Book Reviews of Smoke

Author: Donald E. Westlake
ISBN-13: 9780446403443
ISBN-10: 044640344X
Publication Date: 10/1/1996
Pages: 448
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.

3.9 stars, based on 19 ratings
Publisher: Mysterious Press
Book Type: Paperback
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3 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Smoke on + 69 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Small-time burglar becomes invisible. Sounds like a burglar's dream, no? No. It's not like he has a Harry Potter invisibility cloak. He's just invisible. Where to put the diamonds he is carrying? Right next to a lady in a sparkly dress. Close your eyes? You can still see... see through your invisible eyelids. Ate soup? You see it sloshing around, for a while. Dirty feet? Feet are invisible but the dirt is not.
Wickedly funny Westlake stand-alone. It doesn't have Dortmunder, but it's as funny as any Dortmunder book.
reviewed Smoke on + 657 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
From Publishers Weekly: "Yet another variation on the invisible-man notion doesn't sound like a promising prospect, but if any author can wring some fresh fun out of it, Westlake's the one. He doesn't fail. Freddie Noon is a sharp, likable burglar whose mistake is to break into the offices of two doctors doing so-called research for the Tobacco Institute. Catching him, they make him a human guinea pig for one of their formulas, and?meet disappearing Freddie. Naturally, his life as a burglar gets much easier, but his girlfriend, Peg, isn't too comfortable with an invisible lover. In no time, Freddie is on the run: the Institute wants him for its nefarious purposes, the doctors want to study him further and a corrupt cop has his own reasons for pursuit. How Freddie and Peg run rings around the opposition, in New York and at an upstate hideaway, is the stuff of glorious Westlake comedy, in which Freddie's invisibility is merely one element in a caper full of hilarious characters, crackpot conversations and narrative sleight-of-hand." Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
reviewed Smoke on + 625 more book reviews
Writing is well known as a lonely business whose practitioners are miserable, but Donald Westlake's comic crime novels provoke unbidden images of the author chuckling to himself at the word processor. His latest is full of chuckles for readers: when amiable professional thief Freddie Urban Noon breaks into a posh Manhattan brownstone that houses a research institute, he is captured by two lunatic MDs engaged in research for the tobacco industry. They take his medical history at gunpoint. They also give him a drug that renders him invisible. Freddie uses his invisibility to escape the doctors and to make big scores in diamond and fur heists, but he soon discovers that being invisible is straining his relationship with Peg, his charming significant other. Meanwhile, a hilariously malevolent tobacco tycoon hatches a plan to subvert the Human Genome Project for the good of the tobacco industry. He needs Freddie to implement his plot to "make people safe for tobacco" and employs a chillingly unhilarious rogue cop to find the invisible man.