The Hunter (Parker Series #1)

The Hunter (Parker Series #1)

by Richard Stark

Paperback(Reprint)

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Overview

You probably haven’t ever noticed them. But they’ve noticed you. They notice everything. That’s their job. Sitting quietly in a nondescript car outside a bank making note of the tellers’ work habits, the positions of the security guards. Lagging a few car lengths behind the Brinks truck on its daily rounds. Surreptitiously jiggling the handle of an unmarked service door at the racetrack.

They’re thieves. Heisters, to be precise. They’re pros, and Parker is far and away the best of them. If you’re planning a job, you want him in. Tough, smart, hardworking, and relentlessly focused on his trade, he is the heister’s heister, the robber’s robber, the heavy’s heavy. You don’t want to cross him, and you don’t want to get in his way, because he’ll stop at nothing to get what he’s after.

Parker, the ruthless antihero of Richard Stark’s eponymous mystery novels, is one of the most unforgettable characters in hardboiled noir.  Lauded by critics for his taut realism, unapologetic amorality, and razor-sharp prose-style—and adored by fans who turn each intoxicating page with increasing urgency—Stark is a master of crime writing, his books as influential as any in the genre. The University of Chicago Press has embarked on a project to return the early volumes of this series to print for a new generation of readers to discover—and become addicted to.

In The Hunter, the first volume in the series, Parker roars into New York City, seeking revenge on the woman who betrayed him and on the man who took his money, stealing and scamming his way to redemption.
 
“Westlake knows precisely how to grab a reader, draw him or her into the story, and then slowly tighten his grip until escape is impossible.”—Washington Post Book World
 
“Elmore Leonard wouldn’t write what he does if Stark hadn’t been there before. And Quentin Tarantino wouldn’t write what he does without Leonard. . . . Old master that he is, Stark does all of them one better.”—Los Angeles Times
 
“Donald Westlake’s Parker novels are among the small number of books I read over and over. Forget all that crap you’ve been telling yourself about War and Peace and Proust—these are the books you’ll want on that desert island.”—Lawrence Block
 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780226770994
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 08/28/2008
Series: Parker Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 214,771
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Richard Stark was one of the many pseudonyms of Donald E. Westlake (1933-2008), a prolific author of noir crime fiction. In 1993 the Mystery Writers of America bestowed the society’s highest honor on Westlake, naming him a Grand Master.

