The Road To Ruin

The Road To Ruin Ever lovable but hapless crook John Dortmunder and his merry band of misfits attempt to drive off with a fleet of vintage automobiles in a con against a corrupt CEO who has lavished of his company s m

  • Title: The Road To Ruin
  • Author: Donald E. Westlake
  • ISBN: 9780446400220
  • Page: 116
  • Format: Paperback
  • Ever lovable but hapless crook John Dortmunder and his merry band of misfits attempt to drive off with a fleet of vintage automobiles in a con against a corrupt CEO who has lavished of his company s money on himself than the boys at Enron and WorldCom combined.

    One thought on “The Road To Ruin”

    1. In the Dortmunder novels we find Donald Westlake unwinding. When writing the Parker novels, the only humour we get is a harsh and jagged kind; the only laughs distinctly sour. Here though we have over the top, ludicrous criminal schemes aplenty, a genuine rogue’s gallery of comic crooks; bizarre and pointless arguments in a vernacular which can’t help but raise a chuckle; and, of course, things going terribly and ridiculously wrong, which in a way – the Murphy’s Law principle and all of [...]

    2. This book feels like half a Dortmunder novel. But half a Dortmunder novel is still a decent read. This is by no means my least favorite novel in this series, but I had some problems with it - the science facts kept getting in the way (one of the central elements of the plot made no sense at all, for example). And then I realized I was nearing the end (three dots left on my Kindle), and Westlake was still adding plot complications, and was nowhere near resolving any. And then the book just kind o [...]

    3. When the Dortmunder crew sets out to do a job there is one thing you can absolutely count on something will go wrong. They'll do their best. It won't necessarily be their fault. But all the same something WILL go wrong! The current caper is no exception, it's standard Dortmunder.This is my third experience with the series and I've come to the conclusion that these stories are definitely all about the journey rather than the destination and this latest story fits that mold. It's more about the wa [...]

    4. Imagine a man, a wealthy man, who began life with sufficient money, but chose to live his life solely in the pursuit of even more money and did so using his one bona-fide talent: fleecing other people, companies, and governments. Couldn’t happen here could it? Well, with that premise, Donald Westlake extracts the maximum humor from one Monroe Hall and his recently changed circumstances.The Road to Ruin is the eleventh Dortmunder novel, coming after Bad News. When I started my foray into these [...]

    5. 11 Dortmunders down, 3 to go. By now I know that I enjoy the Dortmunder formula, and I thoroughly enjoyed The Road to Ruin, but this may have been the weakest entry in the series thus far. The novel is free from the out-and-out silliness that I sometimes complain about (though to some readers, the entire Dortmunder series may seem an exercise in silliness), but it also lacks the gravitas that elevates some of the books in the series. As well, for the first time while reading a Dortmunder novel, [...]

    6. #11 in the John Dortmunder series.John Dortmunder and his band of thieves plan to rob a classic car collection from the secure estate of a hated (and convicted) corporate plunderer. The intend to work from the inside by getting positions on the staff. Another group has plans to kidnap the pariah and force him to disgorge his offshore funds.

    7. This is a decent Dortmunder tale, but it's no BANK SHOT. Seems to end somewhat abruptly, as if Westlake got tired of it, or hit his contractual word count and said "okay, that's it." Still, it's a short, fun read with a few chuckles.

    8. This is a humorous novel featuring unlucky criminal John Dortmunder. The plot is preposterous but just go with the flow!

    9. The Dortmunder novels fall into a particular category of crime novels, the tale of the lovable, or at least likable, thief. Such a character is inevitably a hard-luck criminal with pals who are colorful. That is the pleasure of the story--we as readers are allowed to follow the adventures of group of shady individuals without feeling guilty about liking them."The Road to Ruin" is minor Dortmunder, with John Dortmunder, criminal mastermind, taking a backseat in the plot, such as it is. A big-time [...]

    10. I was disappointed with this one. Not enough Dortmunder and no grand finale, the story just petered out. Still enjoyable, Westlake always knows how to set up a scenario with humorous, "normal" people. My favorite is still What's the Worst that Could Happen? It makes Ocean's Eleven look like a kid's game of tiddlywinks. Ah well.

    11. This is one of Westlake's best. It is a fast and easy read, with the usual bumbling crooks, inventive plot, great dialog, and lack of moral message. Best of all is the way Westlake reveals the characters'plans and motives as they stumble through a world that none of them seems to understand.

    12. Best Dortmunder book so far!The Dortmunder series has never been less than good but Westlake surpassed himself with this one! Lots of plot twists, action, memorable characters and laugh-out-loud funny

    13. Another fun heist-gone-wrong story from Mr. Westlake :) The narration was excellent. I do find the lack of women as anything but side-kicks or set dressing trying, but that's hardly unique to this book.

