• The Damsel

  • Alan Grofield, Book 1
  • By: Richard Stark
  • Narrated by: R.C. Bray
  • Length: 4 hrs and 55 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (367 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Donald E. Westlake is one of the greats of crime fiction. Under the pseudonym Richard Stark, he wrote twenty-four fast-paced, hardboiled novels featuring Parker, a shrewd career criminal with a talent for heists. Using the same nom de plume, Westlake also completed a separate series in the Parker universe, starring Alan Grofield, an occasional colleague of Parker. While he shares events and characters with several Parker novels, Grofield is less calculating and more hot-blooded than Parker; think fewer guns, more dames.

Not that there isn’t violence and adventure aplenty. The Damsel begins directly after the Parker novel The Handle. Following a wounded Grofield and his damsel on a scenic, action-packed road trip from Mexico City to Acapulco, The Damsel is full of wit, adrenaline, and political intrigue.

©2012 Richard Stark (P)2013 AudioGO

What listeners say about The Damsel

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

Great listen!

I downloaded this book because it was narrated by RC Bray. It wasn't until several chapters in that I realized that I knew this story. Paul Newman played this character in a movie called Harper, right down to all of the characters names (except Grofield.) Insane.

I loved the story. There were so many twists and turns. I knew the ending but it still was mind blowing.

You can't go wrong with anything narrated by RC Bray but this listen was extra special when I realized I had seen a movie of the same acted by one of the greats.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Richard Stark is a Frosted Mini-Wheat

On one side, the Parker side, he’s all gut shots, bank heists, desperate gambles and teeth loosened by fists or gun butts. On the other side, the Grofield side, he’s all that and more: clever ruses, one-liners, quips and comebacks. I haven’t had this much fun since I listened to Somebody Owes Me Money, a book Stark penned under his real name, Donald Westlake.

Obviously, Grofield works with Parker, who got him the hotel room in Mexico City where this story begins. But he’s loads more fun to be around. At first, I wasn’t so sure about our narrator, R. C. Bray. However, like Alan Grofield, he grew on me very quickly.

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Almost as good as Parker

Very entertaining, but Grofield doesn't have the wonderful gravitas of Parker. Nevertheless, I highly recommend it.

1 person found this helpful

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Funny

Well written funny short story. Lots of twists and turns in this funny thriller. Made me smile and laugh out loud often

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I couldn't un-hear it...

The story is decent, and it is definitely cool to see one of my favorite supporting characters in the Parker books in his own adventure, but there was a rather big issue with the narration for me.

Don't get wrong, the guy puts in performance. He makes each character sound unique, and manages to do Mexican accents without drifting into caricature territory. Overall, a very good, if by-the-numbers performance.

My problem with the performance is purely the result of me being a fan of the Futurama TV series. Anyone who has seen a fair amount of the show will be familiar with Calculon, the over-the-top hammy Soap Opera actor robot. Almost as soon as the book began, the narrators performance of Grofield made me think of Calculon, and I spent the rest of the book picturing the cartoon character, instead of the guy I had always seen in my head when reading or listening to a Parker book.

It didn't really hurt the experience, but it did make it hard to take the story seriously when I couldn't get the image of a scenery-chewing yellow robot in place of the main character out of my head.

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Damsel in distress

Started off very interesting. It's a fun listen but the story is not great overall, going flat as it develops. Cool style and characters. Good reader performance.

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The damsel

I really enjoyed this story of liars and political people. what a scary tale set in mexico!

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A Travel Back in Time

An unexpected journey to a time before cellphones, internet/social-media & hi-tech-wizardry. A fun ride! A+

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Refreshing addition to the Parker story

First things first, I love the Parker series and have read all of them up until this spinoff. This was a great read and a pleasant change of pace from the cold hearted Parker. While of this character is from a similar mold., he has a fantastic sense of humor and adventure yet still keeps the excitement and fast moving pace. I’m looking forward to reading more. This is fantastic on audible and the narrator is top notch. Enjoy.

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Blast from the past

🔥🔥🔥This series couldn’t have come at a better time. It’s funny and captivating. I’m really enjoying this book.🔥🔥🔥