Specialist in the scam, the con, and the rip-off, Jerry Manelli is running around New York hot on the trail of a priest: a thousand-year-old, two-foot-tall, ugly, misshapen, dancing Aztec priest made of solid gold, with eyes of pure emeralds, worth a million dollars.
Somebody stole it from its museum home in South America and smuggled it through U.S. Customs in a shipment of plastic imitations. But the wrong one got delivered, and the million dollar statue, mixed with the 15 copies, is somewhere in New York. Jerry Manelli is searching for it, as are Wall Street financiers, New Jersey union thugs, Manhattan aristocrats, college professors and PR men, liberated women and unliberated wives, tough guys and conmen, and sharpshooters of every kind.
From Harlem to Greenwich Village, from Long Island to Connecticut, the motley group races in and around New York in this comic adventure of the 1970s.
©1976 Original material, Donald E. Westlake. Recorded by arrangement with Mysterious Press, LLC. (P)2011 HighBridge Company
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"Not ideal for casual listening"
It's very a very funny and sometimes hilarious story and the narration is very good. However, the great number of characters makes it difficult to follow if like me you listen to audiobooks mostly while driving and walking errands.
"One of his sillier books"
a madcap adventure?
the wild ride. I love every single Westlake book. But there were times I wanted to put it down and walk away. See Comments, below*
He's a great reader for tongue-in-cheek Westlake. He doesn't overdo. Except as below, in Comments*
Uh, not exactly a "moving" story. A lot made me laugh.
*Well, it's racist. The Mexicans are more or less portrayed as individuals, but the black people are cartoons, and some of this may be the fault of the reader. Seriously Amos N Andy stuff.
"always enjoy Westlake"
this may not be one of his best but Westlake is always enjoyable and his comic capers are generally good for light fun. and he's not a bad writer, usually witty with a dash now and then of something literary, and sometimes just plain laugh out loud funny.
The book is long and complicated but it is really fun! Well read! So many intertwining stories but all comes together at the VERY end.
"Too Many Characters for Audio!"
I listen while walking the dogs, or vacuuming, or doing other household/yard work tasks.
I could not keep the multiple characters straight without REAL concentration... which of course, I did not have. The characters are listed in the beginning but I could not reference that chapter each time I questioned, who was that?
Luckily, I have listened to many Westlake stories and love him as an author.
If this had been my first, there would not have been a second.
But since I do so enjoy the Dortmunder series, I will keep up with the goal of listening to all his novels.
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