Sunday, March 14, 2010

Westlake on Dickens? Alas!

Reading Donald Westlake's introduction to Levine (1984), a collection of his short stories about NYPD cop Abe Levine, I was gobsmacked by a passing mention of a project that fell by the wayside as he was working on those stories:
In the spring of 1982, [Otto Penzler] and I were talking about another project I don't seem to be working on, which is a book about Dickens' The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Jasper didn't do it).
Really? Donald Westlake was contemplating writing a book on Edwin Drood? Oh, to see that! While it would take a lot to talk me out of wanting to snap the cuffs on Jasper--David Paroissien's introduction to the Penguin edition of Edwin Drood is convincing in its contention that everything we know about Dickens's habits as a writer argues for Jasper's guilt--I would love to see what arguments and ingenuities of plot Westlake would muster in his defense.

Sadly, the context suggests that the project never got very far. Anyone out there happen to know any more about this one?

1 comment:

  1. Dan Simmons did take a whack at this with his Drood. Haven't read it but good customer response thus far. In paper now.