The Damsel

The Damsel Donald E Westlake is one of the greats of crime fiction Under the pseudonym Richard Stark he wrote twenty four fast paced hardboiled novels featuring Parker a shrewd career criminal with a talent f

  • Title: The Damsel
  • Author: Richard Stark Sarah Weinman
  • ISBN: 9780226770369
  • Page: 289
  • Format: Paperback
  • Donald E Westlake is one of the greats of crime fiction Under the pseudonym Richard Stark, he wrote twenty four fast paced, hardboiled novels featuring Parker, a shrewd career criminal with a talent for heists Using the same nom de plume, Westlake also completed a separate series in the Parker universe, starring Alan Grofield, an occasional colleague of Parker While heDonald E Westlake is one of the greats of crime fiction Under the pseudonym Richard Stark, he wrote twenty four fast paced, hardboiled novels featuring Parker, a shrewd career criminal with a talent for heists Using the same nom de plume, Westlake also completed a separate series in the Parker universe, starring Alan Grofield, an occasional colleague of Parker While he shares events and characters with several Parker novels, Grofield is less calculating and hot blooded than Parker think fewer guns, dames.Not that there isn t violence and adventure aplenty The Damsel begins directly after the Parker novel The Handle Following a wounded Grofield and his damsel on a scenic, action packed road trip from Mexico City to Acapulco, The Damsel is full of wit, adrenaline, and political intrigue With a new foreword by Sarah Weinman that situates the Grofield series within Westlake s work as a whole, these novels are an exciting addition to any crime fiction fan s library.

    One thought on “The Damsel”

    1. One of my favorite crime fiction series is the Parker series, written by Donald Westlake under the name Richard Stark. Stark wrote twenty-four of these novels featuring the humorless, amoral professional criminal, Parker, who usually recruited or was recruited by other professionals to pull off robberies of banks, armored cars and other such targets.One of Parker's most dependable henchmen was Alan Grofield who appears in several of the novels. Grofield is an actor by profession and he owns a sm [...]

    2. Spin-off series are often a bust. Not in this case, so the first book earns an extra star. I really like the Parker books although I'd never want to meet him in real life. Grofield is nothing like him. He's a thoroughly likable hoot & he manages to get into plenty of trouble which he gets out of one way or another while entertaining the ladies. This book comes right after The Handle, but I read it way out of order & it was still very enjoyable. Both series are predictable & simple en [...]

    3. I couldn't tell you its name, but I did read the Parker caper which is the prequel to The Damsel. Grofield was one of the guys in on the heist, and at the end of the story he's recuperating from a gunshot wound in Mexico with a suitcase full of money.That's where this one starts.I didn't find Grofield quite as much fun to follow around as I typically do Parker, though there's a lot of the same sequence of problem solving, new problem, problem solving, new problem, etc. Grofield is flip and witty [...]

    4. Actor Alan Grofield, a supporting character in the Parker series, gets the lead in this book which is set right after the events of The Handle. While this was in no means a bad book, it just was not quite up to the standards of the Parker books. Listened to the audio version which was narrated by R.C. Bray who gave a very good performance.

    5. Whereas ‘The Handle’s is Stark clearly channelling Ian Fleming (or, at least, Broccoli/Saltzman), his follow up ‘The Damsel’ feels a lot more as if he’s been flicking through Leslie Charteris. We have here a professional thief in a Latin American country, a beautiful lady in distress, various less than bright hoods and a revolution that our hero has to stop. It’s like one of those post-thirties Saint novels where Templar gets out his passport and stretches his international legs.I sa [...]

    6. Parker is not funny. He's not supposed to be. But sometimes he works with Alan Grofield, who usually is funny. Grofield, as a member of the guest cast, lightens the mood in any Parker novel. But what happens when he's given his own novel? Richard Stark decided to give him four. In his fourth book - Lemons Never Lie - Grofield was almost humorless and certainly less reckless than his earlier appearances. It was as if he finally decided to take a page out of Parker's book and become a more "respon [...]

    7. Grofield, the charming actor-slash-thief of Richard Stark's Parker books gets his own spin-off series! Be careful now, all you fans of heist stories: this book isn't one of them. This novel picks up right where The Handle left off. The plot is okay, nothing spectacular, and certainly lighter in tone than Stark's Parker books. This novel is an easy read, if a bit longer than the Parker books up to that point.Not bad at all, though a far cry from Stark's better works. Still, I'll be reading the ot [...]

    8. The first novel starring Grofield, Parker's sometime accomplice, could have been a Parker novel, but only up to a point. The Damsel picks up with Grofield right where The Handle, the eighth Parker novel, left him, and the opening is similar to the second and third Parker novels: Grofield is minding his own business in a hotel room when the title character invades through a window. She is on the run, we soon learn, from people who are trying to prevent her from making it to Acapulco in time to wa [...]

    9. Oh boy. Well, after nine great novels, Stark/Westlake finally struck out with the first book of the Grofield series. I like the character Grofield, but he doesn't hold my interest like Parker does. Even worse, the plot wasn't as tightly woven as the previous Parker novels, so I was left just trying to make my way through the final third of the book. Part Three was just a dreadful collection of character sketches, with poorly conceived "types" being introduced for the first time in the novel only [...]

    10. I love Alan Grofield and am always delighted when he turns up in a Parker novel. Giving him his own book here, after the hijinks of The Handle, seemed like fertile territory, but what we get is a pretty run-of-the-mill "couple on the run" yarn. The tone of the book definitely takes its cue from the personality of Grofield, who is more breezy and care-free than the cold, brutal Parker. I guess this is as it should be, but the sense of urgency, along with many other qualities of the Parker novels, [...]

