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Get Real  By  cover art

Get Real

By: Donald E. Westlake
Narrated by: William Dufris
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Publisher's Summary

Eluding the law has always been high on Dortmunder's list. But getting caught red-handed is inevitable in his next caper, when a TV producer convinces this thief and his merry gang to star in a reality show that captures their next score. The producer even guarantees to keep the show from being used as evidence against them. They're dubious at first, but the pay's good, so they sign on.

A mock-up of the OJ bar is built in a downtown New York City warehouse. 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.

©2009 Donald E. Westlake (P)2009 BBC Audiobooks America

Critic Reviews

"The game plan changes nearly hourly, and the outcome is anything but certain. The assorted idiosyncrasies of the group's members and the interactions among them will rouse chuckles from even jaded readers." ( Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about Get Real

Average Customer Ratings
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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Westlake's best book

I have read most of Westlake's books and enjoyed them. This one tops them all -- it is a hilarious satire on reality shows. The gang signs up to do a reality show about them doing a heist, with unpredictable results. Narrator does a fabulous job -- thoroughly enjoyed it from beginning to end.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Dortmunder's last outing and it is a great one

While this is one of my favorite Dortmunder books so far, I write this with a bit of sadness given Donald E. Westlake is no longer with us and likely this was the last of his books.

In an odd twist for the Dortmunder novels, the gang is asked to be part of a reality television series. What could have been a really bad book (I thought the worst concerning some of the plot points), the characters stick to their negligent ways and the TV Series turns into an opportunity for the theives to steal something more worthwhlie than airtime.

Without giving the end away, I can tell you that the book holds true to all the other Dortmunder novels and the ending left me with a smile on my face.

-Bill

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A great reader makes a great story even better!

Dufris and Westlake - what a pair.

The story is already clever and hilarious, and Dufris' narration ensures it remains as such. The characters are all so clearly defined by a vocal maestro.

I was sorry it ended far too soon.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Dortmunder is immortal!

Dortmunder and his gang ought to be pushing 80, now, given that they were pushing 40 back in 1970, when Donald Westlake began chronicling their burglarious exploits. In fact, they still seem to be pushing forty in "Get Real;" so one can only assume that they are all immortal. That makes me happy, since I never tire of their capers. The Dormunder gang provides just about the funniest, most entertaining listening one could wish for. In "Get Real," they encounter a new twist: A reality T.V. show producer wants to film them doing what they do best. Presenting them with a lucrative deal which they can't refuse, the producer talks them into the plan; but the producer has no idea what he has gotten himself into with these lovable criminals. Look forward to the gang's usual shenanigans: traipsing across roof-tops; climbing through windows; plotting burglaries in the back room of the O. J. Bar & Grill, where "the regulars," as always, are engaging in absurd, hilarious, low-brow conversations. William Dufris, the narrator of "Get Real," does a spectacular job of voicing all the characters. In particular, he turns in an inimitable performance of a foreigner in the O. J. speaking jibberish that sounds like a cross between German and Chinese. That scene, alone, makes it worth listening to "Get Real." I recommend this audiobook to anyone who isn't too serious. Sadly, I just learned that Donald Westlake died in 2008; so with "Get Real" we will be listening to the last of Dortmunder, and Company. On the other hand, since they are immortal, maybe some other author will take up the job of documenting their exploits ....

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

So much fun

Westlake's band of lovable, goofball crooks and sleazy reality show types, combined with the narrator's hilarious and brilliant renditions of each of them, make this a must-listen. And so timely with the reality show genre metastasizing every day on dozens of channels. Donald Westlake, wherever you are, I salute you. You will be sorely missed.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Classic Dortmunder

I've been a Dortmunder fan for many years. The plots are always a hoot, the sarcasm runs thick, and the irony is always on.

My only beef with this version was the narrator. I listened to all of the Dortmunder books back in the Books on Tape days and that narrator NAILED the characters. This narrator, not so much and he especially falls short compared to the BOT narrator that I grew to enjoy so much.

Aside from the acting, the premise of this book is still well worth the credit.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • A
  • 01-12-12

The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight

What a hoot!! Nothing ever goes as planned for Dortmunder and his gang, especially when they are making a reality show out of a heist.

If you are looking for a fast-paced, graphic-violence and explicit-sex-free read, look no further. This is light reading but it's fun--pure fiction, pure escape.


1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Fun, But Not Great

Complete fluff. Abrupt ending, but overall a fun listen.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • RJ
  • 12-08-22

Reality Show!

One of Dortmunder’s associates, Kelp introduced him to a unique job prospect. A reality TV show wanted to film Dortmunder’s crew executing a job, then produce it for TV. $20K per man plus $600 per diem sounded very interesting, but what of the consequences? Dortmunder and Stan met with the TV producer, Doug Fairkeep to get the particulars. Dortmunder got the crew together to discuss the idea. Dortmunder had his ideas, film one do two. The story detours to focus on other characters, their backgrounds, their interest in the show, and some practice show takes. Eventually, the tale comes back to Dortmunder’s devious plan. I’m liking the Dortmunder series.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Probably the best Dortmunder novel in the series.

I'll keep the review short as others have already detailed the story line and plot.
I just have to say that I love Westlake's humor and crisp writing style. His stories are written almost like a sitcom where quirky characters are tossed together to interact in outrageous situations with sharp, witty dialogue.
Because of this (unlike many other novels) I would argue that the audio versions of all the Dortmunder novels are superior to the written versions.
William Dufris captures the pacing, voice, and personality of all the characters beautifully. The difference is like reading a Seinfeld script versus watching the performance. He is, without a doubt, one of my favorite audio book readers.
Instead of plowing through the books, I like to savor these a bit more using the "immersive reading" feature.
It takes a bit longer but it enhances the entertainment value.
Most what I wrote here could be said of all the Dortmunder novels in general, but I'll end in saying Westlake's Dortmunder series got a little better with book as the characters evolved and fleshed out, and this one, sadly the last, is the best of the series with The Hot Rock being the weakest.
Hope this helps.