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The Comedy Is Finished

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Overview


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 ...
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The Comedy Is Finished

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Overview


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…
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Editorial Reviews

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
Library Journal - Audio
A group of radicals figure they can influence the government into freeing several of their jailed members by kidnapping Koo Davis, a fading stand-up comedian famous for entertaining the troops with his USO tours. The story shifts among the kidnappers, Koo, and an FBI agent leading the rescue effort. What follows is not a mystery so much as a tangle of unintended consequences. The story is fascinating and compelling as can certainly be expected from Westlake. Narrator Peter Berkrot's flat California accent is well suited to the action. His pacing moves the story along, and his characterizations are terrific—especially his voice for the kidnapped comic. VERDICT Although the 1970s setting seems dated, the writing is crisp, and the story moves quickly. Westlake's (1933–2008) numerous fans will be thrilled to have this final novel. A fine addition to 20th-century mystery collections. ["The characters are well drawn, the dialog flows, and the chapters speed by, making for a breezy, solid read," read the review of the Hard Case Crime hc, LJ 2/15/12.—Ed.]—Barbara Valle, El Paso P.L., TX
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781609987664
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/14/2012
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Product dimensions: 5.08 (w) x 5.98 (h) x 1.18 (d)

Meet the Author

Donald E. Westlake was nominated for an Academy Award for the screenplay of The Grifters, and was named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America, the organization’s highest honor. He died in December 2008.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 5 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 26, 2012

    Westlake never fails!

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2012

    very entertaining, good read

    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!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2013

    Tessa

    "Ok bye." She walls out gets in her expensive sports car and drives away to yet another party.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2013

    Dr. Temple

    She sighed

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2013

    X-ray

    Westlake hospital

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews

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