Thursday, August 28, 2014

You don't want the guys on your string to be late. Early, though--we'll take early.

Look what arrived a week early--and just in time for me to show off a couple at a family reunion this weekend!

It's shipping out now to individual customers and to bookstores, and you should see it on the shelves (or, may we hope, the front table?) of your local bookstore by early-to-mid September. The official publication date will be September 29. I think it turned out beautifully: my colleagues at the University of Chicago Press turned my messy stack of xeroxes into a handsome book that should catch the eye of any Westlake fan, and I'm grateful for it.

In other Getaway Car news, September 1 issue of Booklist will bring us what's likely the last of the pre-publication reviews, and it's pleasantly of a piece with the rave in Kirkus and the starred review in Publishers Weekly. It, too, is starred, and it's full of praise for Westlake:
An absolute must-read for Westlake’s legion of fans, this wonderful collection showcases the late mystery writer’s nonfiction skills. . . . Westlake’s writing here is as compelling, as seemingly effortlessly entertaining, as it is in his fiction. A great collection and a reminder of just how talented an author Westlake was.
I couldn't ask for much better than that.

Finally, if you're not sick of hearing me yammer about the book yet, and you're in Chicago, New York, or Iowa City, you should come out and see me! Here's the calendar:

September 20
7 PM at The Curiosity
E-mail me at for more details and to RSVP.

September 29
New York
6:30 PM at The Mysterious Bookshop, 58 Warren Street
For this event, I'll be joined by Abby Westlake, Lawrence Block, and Otto Penzler. As all three are great raconteurs, I'm planning to basically say hello, thank everyone for coming, and turn them loose to tell Donald Westlake stories all night.

October 4
Iowa City
As part of the Iowa City Book Festival, I'll be on a panel October 4with crime writer and genre historian Craig McDonald talking about Westlake and crime fiction in general. Come for James Ellroy (He's on the mainstage October 2), stay for us!

If you're planning to be at any of these, drop me a note--if we've not met, I'd like to be sure to introduce myself and say hi.

In an essay on Stephen Frears that's included in the book, Westlake says, "If you can't have fun, why do it?" Well, this project has been a blast from the very start, and I suspect the real fun part is just beginning.

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