Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Ask the Parrot by Richard Stark

Ask the Parrot (2006)

by Richard Stark

Series: Parker (23)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2491046,085 (3.74)5



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 5 mentions

English (9)  German (1)  All (10)
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
A twist on the standard thriller in that the protagonist is an anti-hero. Parker, a professional thief and career criminal, in on the lam following a failed bank heist. Stuck in an isolated rural community, Parker is taken in by a local recluse, in exchange for his help in robbing the local racetrack. Everything goes pear-shaped and Parker needs to rely on his criminal expertise to get a handle on the situation. An entertaining read, with punchy, short chapters good for those with little reading time on their hands. This is number 23 in the series written by Richard Stark/Donald Westlake. ( )
  SarahEBear | May 18, 2017 |
I don't have a lot I'd label as a read once and get rid of it, but I think this one qualifies. Since this is the first I've read in this series and this is book 23 in that series, the characterization leaves a little to be desired, but not having read the earlier books isn't throwing me off any. You know enough to know what's going on. I can see the story line now without having to backtrack. This I like.

This is a quick read. I'd call this a beach read because it goes so simply. No real stress to reading it. Very few necessary mental gymnastics required. Sometimes hard to follow the description of the places, but one is a maze.

For the first two thirds of this book, it sticks pretty solidly in Parker's POV. Then suddenly, the author is bouncing among character POV for about a third of the book. This means what's happening with the primary plot has suddenly disappeared, because many of the characters touched are periphery characters that have very little connection to the main plot thread. I think this was done to tie up loose ends. Not 100% necessary, but makes sense.

Decent ending, maybe not as expected, but decent. Some action and tension, but it diffuses quickly because the main character knows what he's doing. For a disreputable type, Parker has a good honor code and a sense of what to do. He's the bad side of characters I wouldn't mind writing myself. Decent enough, but as I said, a read and discard type book. ( )
  gilroy | Mar 25, 2017 |
Listened to the audio. Typical Richard Stark, aka Donald Westlake, but if you don't care for amoral heroes, you won't like Parker. Parker is the ultimate narcissist who sees the world only as how any action will affect him. If that means shooting someone who gets in the way, so be it. Nary a sign of remorse. This one gets complicated, a heist within a heist, while Parker is being pursued by the police from all over because of a botched bank robbery. Really good escapist reading. ( )
  ecw0647 | Sep 30, 2013 |
Picked this one up because of the title. It was very short, only 5 disks, but was funny and moved at a good pace. Didn't realize it was part of a series until I read the other reviews.

Parker and two other guys rob a bank but the escape goes awry when the police respond quickly with everything they have. As he's running through the woods in his dress shoes with dogs close behind, a local man rescues him. Lindhal is an angry man who has been stewing in bitterness since he was fired from his job at the racetrack for blowing the whistle on a money laundering scheme. He impulsively rescues Parker after watching live coverage of the robbery and manhunt. His plan is to get Parker's help to rob the racetrack. But his fantasy doesn't take into account whether he can control a master thief.

William Dufris does an excellent narration. ( )
1 vote bohemiangirl35 | Nov 30, 2012 |
Donald Westlake, writing under the name Richard Stark, returns with yet another tale of Parker, his amoral, but always fascinating criminal.
In this one, Parker is on the lam from a heist he's just pulled that went badly wrong. The world has changed since 9/11 and Parker is left trying to elude police in an unfamiliar rural setting. He forms an uneasy alliance with a reclusive man who involves Parker in his own illegal revenge plot. This guy, writes Stark, ''sensed the othernesss in Parker, but he didn't know what it meant.''
We, as readers, do: Parker is an out and out sociopath, a hardboiled and humourless professional criminal. Stark usually makes Parker a loner, and so this adventure which forces the deadly mercenary to deal with an amateur in his trade, makes for a strikingly different insight into his character.
And you'll have to read it yourself to find out exactly what the parrot has to say! ( )
1 vote Jawin | Apr 9, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
When the helicopter swept northward and lifted out of sight over the top of the hill, Parker stepped away from the tree he'd waited beside and continued his climb.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original language
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 089296068X, Hardcover)

Sometimes mystery master Donald E. Westlake is the author of uproarious crime capers. Sometimes he has a mean streak-and its name is Parker. From his noir classic The Man with the Getaway Face to his recent novel Nobody Runs Forever, whenever Westlake writes as Stark, he lets Parker run loose-a ruthless criminal in a world of vulnerable "straights."

On a sunny October afternoon a man is running up a hill. He's not dressed for running. Below him are barking police dogs and waiting up ahead is a stranger-with a rifle, a life full of regrets, and a parrot at home who will mutely witness just how much trouble the runner, Parker, can bring into an ordinary life.

The rabbit hunter is Tom Lindahl, a small-town lonely heart nursing a big-time grudge against the racetrack that fired him. He knows from the moment he sees Parker that he's met a professional thief-and a man with murder in his blood. Rescuing Parker from the chase hounds, Lindahl invites the fugitive into his secluded home. He plans to rip off his former employer and exact a deadly measure of revenge-if he can get Parker to help.

But Tom doesn't know Parker and that the desperate criminal will do anything to survive-no matter who has to die...

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:11 -0400)

Fleeing the authorities after a disastrous bank heist, Parker is rescued by Tom Lindahl, a one-time whistleblower tossed aside by the corrupt political establishment, who has a daring scheme to seek revenge and a plan to use Parker to accomplish his goal.… (more)

» see all 4 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
3 avail.
24 wanted
2 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.74)
2 5
2.5 1
3 17
3.5 4
4 24
4.5 1
5 13

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 117,053,378 books! | Top bar: Always visible