Our last History Of Mystery Class looked at Donald E. Westlake’s tight and tough books featuring Parker, the robber who is not opposed to violence, which Westlake wrote under the name Richard Stark. Sunday June 3rd at 6pm, we take a look at Westlake’s lighter take on crime with The Hot Rock.
The Hot Rock was originally concieved as a Parker novel, but Westlake found the premise of a diamond the crooks had to steal over and over again too humorous. He transformed Parker into a hapless thief, named him John Dortmunder, and kicked off a new series of books that practically invented the comic crime novel.
A discussion of The Hot Rock should prove interesting and entertaining. We’ll look at similarities between Parker and Dortmunder, comparing the comic heist novel to a hardboiled one, and hopefully have a few laughs. Before our discussion at 6pm, we’ll be viewing the film version directed by Peter Yates (Bullit; The Friends Of Eddie Coyle) and starring Robert Redford and George Seagal. The film starts at 4pm. Find us up on BookPeople’s third floor.
Here’s a clip of Robert Redford in the film version of The Hot Rock: