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Extended Audio Sample The Road to Ruin Audiobook, by Donald E. Westlake Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (395 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Donald E. Westlake Narrator: William Dufris Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Dortmunder Series Release Date: May 2004 ISBN: 9781482975673
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This time out John Dortmunder and his merry band of crooks return to the scene of the crime world in an attempt to steal a fleet of automobiles that would leave the sultan of Brunei blushing. The mark is Monroe Hall, corrupt CEO of a now defunct conglomerate, who spent more of his company’s money on himself than the boys at Enron and WorldCom combined. Having escaped prosecution, Hall is holed up on his massive Pennsylvania farm and Dortmunder, as usual, has his eyes on the big prize: Hall’s vintage wheels.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Ingenuity fuels the plot, but what puts the match to the comedy is the moral outrage of the furiously funny characters.”

    New York Times

  • “Boisterous.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Fans will find plenty of the wry humor and meandering charm they have come to expect from this fine series.”

    Booklist

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emily | 2/18/2014

    " This book was ok. I read it because I got it for a gift. Nothing too exciting about it but a good way to waste some time I guess. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Grandma Judy | 2/10/2014

    " Started out a little slow, but turned out to be a pretty good book. Written from the perspective of two groups of "bad guys", who each planned to get even with a man they both detested, and an ending that shows that crime still doesn't pay. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chris | 1/29/2014

    " All the Dortmunder novels are hilarious. But don't get too caught up in the outlandish exploits of its characters and deadpan cheek of Westlake to know that behind all the comedic talent is a man with a dead-on point of view about things and this life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 B | 1/24/2014

    " F One of the very funny Dortmunder gang books, John Dortmunder and his inept gang hire out as servants to con a rich man. Black humor "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Terry | 1/17/2014

    " Rather boring. I would not recommend it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rich Pliskin | 1/14/2014

    " Eh. Wasn't as fun and breezy as I had hoped. It's no "Little Green Men" or "Quick Change," but then, what is? Doesn't make me want to read another one by this guy, either. Still, it beats "Knockemstiff." "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Josh Hamacher | 1/10/2014

    " A fun, easy read. If you're not familiar with Westlake, he writes mostly light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek mystery and caper novels. The Dortmunder gang are probably his most enduring recurring characters and come back for another adventure here. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kelasher | 12/4/2013

    " Just listened to this. Still just as funny. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Janis Williams | 11/29/2013

    " Diverting. Always love Dortmunder. This is a good airplane book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 10/15/2013

    " A fun, quick read. I really liked the characters (a team of ex-cons) and the very wacky conversations! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Denise | 7/14/2013

    " Westlake's always entertaining, and this is a good fast read. Eleventh of the Dortmunder novels, but it's pretty standalone; the older Dortmunder novels are hard to find these days. All you need to know is that John Dortmunder is the most unlucky criminal ever. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Will | 5/17/2013

    " One of the best of the Westlake books I've read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jason Reeser | 3/12/2013

    " Another quick, hilarious read about the hapless thieves from NYC. This time they go off to the Pennsylvania countryside and pose as servants in order to steal a collection of vintage cars. I loved it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wendy | 2/2/2013

    " Eleventh title in the Dortmunder series. While still very funny, this one didn't quite seem up the level of previous titles. I can't put my finger on why though. I did appreciate the bit about the tote bags. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Glennie | 12/26/2012

    " Another great Dortmunder adventure! So funny, it's criminal!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 J.D. | 12/6/2012

    " This is a decent Dortmunder tale, but it's no BANK SHOT. Seems to end somewhat abruptly, as if Westlake got tired of it, or hit his contractual word count and said "okay, that's it." Still, it's a short, fun read with a few chuckles. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Isis | 9/11/2012

    " Entertaining in the way that Dortmunder always is. Perhaps I'm getting a little tired of the stock bits that seemingly have to be part of every Dortmunder novel, and the ending seemed oddly abrupt. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan Katz | 4/18/2012

    " As a book about vengeance enacted on a rich crook who ruined many people, this item in the Dortmunder series seems prescient in the age of Bernie Madoff. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Denise | 3/26/2012

    " Left myself a note "Bad". "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 stan | 3/17/2012

    " very predictable not well written and diapointing "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cristine | 2/1/2012

    " Very entertaining. Looking forward to listening to his other novels. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jo | 11/2/2011

    " Not my favorite Dortmunder disaster, but entertaining enough. Best part is the bumbling of the unrelated groups of scoundrels who attempt to cooperate in the caper. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Patty | 6/21/2011

    " Not his best,but still entertaining. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Glennie | 4/29/2011

    " Another great Dortmunder adventure! So funny, it's criminal!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 J.D. | 11/15/2010

    " This is a decent Dortmunder tale, but it's no BANK SHOT. Seems to end somewhat abruptly, as if Westlake got tired of it, or hit his contractual word count and said "okay, that's it." Still, it's a short, fun read with a few chuckles. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Josh | 10/1/2010

    " A fun, easy read. If you're not familiar with Westlake, he writes mostly light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek mystery and caper novels. The Dortmunder gang are probably his most enduring recurring characters and come back for another adventure here. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Grandma | 7/22/2010

    " Started out a little slow, but turned out to be a pretty good book. Written from the perspective of two groups of "bad guys", who each planned to get even with a man they both detested, and an ending that shows that crime still doesn't pay. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wendy | 6/22/2010

    " Eleventh title in the Dortmunder series. While still very funny, this one didn't quite seem up the level of previous titles. I can't put my finger on why though. I did appreciate the bit about the tote bags. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jim | 11/20/2009

    " as usual witty, funny and insightful even if not serious crime
    lightweight comedy about crime but still fun "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 stan | 10/15/2009

    " very predictable not well written and diapointing "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mer | 9/12/2009

    " I L O V E the Dortmunder series. I don't condone crime in the real world but how can you not be drawn to a character that has such fascinating compadres and find such ingenious ways to get out of the tight situations they end up in.

    I've just found a copy to add to my library. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan | 7/12/2009

    " As a book about vengeance enacted on a rich crook who ruined many people, this item in the Dortmunder series seems prescient in the age of Bernie Madoff. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jason | 6/19/2009

    " Another quick, hilarious read about the hapless thieves from NYC. This time they go off to the Pennsylvania countryside and pose as servants in order to steal a collection of vintage cars. I loved it! "

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About the Author
Author Donald E. WestlakeDonald E. Westlake (1933 - 2008) was a three-time Edward Award winner and the author of over a hundred novels and non-fiction books. In 1993, the Mystery Writers of America named Westlake a Grand Master, the highest honor bestowed by the society.
About the Narrator

William Dufris attended the University of Southern Maine in Portland-Gorham before pursuing a career in voice work in London and then the United States. He has won more than twenty AudioFile Earphones Awards, was voted one of the Best Voices at the End of the Century by AudioFile magazine, and won the prestigious Audie Award in 2012 for best nonfiction narration. He lives with his family in Maine.