The Hot Rock by Donald E. Westlake

The Hot Rock by Donald E. Westlake

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Fresh out of prison, Dortmunder plans a heist that could mean war

John Dortmunder leaves jail with ten dollars, a train ticket, and nothing to make money on but his good name. Thankfully, his reputation goes far. No one plans a caper better than Dortmunder. His friend Kelp picks him up in a stolen Cadillac and drives him away from Sing-Sing, telling a story of a $500,000 emerald that they just have to steal. Dortmunder doesn’t hesitate to agree.

The emerald is the crown jewel of a former British colony, lately granted independence and split into two nations: one for the Talabwo people, one for the Akinzi. The Akinzi have the stone, the Talabwo want it back, and their UN representative offers a fine payday to the men who can get it. It’s not a simple heist, but after a few years in stir, Dortmunder could use the challenge.


“Westlake’s novel comes awesomely close to the ultimate in comic, big-caper novels; it’s so filled with… action and imagination.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Westlake is a master hand at the running gag… this Westlake brought on such a case of the laughing bends that I required decompression.” —The Washington Post

“[Westlake’s] most durable character…. Whatever can go wrong in the man’s elaborate attempts at larceny invariably does, and in the most amusing and unexpected ways possible.” —Los Angeles Times

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via Wikipedia

The Hot Rock is a 1972 comedy-drama caper film directed by Peter Yates from a screenplay by William Goldman, based on Donald E. Westlake's novel of the same name, which introduced his long-running John Dortmunder character. The film stars Robert Redford, George Segal, Ron Leibman, Paul Sand, Moses Gunn and Zero Mostel.