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Reviews for When Dames Get Tough with Scarred Faces and Other Rarities

 When Dames Get Tough with Scarred Faces and Other Rarities magazine reviews

The average rating for When Dames Get Tough with Scarred Faces and Other Rarities based on 2 reviews is 3 stars.has a rating of 3 stars

Review # 1 was written on 2017-11-02 00:00:00
2004was given a rating of 3 stars Eric T Johnson
The three earliest Janson tales along with two later ones. Not as amusing as the novel I read earlier this year, mostly because all of these novellas lack the crazy American road trip vibe that the first round of Janson novels exude. The early stories here are distillations of the Janson formula -- sadism, menace, and plots that hardly pause for punctuation -- and they are amusing enough, but Stephens' progress as a writer is apparent in the relative sophistication of the later stories. The final one "The Dead Guy" is even blackly humorous as an inconvenient stiff gets in the way of romance. The uncomfortable laughs don't last long though before Hank is plunged back into his near-perpetual fog of downbeat, semi-nihilistic reflection. Good stuff.
Review # 2 was written on 2016-11-07 00:00:00
2004was given a rating of 3 stars Paul Pruitt
This book feels like half a Dortmunder novel. But half a Dortmunder novel is still a decent read. This is by no means my least favorite novel in this series, but I had some problems with it - the science facts kept getting in the way (one of the central elements of the plot made no sense at all, for example). And then I realized I was nearing the end (three dots left on my Kindle), and Westlake was still adding plot complications, and was nowhere near resolving any. And then the book just kind of ended, at what felt like the halfway point. If I'd been reading a print copy, I would have been checking to see if some pages had fallen out of the novel. But all the same - Dortmunder books are generally fun light reads, and this one is no different. The same familiar characters and elements are there, which can be a good thing or a bad thing. (I realize it's too late for this, but I do think maybe Westlake should have just written a book about a really evil rich guy; that seems to be his primary interest in the later Dortmunder novels, and he spends more time building a delightfully detestable rich target than he does on the actual caper. The thing is, I read Dortmunder novels for the capers and the criminals, not the targets.) Basically, this one is for Dortmunder completists, and for anyone sad that there will never be another Dortmunder novel.


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