Donald E. Westlake

American novelist
Donald E. Westlake

Donald Edwin Westlake (July 12, 1933December 31, 2008) was an American novelist and screenplay author best known for his "comic caper" novels.


  • If Chester had a failing, it was that he believed people were what they thought they were.
    • The Hunter (1962) (as Richard Stark)
  • The cops are after me, I'm on my way to join an organization of lunatics and bombers, I'm wired for sound, my necktie turns into a smokescreen, my handkerchief will make you throw up, my Diner's Club card explodes, I'm the leader of a subversive terrorist organization composed entirely of undercover federal agents, newspapers all over the country are saying I killed my girl, and I'm on my way to meet a twenty-five-year-old Nazi built like Bronco Nagurski. If relaxed means limp, don't worry about it. I'm relaxed. I'm relaxed all over.
    • The Spy in the Ointment (1966)
  • Everybody in New York City is looking for something. Men are looking for women and women are looking for men. Down at the Trucks, men are looking for men, while at Barbara's and at the Lib women are looking for women. Lawyers' wives in front of Lord & Taylor are looking for taxis, and lawyers' wives' husbands down on Pine Street are looking for loopholes. The hookers in front of the Americana hotel are looking for johns, and the kids opening cab doors in front of the Port Authority are looking for tips. So are the riders on the Aqueduct Special. So are the cabbies, the bellboys, the waiters and the undercover narcs.
    • Dancing Aztecs (1976)
  • In order to hold your faith intact be sure it's kept unsullied by fact.
    • Don't Ask (1993)
  • The August sun, God's blood-blister...
    • Watch Your Back (2006)
  • New York doesn't exactly have neighborhoods, the way most cities do. What it has is closer to distinct and separate villages, some of them existing on different continents, some of them existing in different centuries, and many of them at war with one another. English is not the primary language in many of these villages, but the Roman alphabet does still have a slight edge.
    • What's So Funny? (2007)
  • Brian had all that day to figure out what was going on, and yet he didn't.
    • What's So Funny? (2007)

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