard Stark Sale!
For a limited time, save 30% on select Richard Stark crime novels!
Written between 1962 and 1974 and published under the great Donald Westlake's most famous pseudonym, these 15 novels - featuring the relentless antihero Parker - put the "hard" in hardboiled. If you love the style and period of Mad Men but long for more gun battles and bloody knuckles, Stark is for you! Offer good on select titles, new (not used) copies only.
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Synopses & Reviews
The hunter becomes prey, as a heist goes sour and Parker finds himself trapped in a shuttered amusement park, besieged by a bevy of local mobsters. There are no exits from Fun Island. Outnumbered and outgunned, Parker can't afford a single miscalculation. Hes low on bullets—but, as anyone whos crossed his path knows, that definitely doesnt mean hes defenseless.
“Nobody tops Stark in his objective portrayals of a world of total amorality.” —New York Times
“Energy and imagination light up virtually every page, as does some of the best hard-boiled prose ever to grace the noir genre.” —Publishers Weekly
“Nobody tops Stark in his objective portrayals of a world of total amorality.” New York Times
“Energy and imagination light up virtually every page, as does some of the best hard-boiled prose ever to grace the noir genre.” Publishers Weekly
"A dimestore shiv of a book about what happens when corrupt cops tip off the mob about a car accident in which an incompetent wheelman flips a getaway car next to an amusement park called Fun Island. (Hint: Master thief/antihero extraordinaire Parker survives; a lot of other people die." Seth�Mnookin
“Parker is refreshingly amoral, a thief who always gets away with the swag.”
“Parker . . . lumbers through the pages of Richard Stark’s noir novels scattering dead bodies like peanut shells. . . . In a complex world [he] makes things simple.”
Stephen King - Entertainment Weekly
“Richard Stark’s Parker novels . . . are among the most poised and polished fictions of their time and, in fact, of any time.”
William Grimes - New York Times
“Parker is a true treasure. . . . The master thief is back, along with Richard Stark.”
John Banville - Bookforum
“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.”
Marilyn Stasio - New York Times Book Review
“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.”
“Whatever Stark writes, I read. He’s a stylist, a pro, and I thoroughly enjoy his attitude.”
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.”
“Richard Stark writes a harsh and frightening story of criminal warfare and vengeance with economy, understatement and a deadly amoral objectivity—a remarkable addition to the list of the shockers that the French call roman noirs.”
"Parker is a brilliant invention. . . . What chiefly distinguishes Westlake, under whatever name, is his passion for process and mechanics. . . . Parker appears to have eliminated everything from his program but machine logic, but this is merely protective coloration. He is a romantic vestige, a free-market anarchist whose independent status is becoming a thing of the past."
Anthony Boucher - New York Times Book Review
"I wouldn't care to speculate about what it is in Westlake's psyche that makes him so good at writing about Parker, much less what it is that makes me like the Parker novels so much. Suffice it to say that Stark/Westlake is the cleanest of all noir novelists, a styleless stylist who gets to the point with stupendous economy, hustling you down the path of plot so briskly that you have to read his books a second time to appreciate the elegance and sober wit with which they are written."
Luc Sante - New York Review of Books
"If you're a fan of noir novels and haven't yet read Richard Stark, you may want to give these books a try. Who knows? Parker may just be the son of a bitch you've been searching for."
Terry Teachout - Commentary
"The University of Chicago Press has recently undertaken a campaign to get Parker back in print in affordable and handsome editions, and I dove in. And now I get it."
John McNally - Virginia Quarterly Review
"Whether early or late, the Parker novels are all superlative literary entertainments."
Josef Braun - Vue Weekly
“The UC Press mission, to reprint the 1960s Parker novels of Richard Stark (the late Donald Westlake), is wholly admirable. The books have been out of print for decades, and the fast-paced, hard-boiled thrillers featuring the thief Parker are brilliant.” Terry Teachout - Weekly Standard
The hunter becomes prey, as a heist goes sour and Parker finds himself trapped in a shuttered amusement park, besieged by a bevy of local mobsters. There are no exits from Fun Island.
Outnumbered and outgunned, Parker can't afford a single miscalculation. He’s low on bullets — but, as anyone who’s crossed his path knows, that definitely doesn’t mean he’s defenseless.
About the Author
Richard Stark was one of the many pseudonyms of Donald E. Westlake (1933-2008), a prolific author of crime fiction. In 1993, the Mystery Writers of America bestowed the societys highest honor on Westlake, naming him a Grand Master.