Jimmy the Kid by Donald E. Westlake

Jimmy the Kid by Donald E. Westlake

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Taking cues from a pulp novel, Dortmunder arranges a kidnapping

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.

“Great entertainment.” —Publishers Weekly

“[Westlake’s] most durable character…. Whatever can go wrong in the man’s elaborate attempts at larceny invariably does, and in the most amusing and unexpected ways possible.” —Los Angeles Times

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

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via Wikipedia:

Jimmy the Kid is a 1982 comedy film starring Gary Coleman and Paul Le Mat. It was directed by Gary Nelson, produced by Ronald Jacobs, and released in November 1982 by New World Pictures. Following 1981's On the Right Track, it was second theatrical film release starring Coleman.