    14. It's a toss-up between this and Drowned Hopes for which has been the worst in the series so far. Drowned Hopes was overlong, often dull, and sometimes painful, but it at least felt like a Dortmunder. This one reads much more like one of those "continue the franchise" sequels, written after the original author's death by someone with enough acquaintance with what has come before to seem right on the surface, but insufficient understanding to really have it fit in.The main characters are all here, [...]

    15. Jumped out of order on the Dortmunder books because some of them are really hard to find. Gonna have to redouble my efforts and try to find the older ones because Dortmunder's comic anti-capers keep me reading and keep me laughing. This one was especially enjoyable. One thing that stood out to me, as a fan of the soon-to-be-over TV show "Mad Men", is this passage about the American concept of identity:He’d tried for a more positive spin in his internal debate, telling himself he could “start [...]

    16. Audiobook for my trip to New York. I listened to the whole thing in the car. Like all the Dortmunder books, it's brain candy that really works your brain. As usual, Dortmunder & gang have a heist to pull; as usual, things don't go according to plan. Westlake also manages to sneak in commentary on the American class system -- our heroes are working stiffs, even though their 'work' consists of planning elaborate robberies and/or revenge schemes, and the 'victim' in this case, is a crooked CEO [...]

    17. Although these stories are somewhat predictable, I've enjoyed each of the ones I've listened to and plan to listen to or read the entire series. John Dortmunder and his band of brother burglars provide me with diversion and sometimes provocation of thought. I'm not reading them in order and not finding that a problem. For me the stories work well independently. In this book the target is a collection of classic automobiles in the possession of a wealthy, but legally/ethically challenged corporat [...]

    18. Since it's the holiday season, I've been craving escape in Hollywood movies. Nothing I've seen on a screen recently (except for I Am Divine, and that's an indie documentary) can remotely compete with Westlake, so the last time I was invited out to see a new flick I said, "No, dammit, I have Dortmunder!" Or words to that effectThis one is up there with other great novels in this series. The plotting is great, lots of nice twists and turns and hilarious characterization throughout. The capitalist [...]

    19. A typical Dortmunder adventure, and that's good. As usual, his crew of crooks displays a curious combination of brilliance and incompetence as they attempt to steal a collection of antique automobiles off the maximum-security compound of a very wealthy and very despicable individual. In order to do so they pose as servants (the guy is so obnoxious that nobody will work for him so he jumps at the opportunity to hire them on). The plot is complicated by the efforts of another group to kidnap the t [...]

    20. “Well, my dear,” Alicia said, over crustless toast and coddled eggs and strawberry jam and well-creamed coffee, “what do you think of our new people?”“They’re perfect,” Hall told her. “Of course, I’ve barely seen them so far, and I must say Rumsey the butler’s an odd duck. But then, so many servants are, really.”“America doesn’t know how to breed servants,” Alicia said.“That’s perfectly true.”“The problem,” she suggested, “is that the Inquisition had ended [...]

    21. Donald E. Westlake has written more books than your momma has eaten cupcakes. He’s a writing machine. And he writes good stuff. He writes under many names, the most famous is “Richard Stark” which he uses for the hard bitten Parker series (the movie Payback was based on the first Parker book). As hard boiled as the Parker books are the Dortmunder books he writes are funny. Dortmunder and his pals are crooks but something always seems to go wrong with their plans.If you like funny caper typ [...]

    22. If you have never read any Donald Westlake books featuring John Dortmunder, and you are in the mood for crime fiction that is full of really funny characters and situations, try any novel from the Dortmunder series. Great stuff that will make you laugh. Although this is certainly not his best in the series, i still enjoyed the craziness. I really enjoyed "Why me? and "What's the worst thing that could happen".

    23. Chester approaches Dortmunder and his crew to help him pull off a job. Chester was employed as a driver by Monroe Hall until it was determined that Hall was participating in fradulent activities and had to fire his staff. Now Chester wants revenge. Dortmunder and his gang come up with a complex plan to get onto Hall's estate and steal some cars. of course comic complications ensue. This series is a lot of fun.

    24. I think if you're a fan of these Westlake novels, you pretty much know the ending before you even start the book. But I read them because he is such a great writer; funny and perceptive. You get the feeling that he is having as much fun writing the book as you are reading it. This particular book is more intricate than most, making it interesting in an unusual way. I don't want to say anything that will destroy the pleasure of reading the book but I recommend it.

    25. Still indulging my Dortmunder addiction, which this time took me to the Laurel Village Books,Inc which surprisingly actually had a couple books in the series. Who'd a thunk? Anyway, this one is standard Dortmunder fare, only set in rural Pennsylvania, which I fear diffused some of the atmosphere; we get far too little of OJ's and the regulars. Still, the actual moment of the kidnapping provides some of the purest slapstick I have ever encountered on the written page.

    26. John Dortmunder as a butler? Well, he's not really a butler; he's just playing one at the heavily guarded estate of crooked tycoon Monroe Hall. A corporate pariah surrounded by loot, including a fleet of priceless vintage cars,book on tapevery funny concept the bad guys as heros. the thieves are the good guys.i'm hooked. and no one got killed.

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