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Get Real by Donald E. Westlake

Get Real (2009)

by Donald E. Westlake

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Dortmunder (15)

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265965,144 (3.76)7



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» See also 7 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
Back in the dark ages, before we could afford things like a TV, my spouse and I read a lot, often reading to each other. We became quite fond of Westlake's books about the burglar, John Dortmunder. That was long ago. But, my spouse finally got to the "Ws" in her dogged determination to read all the "Mystery" books in our local library in alphabetical order according to author. As a result, she came home with a Dortmunder book. It caused me to reflect on the "good old days", which then led to my determination to revisit Dortmunder myself. It turns out my library had only one available in kindle edition. So I snagged it.

Reading this book involved a bit of cognitive dissonance for me. My earlier forays into the Dortmunder books were before the days of cell phones, computers and the internet. So, suddenly, we have them all here. Not only that, but reality TV has become all the rage. I never imagined anything so stupid as reality TV back in my youth. The closest we got was Dick Clark's American Bandstand, and I was suspicious of that.

Anyway, Dortmunder and his pals are enticed into becoming involved in taping a reality TV program showing them planning and executing a burglary. They, of course, aren't that stupid, so decide to do a pretend burglary of the properties of the production company, all the while being pretty certain that they can find something else in the production company's building worth a lot more. So, in essence, their involvement helps them case the joint, so to speak.

So, we have lots of absurd goings on, both within Dortmunder's "gang" and within the reality show production company. All good fun. ( )
  lgpiper | Jun 21, 2019 |
#15 Dortmunder

My introduction to Dortmunder ( )
  ParadisePorch | Sep 18, 2018 |
The last of Donald Westlake's Dortmunder novels does not disappoint. The gang's all here, but now they're sucked into reality TV, which turns out to be anything but real. As usual, the plot gets complicated, but Dortmunder comes up with a brilliant ploy designed to let the guys get even more money from a heist.

But the beauty of the Dortmunder novels is only partly in the plot. The dialog, the gatherings at the OJ Bar, the set-ups and pay-offs are what make this series so funny.

Highly recommend. ( )
  barlow304 | Sep 12, 2018 |
When a favorite author passes on to that great library in the sky, there is a profound sadness for the loyal fans. But when the author leaves a work behind, written before he died, published posthumously, it can bring true joy to a fan's heart (in this case, two fans, as javaczuk and I listened to it on a recent road trip. This particular voice actor (WilliamDufris) was amazing. We could hardly believe how many character voices he created. And the story? Dortmunder to the end. Westlake had a talent for making the ridiculous plausible, and Get Real is real Dortmunder to the last word. ( )
  bookczuk | Sep 5, 2016 |
Dortmunder and the boys are to appear in a reality television program as themselves, pulling off a heist and trying to make sure there isn't a catch. In this audiobook the narrator, William Dufris, did an excellent job of portraying the characters, their personalities and accents. Entertaining and humourous, in fact, laugh-out-loud funny in some places. ( )
  VivienneR | Dec 8, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
After watching a bare-chested dentist trekking through the jungle by torchlight to shake a spear at a sunburned accountant in a loincloth, you might think television reality shows were beyond satire. But that would be underestimating the puckish wit of Donald E. Westlake, who died of a heart attack last New Year’s Eve but still leaves us laughing with his final novel, a rollicking crime caper that pulls the pants right off the reality TV industry.
Get Real is the fifteenth and last Dortmunder book. It came out in July, I’ve just read it, and while it’s not the best in the series, it’s clever and funny and definitely not a weak book.
added by Shortride | editTor.com, Jo Walton (Aug 23, 2009)
It's a wacky tale, entertainingly told. Westlake had a gift for throwaway lines and the dialogue of New York hoods. (One of them advises a foreign tourist trying to pay for his beer in foreign currency, "When in Rome, don't be Greek.")
While the developing plot of "Get Real" has holes big enough to drive a stolen Chevy through, they don't really matter much. Mostly, one just enjoys Westlake's ingratiating, laid-back narrative voice.

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Donald E. Westlakeprimary authorall editionscalculated
Dufris, WilliamNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Television isn't something you watch. Television is something you appear on. -- Noel Coward
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Dortmunder did not like to stand around on street corners.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0446178608, Hardcover)

In Donald E. Westlake's classic caper novels, the bad get better, the good slide a bit, and Lord help anyone caught between a thief named John Dortmunder and the current object of his attention.

However, being caught red-handed is inevitable in Dortmunder's next production, when a TV producer convinces this thief and his merry gang to do a reality show that captures their next score. The producer guarantees to find a way to keep the show from being used in evidence against them. They're dubious, but the pay is good, so they take him up on his offer.

A mock-up of the OJ bar is built in a warehouse down on Varick Street. The ground floor of that building is a big open space jumbled with vehicles used in TV world, everything from a news truck and a fire engine to a hansom cab (without the horse).

As the gang plans their next move with the cameras rolling, Dortmunder and Kelp sneak onto the roof of their new studio to organize a private enterprise. It will take an ingenious plan to outwit viewers glued to their television sets, but Dortmunder is nothing if not persistent, and he's determined to end this shoot with money in his pockets.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:44 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

When a TV producer convinces John Dortmunder and his merry gang to do a reality show that captures their next score, Dortmunder hatches an ingenious plan to outwit viewers glued to their television sets and end the shoot with money in his pockets.

» see all 4 descriptions

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