God Save the Mark

God Save the Mark mark n An easy victim a ready subject for the practices of a confidence man thief beggar etc a sucker Dictionary of American Slang Thomas Y Crowell Co That s the long definition of a mark But

  • Title: God Save the Mark
  • Author: Donald E. Westlake
  • ISBN: 9780765309198
  • Page: 258
  • Format: Paperback
  • mark n An easy victim a ready subject for the practices of a confidence man, thief, beggar, etc a sucker Dictionary of American Slang, Thomas Y Crowell Co 1960That s the long definition of a mark But there s a shorter one It goes mark n Fred FitchWhat, you ask, is a Fred Fitch Well, for one thing, Fred Fitch is the man with the most extensive collection of mark n An easy victim a ready subject for the practices of a confidence man, thief, beggar, etc a sucker Dictionary of American Slang, Thomas Y Crowell Co 1960That s the long definition of a mark But there s a shorter one It goes mark n Fred FitchWhat, you ask, is a Fred Fitch Well, for one thing, Fred Fitch is the man with the most extensive collection of fake receipts, phony bills of sale, and counterfeit sweepstakes tickets in the Western Hemisphere, and possibly in the entire world For another thing, Fred Fitch may be the only New York City resident in the twentieth century to buy a money machine When Barnum said, There s one born every minute, and two to take him, he didn t know about Fred Fitch when Fred Fitch was born, there were two million to take him Every itinerant grifter, hypester, bunk artist, short conner, amuser, shearer, short changer, green goods worker, pennyweighter, ring dropper, and yentzer to hit New York City considers his trip incomplete until he s also hit Fred Fitch He s sort of the con man s version of Go Pass Fred Fitch, collect two hundred dollars, and move on What happens to Fred Fitch when his long lost Uncle Matt dies and leaves Fred three hundred thousand dollars shouldn t happen to the ball in a pinball machine Fred Fitch with three hundred thousand dollars is like a mouse with a sack of catnip He s likely to attract the wrong kind of attention Add to this the fact that Uncle Matt was murdered, by person or persons unknown, and that someone now seems determined to murder Fred as well, mix in two daffily charming beauties of totally different types, and you have a perfect setup for the busiest fictional hero since the well known one armed paperhanger As Fred Fitch careers across the New York City landscape and sometimes skyline in his meetings with cops, con men, beautiful girls, and maybe murderers, he takes on some of the loonier aspects of a Dante without a Virgil Take one part comedy and one part suspense and shake well mostly with laughter.

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    1 thought on “God Save the Mark”

    1. Poor Fred, he's the mark for every con man in the area, the pawn in every scheme. And to make it even worse, he knows it! Usually within 5 minutes he's onto the scam but darn it, the crooks get away every time!Gullible to the core, Fred is determined to finally stop being such a pushover and he gets his opportunity to test himself when he received a letter from a local attorney stating that he has inherited nearly half a million dollars from an uncle he'd never heard of. There's something fishy [...]

    2. American Gods for the Grifter set!Fred Fitch is just a normal guy who is constantly swindled by nearly every grifter, con man, con woman and thief in New York City. The main character is Fred who gets sucked up in a series of situations after having received $300K following his Uncle's death.Not quite a comedy but very funny, not quite a drama but with dramatic moements and not quite a thriller this book is an interesting meditation on a single person and his growing awareness of those people ar [...]

    3. I was disappointed in this book. I have enjoyed a lot of Westlake's other offerings, so I expected an enjoyable romp. But, the naivete of the Fred was impossible to accept. Every con could be seen a mile ahead, but throughout the book he talked about how he figured it right afterwards. You would think after being scammed a few times he would finally remember. Anyway. I did like the description of the characters, and the story itself. The language effectively stuck me in the 1960s, as did a lot o [...]

    4. Fred Fitch is a born mark, a man of incredible gullibility and a favorite target of con men. Being a smart man and relatively self-aware, he knows this (but never realizes he's being conned until it's too late). When he inherits a large sum of money from a relative he's never met, it seems like everyone wants to help relieve him of his newfound burden.This is a fast, fun read that's laugh-out-loud funny in places. It's also a good mystery story by a Grand Master of the field and it won the Edgar [...]

