Who is Parker?

In my previous post I quoted Benjamin Black/John Banville when he wrote: ‘I have always been a keen reader of detective and crime novels—Richard Stark’s Parker books seem to me masterpieces not only of the genre but of literature in general’

Parker is the main character in a series of novels by Richard Stark (aka Donald E. Westlake).

From Wikipedia:

Richard Stark: Westlake’s best-known continuing pseudonym was that of Richard Stark. Stark debuted in 1959, with a story in Mystery Digest. Four other Stark short stories followed through 1961, including “The Curious Facts Preceding My Execution”, later the title story in Westlake’s first short-story collection. Then, from 1962 to 1974, sixteen novels about the relentless and remorseless professional thief Parker and his accomplices (including larcenous actor Alan Grofield) appeared and were credited to Richard Stark. “Stark” was then inactive until 1997, when Westlake once again began writing and publishing Parker novels under Stark’s name. The University of Chicago began republishing the Richard Stark novels in 2008. 

Read more about the Parker novels at The Violent World of Parker

I’m sure you’ll read more about Parker and Richard Stark at The Game’s Afoot from now on. Stay tuned.

6 thoughts on “Who is Parker?”

  1. Thanks Jose Ignacio – I didn’t know who that was, and have been meaning to look it up since your last post, so now you have saved me the trouble.

  2. It’s always struck me as fascinating that Westlake could on the one hand write all his hilarious comedy crime novels while at the same time turning out the dark, grim and violent Parker offerings. The contrast could hardly be greater.

      1. I’m quite jealous you still have this treat in store! The Stark novels I can take or leave, but many of the Westlake comedies are a great joy.

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