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The Road to Ruin by Donald E. Westlake
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The Road to Ruin (2004)

by Donald E. Westlake

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
I've long liked the Dortmunder gang and their shenanigans and although "The Road to Ruin" isn't the best of the series, it was good to meet the gang again.

"Road to Ruin" covers the Dortmunder gang infiltrating the mansion of a disgraced billionaire with the plan of stealing a collection of classic cars. Obviously, this being Dortmunder, things don't go to plan. All of the familiar Dortmunder gang characters make an appearance, including Andy Kelp, Mae, Arnie the fence and Tiny. ( )
  MiaCulpa | Jan 31, 2019 |
The more I read Donald Westlake the better he gets. The Road to Ruin is very clever and a good insight into Dortmunder's gang of rouges. This time they are going to steal a fleet of vintage cars from a hated businessman. ( )
  SpikeSix | Apr 12, 2016 |
Chester approaches Dortmunder and his crew to help him pull off a job. Chester was employed as a driver by Monroe Hall until it was determined that Hall was participating in fradulent activities and had to fire his staff. Now Chester wants revenge. Dortmunder and his gang come up with a complex plan to get onto Hall's estate and steal some cars. of course comic complications ensue. This series is a lot of fun. ( )
  RachelNF | Jan 15, 2016 |
Not one of Westlake's best novels.

When the Dortmunder crew sets out to do a job there is one thing you can absolutely count on... something will go wrong. They'll do their best. It won't necessarily be their fault. But all the same something WILL go wrong! The current caper is no exception, it's standard Dortmunder.

This is my third experience with the series and I've come to the conclusion that these stories are definitely all about the journey rather than the destination and this latest story fits that mold. It's more about the way they get to the point of doing the job (robbery) than about the job (robbery) itself or how the job (robbery) goes down. That being the case it's not really a mystery so much as an oddball adventure story of sorts.

In this particular case I found the build up to the main caper -- and ultimately the ending -- to be a little bit tedious at times, the sidetracks that are necessary in order for the whole thing to come together just so in the end were often a little dull, bringing the whole story close to a full stop before continuing on with the plot. The phrase overly complicated keeps coming to mind. In the end everything sort of fizzled out rather than coming to a major resolution. The whole thing just seemed somehow incomplete.

If you like action and lots of it then this probably isn't the book for you. The detailed descriptions, while adding a good deal of narrative ambiance, can get a little wearying after awhile. It slows to a crawl at some points before picking back up again and it doesn't have a lot in the way of wham/bang action sequences. If you enjoy eccentric characters in odd situations with a good deal of humor thrown in and you don't mind taking your time to get to where you're going then it might be worth your while to take a closer look at this book. ( )
1 vote Mike-L | Apr 8, 2013 |
Another enjoyable Dortmunder caper. The usual gang is here, with one or two additions. In typical style, there are some fun twists that make life miserable for the Dortmunder gang. It's always something. ( )
  tgraettinger | Aug 17, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 044640022X, Mass Market Paperback)

Ever-lovable but hapless crook John Dortmunder and his merry band of misfits attempt to drive off with a fleet of vintage automobiles in a con against a corrupt CEO who has lavished more of his company's money on himself than the boys at Enron and WorldCom combined.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:01:18 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Westlake's infamous gang of wayward thieves, led by the unlucky and unflagging John Dortmunder, have hatched another perfect plan. They're going to work for one of the most crooked men in the world - for the sole purpose of robbing him blind.

» see all 5 descriptions

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