Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Hunter (1962)

Richard Stark, one of Donald Westlake's many pseudonyms, introduced the character of Parker to the fictional world in The Hunter. It's a pretty great read. Plot-wise, it's like that relationship shark that Woody Allen talks about in Annie Hall: it just keeps moving forward. The basic story is that Parker, a professional thief, gets double-crossed in the midst of a heist, then goes after the people who double-crossed him. What's remarkable about the book is just how much of an anti-hero Parker is; he's not really a bad guy who wants to do the right thing, or the con who plans on going straight one day. He's just a machine: a heisting, killing machine.

Made into a justifiably semi-famous movie called Point Blank, not to be confused with Point Break. I think it was also a Mel Gibson film called Payback.

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