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Publisher's Summary

You probably haven't noticed them. But they've noticed you. They notice everything. That's their job. Sitting quietly in a nondescript car outside a bank making note of the tellers' work habits. Lagging a few car lengths behind the Brinks truck on its daily rounds. Surreptitiously jiggling the handle of an unmarked service door at the racetrack. They're heisters. They're pros, and Parker is far and away the best of them. Tough, smart, hardworking, and relentlessly focused on his trade, he is the heister’s heister, the robber’s robber, the heavy’s heavy. You don’t want to cross him, and you don’t want to get in his way, because he’ll stop at nothing to get what he’s after.

In The Hunter, the first volume in the series, Parker roars into New York City, seeking revenge on the woman who betrayed him and on the man who took his money, stealing and scamming his way to redemption.

©1962 Richard Stark (P)2010 AudioGO

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    85
  • 4 Stars
    83
  • 3 Stars
    34
  • 2 Stars
    10
  • 1 Stars
    4

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    81
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    72
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    28
  • 2 Stars
    6
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    1

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    79
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    68
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    31
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    13
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    2
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jane
  • Chicago, IL, United States
  • 04-12-13

It was fun. It was different.

It’s about a loner bad guy (totally alpha male) in the bad guy world.

At first I wasn’t sure if I would like this. Parker kills a couple innocents who happened to be in his way. But I really enjoyed the last third or so when Parker took on the mafia/syndicate. He tells them who he’s going to kill if he doesn’t get his way. And then he does it. The story is a little shorter than most novels. The author is a good storyteller. I like the way he writes.

One thing a little odd were the prices for things. Coffee was 15 cents. This was written in 1962. This is book 1 in the 24 book Parker series.

The narrator John Chancer was fine.

Genre: noir crime fiction

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A dark story

I enjoyed the movie Payback with Mel Gibson, even though I think John Myhre ruined the theatrical release, which got me interested in reading the book that it was based on. This is that book. But before reading this book, forget the theatrical release of the movie entirely.

This is a dark book with a lead character that is not likeable in any way. I suspect there are plenty of people out in the world that would like to think of themselves as being a lot like Parker, hard, mean, uncaring and as tough as nails. But if they are like Parker they do not have any friends and will lead a very lonely and hard life.

I enjoyed this book but it did not make me want to read the rest of the 25 books in the series. Yes, you read that right, there are currently 25 books in the series, so obviously someone likes them a lot.

John Chancer does an amazing job narrating this book, he gives Parker a hard edge delivering his lines in a flat emotionless way that makes him very believable.

You’ll have to excuse me now, I am going to go watch "Payback: Straight Up: The Director’s Cut" which is much closer to the original story than the theatrical release.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent mystery crime novel.

What did you like best about this story?

Richard Stark (alias for Donald E. Westlake) has such a unique voice. Everything is told through the criminal mind. Amazing and doesn't feel dated in the least.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kelly
  • Colorado Springs
  • 05-24-18

Brutal, smart, amoral, and still fun to read

I bought this book on a whim when I saw it on sale at audible. (And, I will be honest, for some reason I thought it was the first book in a completely different series.) I am so glad that I made that mistake because this book is good! It is full of tension shock and surprise, partly because the central character is not a good guy. He is smart and resourceful, but he is also a hard-boiled criminal. He seems to be almost without a moral compass. And yet I liked him. I really love when authors write characters who are unlikable "good guys" or likable "bad guys." I will definitely be reading the next in the series as soon as I get my hands on it.

I really like John Chancer's subtle and quiet approach to reading this character. It would have been easy to overact this man.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Ugh

Did not like the story!!! It was not what I enjoy.
Did not finish. Not my taste.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Parker is a terrible human being.

I quit listening two-thirds in after giving up hope that the “hero” had any redeeming values.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Rare character, solid revenge story.

Wish this book was longer. It's very hard to find books that have main characters with no anxiety. Parker is a machine that moves forward with simple purpose. His introspection is simple yet interesting. The story is a bit dated, which can be good or bad depending on what your personal taste may be.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

The Basis for Payback

One of my favorite guilty pleasures, I finally listened to the basis novel of the movie. I am glad to find that Parker is and remains a great bad guy that you root for. First a tale of revenge and then a tale of principle, Parker scythes his way through the tale, searching for meaning in this world of criminals. A great beginning to a literary character.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Book 1 start of a great series

I have read all of the Parker novels, the stories move quickly as Westlake writes without wasting a word.

I recommend reading in order as they build on each previous book

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Dated

What did you like best about The Hunter? What did you like least?

Different twist on your normal book. This is set in the 30s and is from the perspective of a criminal. I think it was somewhat depressing overall. The author style is great and it is definitely not the run of the mill story.

Would you be willing to try another book from Richard Stark? Why or why not?

Yes, I want to see how the series is going to develop

Have you listened to any of John Chancer’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No

Was The Hunter worth the listening time?

Yes

1 of 2 people found this review helpful