When the Las Vegas airport slot machine turns up three lemons, Alan Grofield knows he's in for trouble. And when a dangerous psychopath named Myers ...Show synopsisWhen the Las Vegas airport slot machine turns up three lemons, Alan Grofield knows he's in for trouble. And when a dangerous psychopath named Myers intrudes upon his plans, he knows it won't go away. Donald Westlake, writing as Richard Stark, delivers his third suspenseful Alan Grofield smash.Hide synopsis
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Poor Alan Grofield, he needs money to pursue his dream career of actor and theatre producer in Indiana but consistently runs in the red so he works his knack for crime and takes robbery jobs with whoever offers him the best short-term heist. A loving husband he spends nights at home with his wife, and they love the theatre so much they even make love on a living room set on the stage of his theatre.
Grofield gets an offer from psychopathic criminal Andrew Myers to knock over a brewery and invites Grofield to a meeting with a few other criminals, but Grofield sees too many holes in the plan and backs out, but nobody backs out on Myers. Myers causes Grofield more than a little discomfort, first beating him up, and stealing money Grofield has obtained from another heist, then by invading Grofield?s home, his theatre and abusing his loving wife in ways that push Grofield to take revenge in the most satisfying way.
Initially published in 1971, Lemons Never Lie exhibits a warm grassroots humor and sensibility that belies the violence inherent in the criminal world. Alan Grofield, as his name suggests, is someone interested in building a future as his love for live theatre and performance is what drives him to pursue activity in robbery. In order to grow his field of expertise he must dabble in a day job, of sorts, the sordid world of just making money, the quickest way possible, by stealing it.
The author Richard Stark is the alternate writing ego of Donald Westlake who authored The Hot Rock as well as Bank Shot and more than 20 crime novels. Alan Grofield is one of the characters appearing in other novels as a minor character but Westlake, writing as Richard Stark has created four books featuring the actor in a number of humorous and at times violent tales.
The Hot Rock is a great little comic crime caper movie with Robert Redford as Archibald Dortmunder and George Segal as his brother-in-law Andrew Kelp as the two attempt to steal a valuable diamond from a museum. With a script by William Goldman and directed by Peter Yates The Hot Rock moves along at a nice little pace with locations shot in New York with some interesting photos of the then unfinished World Trade Center, and the film?s discourse touches on how politics as almost virtually everything else in life is, at center, a crime.
In the 221 pages of Lemons Never Lie Grofield develops as the type of guy each of us probably knows, the regular guy, with regular sensibilities. Author Richard Stark takes time to describe how Grofield takes care of his home and those he cares about, the only other person in his life, his wife Mary, and in the best economy of description gives us a picture of their relationship: ?She was on the small side, neat and compact, and looked like the heroine of a thirties musical. Grofield was out of his mind for her?.
Their life, living on the stage in a theatre, in lieu of having an actual house or apartment to dwell in presents the couple to us in a strangely transparent-seeming life. Their living room and bed room are on the stage of the theatre, and their bath room and kitchen or located in the dressing rooms where the actors of a play would change. The couple?s most private moments, normally taking place behind closed doors, occur out in the open of a small community theatre.
Grofield and Mary live an exposed life: ?They sat together on the sofa, facing the empty seats out there in the darkness, and talked, mostly about the plays they might do this coming season. Later on, they made love on the sofa, and fell asleep there, wrapped around each other?. It?s as if the smallest, most personal emotion were displayed before the world and this personal life is contrasted well with the detailed way that Grofield goes about planning and carrying out crimes with his criminal associates.
Stark creates this ?stage? life and it resonates throughout the book as he further describes how Grofield goes through the actions of pulling off crime capers.
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