    11. (3.5 stars if I could give half stars.)Stark (aka Donald Westlake) is best known for his 'Parker' novels. 'The Damsel' is the first of four he wrote featuring Alan Grofield, one of Parker's occasional partners in crime.The action picks up after the events of 'The Handle.' Grofield is recuperating from a gunshot in Mexico when he meets up with a young American woman being pursued by generic thugs. They escape, he eventually gets her to explain her situation, and he tries to come up with a plan to [...]

    12. This is an atypical Stark. It's one of the few about Grofield rather than Parker, and it's not about a heist but rather more of an action/adventure story about a plot to murder a South American dictator. Grofield, wounded in Mexico, rather improbably gets tangled up (in more ways than one) with the nubile eponymous young thing as she tries to warn the general while being pursued by thugs. Follows the typical Stark book structure, effectively enough. There's some delightfully cold violence, thoug [...]

    13. This book wasn't the easiest to find but I'm really glad I did. I heard that some fans of Stark's Parker novels don't like the Grofield books nearly as much. I enjoyed this as much if not more than any of the Parkers that I have read. Parker is a great character but Grofield is so much more relatable. A lot of this book is Grofield traveling with a women he meets. They have interesting conversations. Parker's refusal to engage in any small talk would be a problem in this situation. (I can't even [...]

    14. It's great, getting to read that spare, trademark Stark style again. Butd as I am to say it, Grofield's not nearly so magnetic on his own as he is in the Parker books (at least in this one). It was a fun adventure, but man, I wanted another heist out of this one! And he didn't try to steal anything, which was too bad. But still, fun stuff, and Stark's prose carries the narrative along effectively.

    15. To be honest, I came across this book after searching an online bookstore with key word "lemon" This book is the first in a four book series with the forth being "Lemons Never Lie" The books were written in the late 60's and I enjoyed the visit back to the culture of that day and the quick read that kept me interested to the end.

    16. For those of you who enjoy Stark's (Donald Westlake) writing, the first of his four novels featuring Parker's partner in crime Grofield is sure to please. In fact, I strongly recommend Westlake's Parker Series for anyone who just appreciates fiction in general. He was one of the greats.

    17. My first book by Donald Westlake writing as Richard Stark. Westlake has always been one my favorite authors,especially the Dortmunder series! I am looking forward to reading the Parker books by Stark.

    18. Good book, but I did miss Parker. Of course, Parker would never have put up with all this crap. He would have just put an end to it in the first chapter. Grofield is much more accommodating.

    19. Not as good as the Parker books, but still fun. This one has good plot twists. Parker doesn't need twists; he just needs to be Parker.

    20. My first Westlake book but already I feel that we're going to have a LONG relationship! Face paced, and has a slight tinge of dark humor. A quick entertaining read. Recommended.

    21. Here, Grofield has left Parker and other conspirators, after pulling off a casino heist on a small island off the Texas coast. Grofield has a suitcase filled with money, a bullet wound in his back, and is sleeping most of the time in a Mexico City hotel as he tries to recover from his wounds. In his fifth story window bounds a beautiful pair of tanned legs: Elly. After some witty reparte about how she is just in time to scratch his back, it turns out that Elly is involved in some political intri [...]

    22. Read this because I'm working my way through the terrific Parker novels and this one begins immediately after The Handle. It's not that good. There's no moment--as there is in each of the Parker books so far--where things go sideways or the reader's mouth opens without saying anything. Stuff happens and then the book's over, all without any interesting dialogue. It wasn't awful, but it wasn't any good.

    23. Alan Grofield is still in Mexico recovering from the bullet wound in his back incurred in the job he'd worked with Parker(THE HANDLE). The pair were the only survivors. Parker had got him help from a doctor, split the money, then headed back to the States. Grofield had been in the hotel ever since, still weak and sleeping a lot, with a suitcase full of cash.So when he saw the young woman climbing through his fifth floor window, he thought at first he was dreaming. He learned quickly he wasn't. E [...]

    24. 2.5 starts - if had this option.This is the first in a spin-off short series of books with character Alan Grosfield as the main character. Grosfield is a regular character in many of the Richard Stark/Donald E. Westlake Parker series - an actor/thief, humorous ladies man. I liked the bantering humor in this book, but found the plot a bit dull. And fictitious leaders of made up countries generally don't, in my opinion, work all that well in books like this - too fairy-tale-ish a feel ("once upon [...]

    25. Chatty - compared to the waste-no-words efficiency of the Parker series - and entertaining crime tale about Grofeld and his south of the border road trip-adventure with Ellen Marie, a charming hotel room burglar whose circumstances involve political intrigue, corruption and murderous thugs. [Note that this novel takes place after the events of the Parker novelThe Handle .]Followed byThe Dame .(This review originally appeared on the Reading & Writing By Pub Light site.)

    26. What is this???. A book featuring Grofield???? Sweet!!!Grofield is my favorite "guest star" from the Parker series and I was excited to check out a story with him as the main character. The Damsel does not have the grit or power of the Parker novels but it was neat in its own way. The Parker novels are more like Michael Mann movies whereas this book was like Ocean's Eleven Grofield is cool as cucumber; smart, sly, and cunning. As he is healing from his last job with Parker, a "damsel" crosses pa [...]

    27. #1 in the Alan Grosfield series, written by Donald E. Westlake as Richard Stark. Parker #8, The Handle (1966), has Parker robbing a casino off the Texas coast with Grosfield as one of the gang. The Damsel (1967) is a spinoff of a 4 book series featuring Alan Grosfield, who only robs to support his habit - an amateur theatre group in America's heartland. Fun, if not up to Parker's noirish standards.Alan Grofield series - Sequel to "The Handle", follows Grofield after he is left, wounded, in a Mex [...]

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