The Pequod Review:
A Likely Story is a sharp satire of the publishing industry with surprising depth, as a desperate freelance writer tries to make a few bucks by creating a Christmas Book anthology. Donald Westlake was in a good position to write this book, given his own experiences with multiple publishers and editors. (One of the editors in the book is loosely based on Westlake’s own objectionable Kahawa editor.) The narrative also gives Westlake a chance to take playful digs at fellow authors through their Christmas Book contributions, including Stephen King, Norman Mailer, Robert Ludlum, and John Irving (whose story is “about a bear whose eyes are put out by feminists on Christmas Eve”).