    5. About a sucker who inherits half a million dollars, and the various folk who attempt to con it from him. This is not quite up to the standards of Aztec Idols,but it's funny and clever, Westlake has some great throw-away lines as well as a real insider's grasp of New York, which comes out nice on the page. Library, but probably I'd drop it just cause I've got better examples of him doing this kind of thing.

    6. I read this as part of an ongoing project to read all the Edgar winners for Best Novel. It was the 1968 winner, published in 1967.Although another character refers to him as a shlemiel, I'd say Fred Fitch, the protagonist and narrator of GOD SAVE THE MARK, is a shlimazel. The way I heard it, the shlemiel spills the soup in the shlimazel's lap. Fred Fitch's way of being a shlimazel is that he's a sap, a sucker, a mark. He has fallen for every con or scam that's been tried on him all his life. He [...]

    7. If you looked up the word 'gullible' in the dictionary Fred Fitch's picture would surely be there. There is not a con man in New York City who hasn't tried and succeeded in bilking Fred and separating him from his money. Fred's Uncle Matt, of whom Fred has never heard, has been murdered and in his will he left all of his money to Fred -- a tidy sum of over $300,000. Along with the money Uncle Matt apparently also left Fred his amply endowed girlfriend/stripper Gertie Divine. Apparently Uncle Mat [...]

    8. I like Donald E. Westlake's Dortmunder novels--"Good Behavior" is one of my favorite books ever. I thought this would be a fun entry in the same vein, and it was, mostly. I enjoyed a lot of it, but a couple of things bugged me. One was the character of Fred Fitch himself. I found it really hard to believe that an obviously smart, self-aware guy would keep falling for the same scams over and over again. Part of this disbelief stemmed from Westlake's decision to have Fitch narrate the novel. I thi [...]

    9. While technically a murder mystery, much of this book is a crazy romp through New York c.1960, with unusual characters, witty banter and hilarious situations. It's only at the end -- the very end -- when this all slows down and the plot is tied together. The "Mark" in the title refers to the main chracter (Fred Fitch) who is the ultimate "sucker" when it comes to falling for cons. He reacts by withdrawing from society, but this is to no avail when he inherits money from a perviously unknown -- a [...]

    10. I was lucky to have stumbled upon this book when it was offered free on the Kindle. This is a laugh-out-loud crime caper, centered on a gullible protagonist (Fred Fitch) who unexpectedly comes into a large sum of money when an uncle he never knew leaves him his fortune after being murdered. In spite of himself, Fitch comes out on top at the end, but there are amusing and suspensful twists and turns along the way. Lucky for me Westlake was a prolific writer. It should take me quite a while to mow [...]

    11. I really enjoyed reading this book. It always kept me guesing what would happen next and the ending wasn't what i expected. The best part about this story is how funny it is. You can't help but love the main character and all his flaws. I didn't feel like any of this book was only there as "filler" all of it was important to the plot and entertaining. I can't wait look up Donald Westlake and see what else he has written.

    12. I am a long-time Westlake fan, so it was no surprise that I liked this Edgar Award winner. I liked it a lot. I liked the main character and narrator, a "mark" of whom everybody takes advantage, and the plot, unexpectedly complicated, and the humor. I liked the fact that this is a creative novel, unlike any other I've read (even unlike any of the other Westlake novels I've read).So why only four stars? I'm not sure. Read it and see whether you agree.

    13. A Donald E.Westlake masterwork !A book with great subtle humuor,many funny,amazing characters. Also had so many twists,unpredictable story.Fred Fitch is one of his best characters. I thought his comic crime was at its best with the first 4 Dortmunder books i have read but this book was stronger,so much funnier.

    14. Just finished reading this for the second time, and it was even funnier than the first. Got me through a rough few days flying halfway around the world for an embed with US troops in Afghanistan. I'm leaving my copy at the outpost library so that our men and women in uniform can find a well-needed laugh.

    15. Great book but the ending was lazy. A 268 page book that builds up suspence from page one shouldn't be able to wrap up all the loose ends in the last three pages. Feels like you are short changed with such a abrupt, convenient ending. I would have given this book Five Stars easily but, like I said, the ending was disappointing and needed another ten pages or so to make you feel like everything was truly resolved. Always seems like the author runs out of time and in a panic wraps up the story wit [...]

