The Ax

The Ax
Pub date 1st January 1997
Original publisher Mysterious Press
International publishers Editions Payot et Rivages (France), Open House (Korea), Wydawnictwo C&T (Poland), U-Factoria Publishers (Russia)

A brilliant, laser-sharp tale of the deadly consequences of corporate downsizing.

Burke Devore is a middle-aged manager at a paper company when the cost-cutting ax falls, and he is laid off. Eighteen months later and still unemployed, he puts a new spin on his job search -- with agonizing care, Devore finds the seven men in the surrounding area who could take the job that rightfully should be his, and systematically kills them. Transforming himself from mild-mannered middle manager to ruthless murderer, he discovers skills ne never knew he had -- and that come to him far too easily.


Praise for The Ax

“As novels go, ''The Ax'' is pretty much flawless, with a surprise ending that will unplug your expectations. Burke Devore is American Man at the millennium -- as emblematic of his time as George F. Babbitt and Holden Caulfield and Capt. John Yossarian were of theirs. Westlake has written a remarkable book. If you can't relate to it, be thankful.” - The New York Times Book Review

“Westlake makes Devore's rage utterly believable … the background sociology is impeccably developed and the book should have upper-level downsizers trembling in their Guccis at the thought of the hideous anguish they are unleashing on the land.” - Publishers Weekly


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