The Hook Audiobook, by Donald E. Westlake Play Audiobook Sample

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Author: Donald E. Westlake Narrator: William Dufris Publisher: Blackstone Audio Audio Length: Release Date: March 2000 Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9781482973990

Publisher Description

Bryce Proctorr has a multimillion-dollar contract for his next novel, a trophy wife raking him over the coals of a protracted divorce, a bad case of writer’s block, and an impending deadline. Wayne Prentice is a fading author in a world that no longer values his work. He’s gone through two pseudonyms, watched his book sales shrivel, and is contemplating leaving the writing life. Proctorr has a proposition: If Prentice will hand over his unsold manuscript to publish under Proctorr’s name, the two will split the book advance fifty-fifty. There’s just one small rider to the deal…

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  • “The Hook begins with an agreement signed in blood and smoothly, unobtrusively, gracefully, relentlessly moves toward absolute devastation. This is Donald E. Westlake at the top of his form, writing with the power and confidence of a master and keeping the reader dazzled and agape all the way to the last sentence.”

    - Peter Straub, New York Times bestselling author of Ghost Story and Koko
  • “A harrowing story, told with a crisp incisiveness, and its riveting central characters are extraordinary: Bryce Proctorr and Wayne Prentice are fascinating, compelling tangles of neuroses and ambitions, both wonderfully drawn.”

    -, editorial review
  • “The Hook mixes reality with fiction, its characters growing increasingly hazy about where they draw the line as the story races to its chilling conclusion. The mental health of one author deteriorates in almost exact proportion to the other’s strengthened sense of self. And there’s actually a pretty good crime story hidden in their complexities of analysis. Quite a good hook, in other words, that Westlake has come up with.”

    - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  • “A lively, darkly brilliant account of moral failure and encroaching madness…The Hook is a surprising, suspenseful, psychologically acute novel that happens to be marketed as a thriller but is, in reality, a great deal more.”

    - Barnes & Noble, editorial review
  • “William Dufris’ dramatic narration adds to the suspense of this intriguing plot. He imbues each interchange with emotion, expressing tears of panic and roars of rage with a vigor the heightens the listener’s experience. A departure from Westlake’s familiar territory, The Hook sets regular people in extremis, and Dufris’ narration makes it palpably realistic.”

    - AudioFile
  • “Westlake salts the stew with lots of fascinating publishing shoptalk, and his portrayal of the psychological unraveling of a writer is made all the more chilling by the quiet realism of its presentation. A fine thriller.”

    - Booklist

Customer Reviews

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  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " THE HOOK is a delightfully nasty little piece of candy: a satire on the publishing industry wrapped around a Hitchcockian infernal bargain between a famous author who's "blocked" and a prolific author who can't get published. The story moves quickly, with wonderful details to sketch out the NYC and CT locales as well as the behind-the-scenes views of the writer's workday and the publisher's offices. More to the point, THE HOOK also has one of the most brutal murder scenes I have ever read, as well as a clever and twisted ending that is perfectly timed to punch you in the gut just as you are halfway through the last sentence of the book. I really liked this one, and Westlake makes it all look so effortless. "

    - Mark, 12/30/2013
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " Great first 2/3, slow final 1/3 and a great ending. "

    - carl, 11/18/2013
  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " a great book, full westlakes black humor, but be warned the title gives away the end. luckily i read it in hard back (not my kindle) 'cause i threw it against the wall when i reached the end. "

    - Randy, 9/25/2013
  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " I love Donald Westlake's books and this may be my favorite. Nobody does what you think they're going to do! "

    - S.g., 9/11/2013
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " This was MIT first book by Westlake, and a quick, enjoys read! Ended a bit abruptly, but I think we all knew what was coming - "

    - Agnes, 8/27/2013
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " Cool writing, but story strains credulity! "

    - Rob, 7/15/2013
  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5

    " Eh, this book was ok. The interesting part was over quite early in the book, then it went on and on and basically ends the way I expected. Easy read, good to read before bed as it doesn't take a lot of concentration. "

    - Michelle, 4/4/2013
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " What I liked about this was it was a different genre (sort of ) than the Dortmunder Westlakes. REminded me of Strangers on a Train, sort of. Westlake is so often associated with his comic crime capers, that it's easy to forget how versatile a writer he is-wow! "

    - bookczuk, 1/20/2013
  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " This is a fast-moving book. The story is about writers and the writing biz and how things can get out of control. Looking for a hook? You'll find it here. "

    - Jim, 10/1/2012
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " Not as great as "The Axe" but definitely has it's moments. "

    - Joe, 9/28/2012
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " It was good, but I thought it would be better. "

    - Leigh, 8/29/2012
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " Westlake strikes again. he channels Patricia Highsmith...and that's a complement. perfect ending. "

    - Marti, 7/10/2012

About the Author

Donald E. Westlake (1933–2008) wrote dozens of novels under his own name and numerous pseudonyms, including Richard Stark and Alan Marshall. Many of his books have been adapted for film, most notably The Hunter, which became the 1967 noir Point Blank and the 1999 smash hit Payback.

About the Narrator

L. E. Modesitt Jr. is the bestselling author of over sixty novels encompassing two science fiction series and four fantasy series, as well as several other novels in the science fiction genre. In addition to his novels, Mr. Modesitt has published technical studies and articles, columns, poetry, and a number of science fiction stories. His first story was published in 1973. He lives in Cedar City, Utah.