Westlake and Rabe

Big news for fans for Donald E. Westlake: Levi Stahl is going to edit a miscellany of the late author's best bits and pieces. There's a lot to choose from, some of which I cite in my Westlake overview. I hardly know everything, though, so I eagerly look forward to finding out what else may be available.  

Levi has asked for help in finding out what should be included, so if you are a collector of Westlakiana, head over there and weigh in.

There's quite a few Westlake diehards on the internet. In addition to Levi and myself, there's Trent Reynolds, who runs The Violent World of Parker website, and Nick Jones of the always amusing Existential Ennui blog. Nick's response to Levi's announcement suggests a few interesting things that may appear in the forthcoming anthology.

Another smart Westlake fan showing up in the comments at all these watering holes is "Chris." We have a nice exchange in this post about a Westlake essay that really must be reprinted, the frank appraisal of Peter Rabe. 

As I've written before, Rabe would be much less well known these days if Westlake hadn't been so sincere in his appreciation. I like Rabe a lot, but if you haven't read Westlake or his alter ego Richard Stark yet, there's no rush to track down Rabe…

…except for the cover art that Nick has been posting! OK, now I know what I want. I want a high-res poster of this delicacy by Robert McGinnis

It's my favorite Rabe book, besides. 

Murder me for nickels

Here's another great one, this time by Bayre Phillips:

Kill the Boss Goodbye

Both my wife and Oonaballona went nuts for the dress: I proposed being the dead body for the photo shoot if Oona conjured the threads. Oona also liked the title Kill the Boss Good-by. I do too. I also like title Murder Me for Nickels. Interestingly, Westlake didn't like those titles: Indeed, he hung his entire essay around the conceit of the books being so much better than the titles.  I can't say I agree! The contents, titles, and covers add up to a pretty perfect Gold Medal package.