The Ax

by Donald E. Westlake | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0754030954 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingperryfranwing of Elk Grove, California USA on 6/22/2017
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingperryfranwing from Elk Grove, California USA on Thursday, June 22, 2017
The Ax
Author: Donald E. Westlake

The suspense is tight as a steel coil. starred, Publishers Weekly.. Burke Devore has been in the paper business for twenty-five years, provides well for his family, and plays by the rules. Now the victim of corporate downsizing, Devores life begins to disintegrate. From his attempt to find a job to the growing rift between him and his loved ones, he knows that time is running out. With the pressure on, Devore sets off on a path of obsession and outrage brought on by desperation. He must have a job, even if the only way to get it is to eliminate the competition . . .

Journal Entry 2 by wingperryfranwing at Elk Grove, California USA on Friday, January 12, 2018
Westlake is one of my favorite crime novelists. He was a prolific author writing over 100 novels dating from the 1950s up to his death in 2008 and beyond (several of his works have been published posthumously). He wrote novels under his own name and under several pseudonyms including Richard Stark that he used for the gritty Parker novels. He also wrote the humorous Dortmunder series which I really enjoy.

The Ax is a stand-alone novel about a man, Burke Devore, who was laid off from his middle management job at a paper company. He has been out of work for two years and finds that there is always someone with a little better experience or a better resume that gets the jobs ahead of him. So what does he do? He comes up with an idea to eliminate the competition by systematically killing better qualified candidates! But can he do this? He is just an ordinary man who had never killed anyone before but he decides that this is his only recourse to get his life and marriage back on track.

This is a very well written noir novel that makes you wonder how far someone can go to achieve his goals. Does the end justify the means? Overall a high recommendation for this one and I would also recommend most anything else written by Westlake if you are into crime fiction.


1/27/18: Including this one with round 2 of the books starting with "A" ring. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 3 by wingBooksandMusicwing at Seattle, Washington USA on Sunday, February 11, 2018
Selected from the A titles book ring.

Journal Entry 4 by wingBooksandMusicwing at Seattle, Washington USA on Sunday, January 9, 2022
I felt like it was better than it should have been. At first I was disappointed that it wasn't funny like the Dortmunder books but as I read I realized that it was funny because the author is brilliant in his observations and his ability to write succinctly with very sharp wit. The subject was serious; downsizing and layoffs of individuals in their 50's who have given their loyalty and best years to an employer who isn't loyal back. Our main character here takes an unusual approach to finding another job. After two years of unemployment he hits upon an idea to eliminate the competition. Literally. It is so ugly and tragic and brilliant. Recommended.

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