Monday, October 28, 2013

Pulp Poem of the Week

A prisoner does one of two things:
(1) he goes along, or
(2) he escapes.
That’s all there is.
His keepers give orders and
he obeys them.
He doesn’t think;
he doesn’t argue;
he doesn’t engage
in philosophical discussion.
He does exactly what he’s told, and
all of his concentration remains
exclusively watching for a chance
to move onto (2).
Then he sees an opening, and
he coldcocks the economist from Yale, and
he’s gone.

          Donald E. Westlake
          Don’t Ask

Monday, October 21, 2013

Pulp Poem of the Week

Never joke with a
tired tramp.
No one gets as tired as a
tired tramp.

     Elliott Chaze
     Black Wings Has My Angel

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Book Review: Donald E. Westlake, Don't Ask (1993)

The International Parker Theorem states: The more Parker gets involved in international intrigue, the less interesting he becomes. Its corollary, the International Dortmunder Theorem, states: The more a Dortmunder novel becomes involved in international intrigue, the sillier it becomes. And this is Westlake’s constant artistic battle in the Dortmunder books: to negotiate the fine line between funny and silly, to not get lazy and descend into fart jokes. Don’t Ask begins in the general realm of the fart joke with Dortmunder riding in a fish truck. (A future Dortmunder novel, I can only assume, will begin with Dortmunder sitting in an outhouse.) The problem with International Dortmunder is that Westlake cannot resist the low-hanging fruit: silly names, silly accents, and so on. And Donald E. Westlake, of all people, has no need for low-hanging fruit. In sum, Don’t Ask is an acceptable Dortmunder, though a bit lazy. Competent, but not inspired. Grade: C

Monday, October 14, 2013

Pulp Poem of the Week

A hammer may be picked up
almost anywhere in the world.
Baseball bats are
very widely distributed.
Even a rock or a heavy stick
will do.

          CIA training manual

Monday, October 7, 2013

Pulp Poem of the Week

the attrition of honesty
varies inversely
with the square of the distance
and directly
with the mass of the temptation

     Charles Williams
     Girl Out Back