Jimmy the Kid

Jimmy the Kid Donald Westlake (Estate)
Pub date 1st January 1974
Original publisher M. Evans
Publisher (US) Mysterious Press
International publishers Grada (Czech Republic), Editions Payot et Rivages (France), Edizioni Pendragon (Italy), Lindhardt & Ringhof (Sweden)

Kelp has a plan, and John Dortmunder knows that means trouble. His friend Kelp is a jinx, and his schemes, no matter how well intentioned, tend to spiral quickly out of control. But this one, Kelp swears, is airtight. He read it in a book.


In county lock-up for a traffic charge, Kelp came across a library of trashy novels by an author named Richard Stark. The hero is a thief named Parker whose plans, unlike Kelp and Dortmunder’s, always work out. In one, Parker orchestrates a kidnapping so brilliant that, Kelp thinks, it would have to work in real life. Though offended that his usual role as planner has been usurped, Dortmunder agrees to try using the novel as a blueprint. Unfortunately, what’s simple on the page turns complex in real life, and there is no book to guide him through the madness he’s signed on for.


This Westlake novel has spawned two film adaptations of the same name (1982 and 1999).



Praise for Jimmy the Kid


“Great entertainment.”

Publishers Weekly


“Westlake has no peer in the realm of comic mystery novelists.”

 San Francisco Chronicle

Other books by this author


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