Literature, UCP News

Got Parker’s free ebook?

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We’ve got Parker. But do you? In the month of September, our free ebook takes you to the darker side of crime fiction: things get a bit remorseless quickly, as relentless thief Parker takes hard-boiled to the next level. It’s time to settle The Score. Cult classics, these Starkly noirish riffs. We’ve set up a website devoted to the series, which began nearly fifty years ago and ran until 2008–and has been reprinted by volume by volume by the Press this past half decade. You’ll find the entire canon there at 30 percent off, but who am I to criminally undermine our own endeavor (besides, truly: the kind of Parker I hang with knew that men seldom made passes at girls who wore glasses, and she ain’t about to anti-hero herself mid-caper or two)? I’ll leave things to Levi Stahl, promotions director, paperback sleuth, lit-blogger extraordinaire, and serious Parkerfile:

For nearly fifty years now, crime novel fans have been thrilling to the exploits of Parker, the ruthless, violent, and taciturn anti-hero of a series written by Donald E. Westlake under the pseudonym Richard Stark. In 2008, the University of Chicago Press began to bring the Parker novels back into print, and the response from readers, reviewers, and other writers was tremendous.
For the month of September, we’re pleased to offer new readers a chance to jump on the Parker bandwagon by giving away the e-book edition of one of the best books in the series, The Score.
The Score finds Parker going after a prize big enough to make him break one of his fundamental rules: if a heist requires more than five guys, it can’t be done. But in this case, the temptation is just too great—there’s a whole town ripe for the taking, and with a dozen hardened heisters in on the job, Parker’s ready to pick it clean. Full of all the action, violence, and breathtaking plot twists that are Richard Stark’s stock in trade, The Score is guaranteed to leave you wanting more.
“Westlake knows precisely how to grab a reader, draw him or her into the story, and then slowly tighten his grip until escape is impossible.” —Washington Post Book World
“Perhaps this, more than anything else, is what I admire about these novels: the consistent ruthlessness of an unapologetic bastard. And so if you’re a fan of noir novels and haven’t yet read Richard Stark, you may want to give these books a try. Who knows? Parker may just be the son of a bitch you’ve been searching for.”—John McNally, Virginia Quarterly Review
“Whatever Stark writes, I read. He’s a stylist, a pro, and I thoroughly enjoy his attitude.”—Elmore Leonard
“Donald Westlake’s Parker novels are among the small number of books I read over and over. Forget all that crap you’ve been telling yourself about War and Peace and Proust—these are the books you’ll want on that desert island.”—Lawrence Block
“Parker is refreshingly amoral, a thief who always gets away with the swag.”—Stephen King, Entertainment Weekly
“Super-ingenious, super-lethal. . . . Parker is super-tough!”—New York Times Book Review
“The Parkers read with the speed of pulp while unfolding with an almost Nabokovian wit and flair.”—Richard Rayner, Los Angeles Times Book Review
“Richard Stark’s Parker novels . . . are among the most poised and polished fictions of their time, and, in fact, of any time.”—John Banville, Bookforum
“Parker . . . lumbers through the pages of Richard Stark’s noir novels scattering dead bodies like peanut shells. . . . In a complex world [he] makes things simple.”—William Grimes, New York Times
“Elmore Leonard wouldn’t write what he does If Stark hadn’t been there before. And Quentin Tarantino wouldn’t write what he does without Leonard. . . . Old master that he is, Stark does all of them one better.”—Los Angeles Times
“Crime fiction stripped down—as it was meant to be. . . .Oh, how the pages keep turning.”—Philadelphia Inquirer
“For suspense fans who cheer for the bad guys.”—Washington Post
“Nobody tops Stark.—New York Times
“One of the most original characters in mystery.”—Mystery News