The above illustration, "Blowing Bubbles," has been adapted for use here by generous permission from the artist, Cyril Rolando.

January 1, 2009

First comes denial...

...Later comes the devastation.

Donald Westlake has died.

I cannot even fathom this right now.


  1. I'm so bummed out by this.

    re-reading '361' may not be the most uplifting thing in the world right now.

  2. Bummed is the right word. This wasn't supposed to happen, dammit, my heroes are supposed to live forever.

  3. I just read about this. Sorry to hear this. I know you were a big fan, Corey. I guess the one condolence is that he'll live on forever through his books and through recommendations from fans like you!

  4. Even though I've never read any of his works, some film adaptations of his work are among my favorites (Point Blank--later Payback--and The Hot Rock), and his screenplay of another fav of mine, Thompson's The Grifters, was superb. We seem to losing a lot of great ones, lately. Sorry to hear about this.

  5. Donald Westlake was the reason I started writing. I discovered his work when I was thirteen years old and I read a serialized version of his novel SOMEBODY OWES ME MONEY in, of all places, Playboy magazine. I can't remember who the centerfold was that month, but I certainly remember that story and how it grabbed me.

    I immediately went to the library and found all the Westlake books I could, then soon discovered the world of Parker.

    The last time I was in New York I had hoped to arrange a lunch with Westlake, to thank him for his inspiration and for teaching me to write. I didn't have high hopes that it would happen -- and it didn't -- but I wish now more than ever that it had.

    I never knew the man personally, but this is a huge loss for me.

  6. I share your sense of loss, Robert. Things must be pretty somber at the OJ Bar & Grill today. I have this strange surrealistic notion of John Dortmunder getting the bad news, and wondering how he'll tell Andy and the others. And the stoic Parker, how will he react?

  7. I haven't decided if Westlake's death is the Worst Thing to Happen to Crime Fiction in 2008, the Worst Thing to Happen to Crime Fiction in 2009, or the Worst Thing to Happen to Crime Fiction in first quarter of the 21st century. I suspect it's all three.

  8. I suspect you're right, Charles.