The Comedy Is Finished

The Comedy Is Finished

4.6 5
by Donald E. Westlake
     
 

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BUT SERIOUSLY, FOLKS.

The year is 1977, and America is finally getting over the nightmares of Watergate and Vietnam and the national hangover that was the 1960s. But not everyone is ready to let it go. 

Not aging comedian Koo Davis, friend to generals and presidents and veteran of countless USO tours to buck up American troops in the field. And not

Overview

BUT SERIOUSLY, FOLKS.

The year is 1977, and America is finally getting over the nightmares of Watergate and Vietnam and the national hangover that was the 1960s. But not everyone is ready to let it go. 

Not aging comedian Koo Davis, friend to generals and presidents and veteran of countless USO tours to buck up American troops in the field. And not the five remaining members of the self-proclaimed People's Revolutionary Army, who've decided that kidnapping Koo Davis would be the perfect way to bring their cause back to life...

The final, previously unpublished novel from the legendary Donald Westlake!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
MWA Grand Master Westlake (1933–2008) shows his skill and versatility as an author in this posthumous crime novel. In 1977, the radical fervor that grew through the 1960s and early 1970s, fueled by the struggle for civil rights and the Vietnam War, has largely subsided, but a small group seeks to reignite passions by kidnapping comedian Koo Davis, known for his longstanding USO tours during WWII, Korea, and Vietnam in support of the troops. The snatch is perfectly planned and executed, but things soon start to fall apart for the bewildered Koo, the kidnappers, and the FBI agent leading the investigation, who hopes success will remove the taint his reputation suffered because of Watergate. Westlake provides a probing analysis of the kidnappers’ various and sometimes vague motivations, including their demands for the release of 10 “political” prisoners. Sharply written and insightful, this “lost” novel is a worthy addition to Westlake’s lengthy catalogue. Agent: Einstein-Thompson Agency. (Feb.)
Patrick Anderson
The Comedy Is Finished is one of the best Westlake novels I've read…[Koo] Davis is a fine, funny, cynical, desperate character; he's a lovable rogue, and we keep reading to find out whether he can possibly survive the mess he's in.
—The Washington Post
From the Publisher
"The characters are well drawn, the dialog flows, and the chapters speed by, making for a breezy, solid read. This late discovery is a welcomed treat for Westlake’s many fans. A natural for all mystery collections." - Library Journal

“One of the best Westlake novels I’ve read.” - Washington Post
 
“A terrifying sprint for redemption and rescue with the reader kept in agonizing suspense until the literal last page. Not to be missed.” - Mystery Scene
           
“A tense, compelling story...painfully insightful...[readers will] be hard-pressed to put the book down.” - Booklist
 
“Halfway into January and we already have the first great book of 2012…some of the finest work of the author’s career. And that is truly saying something.” - Vince Keenan
 
“We’re all in the presence of the master one last time.” - Open Letters Review
 
“Sharply written and insightful…a worthy addition to Westlake’s lengthy catalogue.” - Publishers Weekly
 
“Unexpectedly moving.” - Detectives Beyond Borders
 
“…a master at the top of his game.” - Slacker Heroes
 
“Surprisingly emotionally potent…God bless Charles Ardai and Hard Case Crime.” - Barnes & Noble Ransom Notes
 
“A real page turner…Westlake's book is hot with fear, remorse, lust and violence…” - Ed Gorman
 
“Westlake is a master of ratcheting up the tension…the book is highly recommended.” - Bill Crider
 
“A masterful little gem.” - In Reference to Murder

Library Journal
The late Westlake began this book toward the end of the 1970s but ultimately shelved it, partly because he felt the premise too closely mimicked Martin Scorsese's film The King of Comedy. He nonetheless sent a copy to his friend Max Allan Collins, who recently informed Hard Case of its existence (go Max!). Set in 1977, the plot follows the kidnapping of superstar entertainer Koo Davis (a thinly veiled Bob Hope) by the People's Revolutionary Army, a handful of leftover Sixties radicals, demanding the release of ten political prisoners. Readers wouldn't necessarily peg Westlake for a gag writer, but Koo delivers a lively string of Hope-esque zingers throughout. While the kidnappers want to use Koo to free incarcerated friends, Mike Wiskiel, the Watergate-disgraced FBI agent leading the investigation, also hopes to use the case to springboard himself back to Washington. VERDICT The characters are well drawn, the dialog flows, and the chapters speed by, making for a breezy, solid read. This late discovery is a welcome treat for Westlake's many fans. A natural for all mystery collections.—Mike Rogers, Library Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780857684097
Publisher:
Titan
Publication date:
02/21/2012
Series:
Hard Case Crime
Sold by:
Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
354,023
File size:
511 KB

Meet the Author

Donald E. Westlake was the award-winning author of more than 100 books and screenplays, including the Academy Award-nominated screenplay for The Grifters.  Named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America (the organization's highest honor), Westlake also received the prestigious Edgar Allan Poe Award three times. 

Under his famous pen name "Richard Stark," Westlake wrote the Parker crime novels that inspired the movies Point Blank and Payback, as well as the acclaimed graphic novel series by artist Darwyn Cooke.

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The Comedy is Finished 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Tusitala More than 1 year ago
This late-released but early-written Donald Westlake story (possibly his first,) is an entertaing read. "Comedy" doesn't have a lot of the intensely funny one-liners as do later Westlake books, but the characters and their foibles are really well-drawn. Read it and you won't be disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The main character is a clone of Bob Hope, in a very difficult situation, working his way out of it while constantly cracking one liners. It would be a light hearted comedy, but the situation is far too difficult for that. Its a mix of jokes and deadly serious suspense. Donald Westlake at his best!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Ok bye." She walls out gets in her expensive sports car and drives away to yet another party.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Westlake hospital