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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 listeners say about The Hunter

Average Customer Ratings
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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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

5 people found this helpful

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    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.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    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.

6 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Stark, Indeed

I knew Donald Westlake’s most popular alias, Richard Stark, was different from the jolly fellow who wrote Somebody Owes Me Money. Nevertheless, the first few chapters felt like a plunge into an icy pond on a particularly frosty morning. There are no good guys here, just degrees of bad. The violence, both physical and psychological, appalls. Yet, through imaginative plotting, it starts to “make sense” in the context of the world Parker inhabits. He’s a nasty bastard, but he held my interest (if not my sympathy), if only to see if he really would get away with it. Oddly enough, for all the gut shots and pistol-whipped corpses, the language is, by today’s standards, reserved; Stark achieves an aura of menace through more nuanced means than f-bombs. One of these is perhaps the hard-boiled school’s most durable contribution to literature: the startling, spot-on simile. They’re in full flower here and, though few catch in the memory like Raymond Chandler’s or Ross Macdonald’s, they nevertheless pinpoint moods, moments and insights, like butterflies in a natural history museum. And John Chancer serves it all up perfectly.

2 people found this helpful

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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.

2 people found this helpful

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Very Basic Crime

Fun to come across a book, no a series where you really aren't comfortable with any of the characters. This is that book, but it does hold your interest. First series where you really don't like anyone. But I'm hooked.

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Good story with some terrible characters

This book series would more than certainly get an OD rating and rightfully so. It is a good example of a story with characters that just wouldn't make it nowadays.

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the gold standard

This is book 1 of 24 in the Parker series. When it comes to noir fiction and extreme alpha male protagonists, this is as good as it gets. The writing is clever and understated, the plot is simple and yet filled with surprises along the way. There is not one dull moment, not one dull character. Dialogues are terrific and the overall ambiance is addictive. Great narration, although in my opinion the voices of the syndicate leaders don't reflect their sophistication and standing.

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Loved this!!

Can’t wait for the rest of this series! I m so glad we found it.

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    4 out of 5 stars

Parker's a sociopath.

Double-crossed, shot, and left for dead — by his wife. The thriller that introduces Parker. “A brilliant invention”. Parker wants what is his, $45k & will not stop till he gets it. Parker is NOT a good guy nor does he want to be. Written originally in 1962 & having two movies made based off the character by Lee Marvin & Mel Gibson.