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The Hunter (Parker Series #1) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 39 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
$9.52 for Nook edition. $3.99 for Kindle edition. What gives?
LaurenBDavis More than 1 year ago
Although there is considerable charm to this noirest of noir crime books, and the furious pace and stylistic dialogue notwithstanding, the problem I have with it is that the protagonist is written as a psychopath. I quite like anti-heroes, and have a soft spot for hard men (you'll pardon the pun), but I like my anti-heroes with a modicum of morality, a soupcon of sentiment, a hint of humor and heart. Parker's indifference to the women in the book is unsettling, to say the least, including the woman he "accidentally" kills. Vengeance is all well and good, I suppose, and retribution has its place, but not to be even slightly ambivalent about the suicide of his wife (even if she did shoot him and leave him for dead) leaves this reader with no choice but to conclude he has no emotions whatsoever, and such a soul-dead protagonist is of limited interest. Anti-heros are at their best when they are complicated, conflicted and are capable of deep feeling. A quick afternoon read. No more.
McCarthy92 More than 1 year ago
Parker is a lot like actors such as Clint Eastwood, Lee Marvin, Charles Bronson, etc. The only difference is that all of these actors look like pussycats next to Parker. Parker is mean, violent, has few redeeming qualities morally, and he's one of the greatest characters in all of fiction. The Hunter, by Richard Parker (alias for Donald Westlake) is the novel to introduce Parker, a professional thief. As far as plot goes, all you must know is that Parker is out on revenge. Just follow along and enjoy the ride. This has turned out to be one of my favorite novels ever. Stark is an amazing writer, great prose, dialogue, and generally, he's just an amazing story-teller. There are 24 books in the Parker series and I cannot wait to read all of them.
Another_Old_Guy More than 1 year ago
Donald Westlake writing under one of his many names starts his 'Parker' series with Hunter. Parker is a nasty piece of work, living in a world of working acquaintances and no friends or emotion. The work is high level theft. Bank jobs, armored cars....big hits for big returns. There is nothing to like about these characters, but you do; and even though they are pocket or old style dime store novels, you enjoy them. The humor that Westlake puts in his Dortmunder stories is missing in the Parker books and the hard edge is immediately evident. This novel comes out the gate well for a new character series and leave you looking for more. I'm not sure any of the movie adaptations capture the feel of the books, so don't pass up the read because you liked or didn't like the movie.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can anyone list the 24 Parker books in order for me please?
Bob-from-Irvine More than 1 year ago
I loved this book, my first Parker read. What a great character Parker is, totally tough, pretty smart and mostly amoral. A solo criminal sets out to settle scores and does so, just like that. No hand wringing, no tears, not a surplus word. If Elmore Leonard's heroes were bad guys instead of good guys, it would have been something like this. I can't wait to read the next in the series.
Janus More than 1 year ago
With two movie adaptations, a person would think I'd have heard of the Parker series sooner. I'm ashamed to say I had not. This is vintage crime writing at its best: from the criminal's p.o.v. Parker is not a nice man. He's not even a remotely decent human being and yet somehow we still end up cheering for him. If you're a fan of raw-knuckled, woman slapping (but not in the domestic abuse way, I just wanted to clarify), cop kicking old fashioned crime fiction, then pick up a Parker novel.
emeka More than 1 year ago
Originally published many years ago the first of the parker series is a brilliant introduction to the amoral and violent world of a profesional criminal.Donald westlake writing as starck is a revelation and an original
Smiler69 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In the first of the Parker series by Richard Stark¿one of prodigiously prolific Donald E. Westlake's many pen names¿Parker appears seemingly out of nowhere and makes his way to Manhattan to take his revenge on those who left him for dead after a heist in which some of his partners got too greedy. Originally published in 1962, Westlake clearly redefined the hardboiled genre popularized by Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler with the creation of Parker, a hard-hitting, cold-blooded murdering anti-hero who makes us believe he's serious when he says he's sworn off love for good. No detective he, but a professional thief¿one of the best in the business who lets nothing stand in his way. In this case, the plan being to reclaim the money that was stolen from him by "The Outfit", the organized crime gang he takes on singlehandedly so he can secure his future. The bad guys are really creepy and the good guys just don't exist. Fast moving, violent and addictive stuff.
crazybatcow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It's fast and furious. A bad-guy gets double crossed and sets out to 'fix' those who double crossed him. And that's exactly what he does, leaving a trail of bodies behind.Very similar to Child's Reacher (though Reacher is a good guy) or Block's Keller. I'm definitely gonna read more in the series and hope it stays politics and moral free.
moonimal on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Sparse and brutal. Somehow you end up liking Parker, despite the harm he does.I love a good Noir, and this one was a quick, enjoyable read. I'll have to look at this more closely, as a writer, to understand how chopped up the narrative is (POV, flashbacks, etc.) to keep up the tension.Liked it a lot.
Laurenbdavis on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Although there is considerable charm to this noirest of noir crime books, and the furious pace and stylistic dialogue notwithstanding, the problem I have with it is that the protagonist is written as a psychopath. I quite like anti-heroes, and have a soft spot for hard men (you'll pardon the pun), but I like my anti-heroes with a modicum of morality, a soupcon of sentiment, a hint of humor and heart. Parker's indifference to the women in the book is unsettling, to say the least, including the woman he "accidentally" kills. Vengeance is all well and good, I suppose, and retribution has its place, but not to be even slightly ambivalent about the suicide of his wife (even if she did shoot him and leave him for dead) leaves this reader with no choice but to conclude he has no emotions whatsoever, and such a soul-dead protagonist is of limited interest. Anti-heros are at their best when they are complicated, conflicted and are capable of deep feeling. A quick afternoon read. No more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was a hoot when he was describing all the streets and neighbohoods in Canarsie that I knew from my youth. Read it in one sitting. Not great but not bad. Too much blood and guts for me. Almost noir but not quite.
JKHoffman More than 1 year ago
A fantastic walk on the noir side with one of its darker residents. A crime novel with no truly redeemable characters, just like life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gritty protagonist with last century morals takes you on a fast paced read that is a serious page turner but probably not that enjoyable for female readers.
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