The 16th Parker novel, Butcher’s Moon, is more than twice as long most of the master heister’s adventures, and absolutely jammed with the action, violence, and nerve-jangling tension listeners have come to expect. Back in the corrupt town where he lost his money, and nearly his life, in Slayground, Parker assembles a stunning cast of characters from throughout his career for one gigantic, blowout job: starting - and finishing - a gang war. It feels like the Parker novel to end all Parker novels, and for nearly 25 years, that’s what it was.
©1974 Richard Stark; Foreword © 2011 by Lawrence Block (P)2013 AudioGO
A lot of killing. I was smiling a lot at the end.
This is one of the best Parker books. It’s better if you read Slayground before this. This continues that story. This is sooo good. Great revenge! Parker takes on a local mob. They are no match for Parker. They are like children next to him.
I was intrigued with a comment in the Forward by Lawrence Block. When Stark was writing the first Parker novel, Block asked Stark if he knew where the story was going. Stark said “Sort of. I’ll just keep writing and see where it goes.” That reminded me of Stephen King. King said something like he never knows his plot or ending in advance. He just starts with an inspiration. I think that’s a great way to write. Stark is doing the same.
The narrator Joe Barrett was pretty good, but I did not like his voice for Parker. It sounded too normal-guy-like. I prefer Keith Szarabajka.
This is book 16 in the 24 book series. These stories are about bad guys. They rob. They kill. They’re smart. Most don’t go to jail. Parker is the main bad guy, a brilliant strategist. He partners with different guys for different jobs in each book.
If you are new to the series, I suggest reading the first three and then choose among the rest. A few should be read in order since characters continue in a sequel fashion. Those are listed below (with my star ratings). The rest can be read as stand alones.
The first three books in order:
4 stars. The Hunter (Point Blank movie with Lee Marvin 1967) (Payback movie with Mel Gibson)
3 ½ stars. The Man with the Getaway Face (The Steel Hit)
4 stars. The Outfit.
Read these two in order:
5 stars. Slayground (Bk #14)
5 stars. Butcher’s Moon (Bk #16)
Read these four in order:
4 ½ stars. The Sour Lemon Score (Bk #12)
2 ½ stars. Firebreak (Bk #20)
(not read) Nobody Runs Forever (Bk #22)
2 ½ stars. Dirty Money (Bk #24)
Others that I gave 4 or more stars to:
The Jugger (Bk #6), The Seventh (Bk#7), The Handle (Bk #8), Deadly Edge (Bk#13), Flashfire (Bk#19)
GENRE: noir crime fiction
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