    16. I still wonder at Westlake's range as a writer. While he was churning out highly readable Richard Stark 'Hunter' novels in the 60s and early 70s, he also wrote a bunch of comedy thrillers like this one, published under the Westlake brand. While Hunter's novels are violent, stark and uncompromising, this one is the total opposite. It's warm, funny and acceptable for the whole family. The humour is goofy, quirky and the narrative almost secondary to the stylishly fun ride.An easy read.

    17. A complex confidence game yarn with a light touch. There's a third of a million dollars involved, a pair of homicide cops that sound like Laurel and Hardy, an ex-stripper - and New York's most gullible patsy, the Mark. A slight departure in style from Westlake's other books, chiefly the Parker and Dortmunder series, but a fun read.

    18. A goofy and fun story about the most gullible man on earth actually inheriting a fortune from an uncle he never knew he had. And from there it becomes one of my favorite types of stories, and incompetent Detective tale. It's a whole lot of fun.

    19. Superb comic crime nonsense farce chock full of hilarious dialogue, absurd chases and oddball characters. A swift read that never gets dull. Possibly Westlake's funniest book.

    20. God Save the Markby Donald E. WestlakeForge, 268 pages, Paperback, 2004; reissue of a bookoriginally published in 1967, with a new introduction by OttoPenzlerOne in Forge's "Otto Penzler Presents . . ." series ofreissues, complete with a new introduction by Penzler himself,this publication sees the welcome reappearance of DonaldWestlake's 1967 comic delight God Save the Mark. It's notamong the very best of Westlake's deliriously inventive capers,but it's close to that leading group — and certai [...]

    21. I had no idea there was a subgenre of mystery known as “comic crime fiction,” but Westlake’s made me a believer!  Funny.

    22. This was the second or third book that I loaded on my kindle. I am not sure why it took me so long to actually read it. I have always enjoyed Donald Westlake, so it should have been top of the pileI am glad that I read this book, but I am not sure who I would recommend it to. Bill will read it eventually.Fred Fitch is the mark. His picture should be next to the definition for mark in the dictionary. He has fallen for every con ever contemplated. Fortunately for Fred, this book was written before [...]

    23. Who can really criticize Donald Westlake's books? For one thing, he's passed away several years ago so he doesn't care, and secondly after writing more than 100 books I doubt whether he ever would have given a damn.This is truly a ridiculous novel, but then that's what Don really liked writing about, more than anything else. He liked to write books about extremes, either extremely silly and funny, or, as with his Parker novels written under the pseudonym of Richard Stark, extremely-serious-but-m [...]

    24. This is a delightful comedy crime-caper from one of the masters of humourous crime. Fred Fitch is a mark, someone who believes he has been at the receiving end of every one of the seventeen thousand con men operating in New York at any time. But then comes the turnaround. Fred is suddenly left a huge legacy by an uncle he didn’t even know existed and suddenly Fred is the most popular man around, as he is chased, hounded, shot at and led on a merry run around New York in this wild caper that wi [...]

    25. This early Westlake (c. 1967) would be a dandy answer if anyone asks you, "Why do you like Westlake so much?"This is an Edgar-award winning story, if lightweight. Our hero, and I use the word advisedly, has a grand and amusing adventure. But many writers can tell you a good story. Some can include (what turns out to be) a complex plot. Only a very few can make you enjoy the ride as much as Westlake does. He uses words brilliantly. You smile, you laugh. You raise an eyebrow and leave it up for ha [...]

    26. I loved this book. I think part of it is that it was written in the 1960's so it has a bit of an old-fashioned feel, and partly because I didn't have a bunch of people telling me how excellent it was and elevating my expectations. This book is fun, sometimes funny, and interesting. It's about a guy who is gullible and has been the sucker for every con known to man. He inherits a bunch of money from an uncle he never knew he had, and then the grifters come out of the woodwork. He goes from trusti [...]

    27. This is an early Donald Westlake book. It was originally published in 1967. I picked it up, when a coworker told me I could get it free for the Kindle!This was a fun and entertaining book. It is written in a humorous pulp style with a couple of broads, dames, a few conmen and a couple of killings. Potential Spoiler Alert!The story centers around Fred Fitch an easy target and magnet for con men. Fred gets taken easily and often early in the book. It's funny and at times painful to be aware that F [...]

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