Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Parker on tape

The Jugger was the first of Parker books that I read. I can't suggest it blew my mind.

I later learned that Donald Westlake, who wrote the Parker novels under the name Richard Stark, said "The sixth book in the series is called 'The Jugger', and that book is one of the worst failures I’ve ever had."

I didn't know that at the time, but as a huge fan of Point Blank and a slight fan of Payback, the goal was to read The Hunter, which was difficult to find at the time.

The Seattle Public Library didn't have a book copy of, so I eventually checked out the Books on Tape edition.

I loved it. I became addicted to them. The series is read by Michael Kramer, who does an amazing job with them. He has just the right sound for them, almost like a narrator to an industrial training movie from the '60s. It's the matter-of-factness that fits the books perfectly.

I went through and listened to all of the books that the library had available. My favorite remains The Seventh.

But I missed the ones they didn't have, such as The Outfit, which I eventually read and gave a tepid review in Outfit.

Recently, I listened to The Score and realized that I just like the books better that way. The two I've liked the least were the two I read as books.

Realizing that, I went back and listened to "The Jugger". It's still not my favorite. There's a little too much of a parlor mystery quality to it all that I don't think translates to the Parker books that well. But I did like it a lot more than I did.

I'm going back one day soon and listen to "The Outfit" and we'll see if that trend continues.

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