Best 1962 Adventures (5)

By: Joshua Glenn
September 2, 2017

One in a series of 10 posts identifying Josh Glenn’s favorite 1962 adventure novels. Happy 55th anniversary!

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Richard Stark’s (Donald E. Westlake) crime adventure The Hunter.

Like John Wayne showing up without a horse in Stagecoach, we first meet Parker entering New York on foot — crossing the George Washington Bridge without a penny to his name. He’s a tough heist man who’s been double-crossed, we learn by his partner and wife, Lynne. He was left for dead but not killed — big mistake. Relentlessly Parker hunts his loot… even when it turns out that the Syndicate (or, as its higher-ups prefer, the Organization) has taken possession of it. We can’t help but admire Parker’s methods. He’s careful, methodical, and when the time comes, brutal; he doesn’t hurt anyone unless it’s necessary, but it’s often necessary. The POV shifts back and forth between Parker and his victims — it’s a very effective piece of hardboiled prose.

Fun facts: Adapted in 1967 as John Boorman’s excellent neo-noir movie Point Blank, starring Lee Marvin. Chow Yun-fat, Mel Gibson, and Jason Statham have also starred in adaptations. This is the first Parker novel; Westlake would write over 20 others.

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Let me know if I’ve missed any 1962 adventures that you particularly admire. Also, please check out these additional lists. The 200 Greatest Adventure Novels of All Time. THE OUGHTS (1904–13): 1905 | 1906 | 1907 | 1908 | 1910 | 1911 | 1912 | 1913. THE TEENS (1914–23): 1915 | 1916 | 1917 | 1918 | 1920 | 1921 | 1922 | 1923. THE TWENTIES (1924–33): 1925 | 1926 | 1927 | 1928 | 1930 | 1931 | 1932 | 1933. THE THIRTIES (1934–43): 1935 | 1936 | 1937 | 1938 | 1940 | 1941 | 1942 | 1943. THE FORTIES (1944–53): 1945 | 1946 | 1947 | 1948 | 1950 | 1951 | 1952 | 1953. THE FIFTIES (1954–63): 1955 | 1956 | 1957 | 1958 | 1960 | 1961 | 1962 | 1963. THE SIXTIES (1964–73): 1964 | 1965 | 1966 | 1967 | 1968 | 1970 | 1971 | 1972 | 1973. THE SEVENTIES (1974–83): 1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983. The goal, eventually, is to publish a Top 10 Adventures list for every year of the 20th century.

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Adventure, Lit Lists

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