"I bet none of it would have happened if I wasn’t so eloquent. That’s always been my problem, eloquence, though some might claim my problem was something else again. But life’s a gamble, is what I say, and not all the eloquent people in this world are in Congress."
That's the beginning of Donald Westlake's Somebody Owes Me Money, and you can read the rest of its first chapter on Hard Case Crime's Web site.
The passage exemplifies a definition I once read of the difference between a comic and a comedian. A comic, a schlepper who stands up and mugs for laughs, says funny things, but a comedian, that acute observer of humanity, says things funny. Westlake was a comedian.
What other crime wrters say things funny rather than just saying funny things?
(Here are some of my posts upon Westlake's death in 2008.)
© Peter Rozovsky 2010