20 March 2007

Book Banter -- Don't Ask

Title: Don't Ask
Author: Donald Westlake
Length: 336 pages
Genre: comedic crime
Plot Basics: Gloomy thief John Dortmunder is hired by a small eastern European country to steal a religious relic that will pave the way for the country's admission into the U.N. The job, Dortmunder thinks, should be a snap. But this is a Dortmunder caper meaning things go horribly wrong.
Banter Points: Again, Westlake manages to string together a series of unlikely events that somehow hang together without seeming unbelievable. The continuation of Dortmunder and his usual gang -- Andy Kelp, Stan Murch, Tiny Bulcher and May -- keeps providing rich characters.
Bummer Points: While Westlake strings together unbelievable plots, this one was a little farther afield.
Word Nerd recommendation: If you're a Dortmunder fan, read it. If you haven't ever heard of this series, go find one of the earlier ones to start with.

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