This joint interview Black/Banville did with Parker's creator, Richard Stark (Donald Westlake) in 2007 dispelled any doubts I might have had about whether he takes crime writing seriously. For anyone who doubts that B/B appreciates fine crime writing, read what he had to say about Stark and Parker in Slate in 2006.
“I certainly hope Parker hasn’t mellowed. When one of the Kennedys was killed, a group of Hollywood actors formed an organization to swear never again to carry a gun in a film. Of course, these actors were mostly people like Don Knotts . When Lee Marvin was asked if he’d join that group, he said, `They’re trying to put me out of business.' "That's from the same interview in which Westlake said: "For early influences we have to start, and almost end, with Hammett." Westlake was always one of the most insightful and intelligent of crime writers. It's worth reading the full interview for what else he says about his influences.
© Peter Rozovsky 2011