Block on Westlake and his (non) jokes (or, the comedy is finished)
|Lawrence Block remembers his friend|
Donald Weslake during a celebration
at Mysterious Bookshop. Photo by Peter
Rozovsky, your humble blog keeper.
The Getaway Car, think similarly about what made Westlake so good. "Don didn't write jokes," his longtime friend Lawrence Block said Monday at a celebration of the book. "He found amusing ways to say things." Levi Stahl, the volume's editor, emphasized the point with a little game in which he had members of the audience read the opening lines of several of the Parker novels (and one featuring Alan Grofield).
Here are a few I liked and remembered fondly:
"When the guy with asthma finally came in from the fire escape Parker rabbit-punched him and took his gun away."and
"When the woman screamed, Parker awoke and rolled off the bed."and
"Grofield opened his right eye, and there was a girl climbing in the window. He closed that eye, opened the left, and she was still there."Do you see the fun Westlake has with a common speech pattern in that last example? Lawrence Block was right. Westlake didn't just say funny things, he said things funny.
© Peter Rozovsky 2014