By Donald E. Westlake
(Grand Central Publishing, Hardcover, 9780446178600, 288pp.)
Publication Date: July 2009
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In Donald E. Westlake's classic caper novels, the bad get better, the good slide a bit, and Lord help anyone caught between a thief named John Dortmunder and the current object of his attention.
However, being caught red-handed is inevitable in Dortmunder's next production, when a TV producer convinces this thief and his merry gang to do a reality show that captures their next score. The producer guarantees to find a way to keep the show from being used in evidence against them. They're dubious, but the pay is good, so they take him up on his offer.
A mock-up of the OJ bar is built in a warehouse down on Varick Street. The ground floor of that building is a big open space jumbled with vehicles used in TV world, everything from a news truck and a fire engine to a hansom cab (without the horse).
As the gang plans their next move with the cameras rolling, Dortmunder and Kelp sneak onto the roof of their new studio to organize a private enterprise. It will take an ingenious plan to outwit viewers glued to their television sets, but Dortmunder is nothing if not persistent, and he's determined to end this shoot with money in his pockets.
DONALD E. WESTLAKE has written numerous novels over the past thirty-five years under his own name and pseudonyms, including Richard Stark. Many of his books have been made into movies, including THE HUNTER, which became the brilliant film noir POINT BLANK, and the 1999 smash hit PAYBACK. He penned the Hollywood scripts for THE STEPFATHER and THE GRIFTERS, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Screenplay. The winner of three Edgar awards and a Mystery Writers of America Grand Master, Donald E. Westlake was presented with The Eye, the Private Eye Writers of America's Lifetime Achievement Award, at the Shamus Awards. He lives with his wife, Abby Adams, in rural New York State. For more information, visit his website: www.donaldwestlake.com.
On WHAT'S SO FUNNY?:
"WHAT'S SO FUNNY? may be the best Dortmunder yarn yet. The hilarious scam he and his partners pull on an armored car crew is not to be missed."
"Westlake is a national literary treasure, and his latest effort only enhances his value. Neocon pundit William Kristol recently wrote that Westlake deserves the Nobel Prize for Literature. The neocons haven't been right about much lately, but Kristol just may be on to something this time."
-Booklist (starred review)
"Westlake gets the last laugh in his comic mystery WHAT'S SO FUNNY?, with a comic ending so laden with irony it almost has you thinking that crime doesn't pay. But of course it does pay in those laughs that land on every page."
-New York Times Book Review
"Westlake again delivers a breezily fun tale of good-natured criminality in his deceptively simple style."