• Drowned Hopes

  • A Dortmunder Novel
  • By: Donald E. Westlake
  • Narrated by: Arte Johnson
  • Length: 2 hrs and 40 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 21-08-09
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Phoenix Books
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.3 (3 ratings)


Arriving home at dawn after another failed burglary, John Dortmunder - the anti-hero of Donald Westlake's popular comic crime series - is shocked to find his apartment occupied by a notorious cellmate everyone had supposed (and hoped) had been jailed for life. Tom Jimson needs Dortmunder's help. Thirty years ago, before his last prison stretch, Tom had pulled a big job up near Albany - a very big job - that left a cool $700,000 in cash buried under a water reservoir in an upstate New York valley. Being the nasty sort of fellow he is, Tom's plan is to blow up the dam, flood the surrounding countryside, and grab the cash. With the fate of 900 small town nobodies hanging in the balance, Dortmunder races against Tom's itchy dynamite finger to formulate an alternative plan for retrieving the loot. Thus begins a convoluted caper, in the Westlake tradition, of misadventure and hilarity.
©1990 Donald E. Westlake (P)2009 Phoenix
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Regular price: £10.89

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By Kelly Howard on 16-08-12

Good book. Bad, BAD, BAAAD performance

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

A different reader, along with a guarantee that Johnson would never record another book.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

He made it impossible to listen to: Arte Johnson is so far beyond awful I don't even know words to convey the depths of his hideousness. Grating voice, few (and random) changes of tone for character and scene, volume ranges from 2-10 without warning, pacing speeds & drags like an old tape machine with stretched tape & stripped gears...I could go on endlessly. I realize the production is probably old but still, it sounds as if it was recorded inside a 55 gallon steel drum.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Everything but the reader.

Any additional comments?

I've been a Westlake fan for decades & wouldn't have thought it possible that I'd be completely unable to listen to a Dortmunder book. What were they thinking when they produced this travesty?! I have visions of Johnson holding them at gunpoint, or with pictures of the producers in compromising situations with livestock.
To paraphrase Monty Python, this is not a book for listening. This is a book for avoiding.

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4 of 5 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Karen on 17-02-13

Terrible narration

Would you try another book from Donald E. Westlake and/or Arte Johnson?

I really liked the book but this reading was so bad that I can't even listen to it. It was too hard to understand the mumbling delivery.

What didn’t you like about Arte Johnson’s performance?

see above

Any additional comments?

I wouldn't buy another audio book read by Arte Johnson

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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