I was joined by Otto Penzler, who told about how Westlake and Brian Garfield built the shelves in his first store, with Westlake telling him he could best help by going to get coffee and staying far away from the wood; Larry Block, who emphasized just how funny Westlake was, and shared the Parker opening line he offered that Westlake rejected ("When the shit hit the fan, Parker dove in front of it."); and of course Abby Westlake, who read a galley page from the Dortmunder novel Get Real, chosen essentially at random, and, no surprise, got the audience laughing.
The crowd, as you can see from the blurry photo up above, was big, and enthusiastic. As with the party the previous weekend in Chicago, an added bonus at this one was getting to meet a number of longtime Twitter-and-e-mail friends for the first time--which leads me to yet again offer one of my favorite pieces of advice: meet your online friends, folks. I've yet to be disappointed when I do.
Meanwhile, the reviews continue to come in, and they continue to be gratifyingly positive. In the Weekly Standard, Susan Vass writes that
The Getaway Car inspires us to sit down with a bottle of Amsterdam Liquor Store Bourbon—“Our Own Brand”—to toast a genius and to count our blessings that we have one more chance to savor Westlake’s words.Tomorrow's Washington Post, brings an appreciative review from longtime Westlake fan (and I've Been Reading Lately favorite) Michael Dirda, who says The Getaway Car is a good title because it
suggests something of the rush and exhilaration with which most readers will turn these pages.Thanks to everyone who came out to the two parties, or who's helped spread the word about the book in any way--I'm certainly grateful, and I know Abby is, too. Oh, and if you're looking for a triple-signed copy, the Mysterious Bookshop has them. Might I recommend one for each stocking in your family?