Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Finished: 'The Comedy is Finished'

I finished Donald Westlake's aptly-named novel The Comedy is Finished. It's aptly named because it was the final novel he wrote before passing away.

It was not your typical Westlake novel. It was great, but different. He usually offers some slapstick humor, odd characters and clever twists. He's usually light-hearted. This was darker. It had a lot more sex and much more bloody murder. When it comes to sex and murder in a mystery, count me in. I'll be at the front of the parade waving the baton. But it was out of the norm for The Don, as I and other friends call him.

This was also a thinker. When I finished the book, I turned off the television and pondered the ending in silence. It was that good.

The other thing about this book that made it stand out in my mind is the cover. I think I'll write another post about this, but I've been thinking about book covers lately. I decided I've never purchased a book because of it's cover. I've bought them because of recommendations from friend, because they're by a certain author, or I've heard mention of them in other media.

But this one, I bought because of the cover! Technically, I was looking through 20 Westlake books, trying to decide which one to buy and this cover caught my eye, because, well who doesn't like a gal in sunglasses? So I bought it. You should too.

I'm giving it a 7-plus on the Haugenometer. Amazon gave it a lower 3.2 out of 5 (and I'll grant that the middle part was a little dry, but I also think some of that lower rating is because it's not what Westlake fans were expecting). Goodreads gives it a 3.54 out of 5.

Goodreads summarizes:
The year is 1977, and America is finally getting over the nightmares of Watergate and Vietnam and the national hangover that was the 1960s. But not everyone is ready to let it go. 
Not aging comedian Koo Davis, friend to generals and presidents and veteran of countless USO tours to buck up American troops in the field. And not the five remaining members of the self-proclaimed People's Revolutionary Army, who've decided that kidnapping Koo Davis would be the perfect way to bring their cause back to life...

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