14 April 2006

Book Banter -- Drowned Hopes

Title: Drowned Hopes (A Dortmunder novel)
Author: Donald E. Westlake
Length: ~4oo pages
Genre: comic crime
Plot Basics: An old cellmate of Dortmunder's is released from prison and enlists Dortmunder's help to retrieve stolen money from an old heist. The trouble is, the money's at the bottom of a reservoir.
Banter Points: This is one of Dortmunder's most outrageous and funniest capers ever. This is also a great starting point in the series, if you want to start reading without going back to the very beginning of the series. A few of the old crimes are referenced, but the characters are introduced well enough that this book can stand on its own.
Bummer Points: This book is almost double the length of the earlier Dortmunder novels making it heavier to lug around.
Word Nerd recommendation: If you want to get in on the Dortmunder series, this is a good one to start with that doesn't require knowledge of the 5 or 6 books that came before it. As usual, Westlake is very funny with the crazy antics of Dortmunder and Co. as they try to commit theft.

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