Edgar Award-winning author Lawrence Block has been named a Mystery Writers of America Grand Master. A Drop of the Hard Stuff continues Block’s popular series starring New York private detective and recovering alcoholic Matthew Scudder. Scudder is already struggling with his sobriety when his friend and fellow AA member Jack Ellery is found murdered. Now the only thing keeping Scudder from the bottle is his obsession with finding the culprit.
©2011 Lawrence Block (P)2011 Recorded Books, LLC
Scudder's struggles with alcohol have always been an interesting sub-plot in Block's book, but takes center stage here. Center stage with a spotlight and otherwise empty stage -- there's barely a crime to be dealt with! It ultimately renders this tale moribund. I could barely finish it.
That said, Block is one of my very favorite authors...I'll be right in line for his next one. Just a misfire here.
I always enjoy and prefer Block's reading of his own material, but Stechschulte does a fine job here.
Have read most all of Lawrence Block's books. In "Seven Million Ways to Die" he wrote the best description I have ever read of an alcoholic event (I am an alcoholic so I know from whence I speak). What a wonderful writer and look forward to his next novel. Louella E Rehfield.
Thought this was a new book in series, but it goes back to his original sober period getting to 1 year of not drinking.
Would have to consider
Author of Bourbon & Blood
The narration and writing was good but I wish there was some action in at least a few spots.
This novel centers more on the AA 12 Step Program than on the murder mystery. It seems like almost 90% of the narration includes the word ???step??? or ???meeting??? or both. I find the constant repetition becomes tedious and, eventually, annoying..
Say something about yourself!
...and have done for years. This book is delightfully read and it was a lot of fun to 'read' another Scudder book after so long a lull. It was great to go back in time and fill in some gaps, although I did miss a couple of the 'regulars' who Matt hadn't met yet at the setting of this story. I'm afraid I guessed the outcome too early for it to have been as much fun as I would have liked though. It's still a great listen and I'd recommend any Lawrence Block book to anyone.
Old Broad with Keyboard
A Hellova Life
It's honesty. It's truthfulness. It's grittiness.
Our Hero was the best. His struggle for sobriety made the story meaningful. His search for the truth made it worth listening to.
The scene where he comes home to find the bottle on the table. His description of the smell, the taste, the want & the need. I felt it deep in my gut.
I know some people find the constant referral to the 12 Steps, AA & Meetings annoying but this whole story is about getting off the booze & working the Steps. None of it would've happened if the murdered man wasn't working the Steps.
More emphasis on the mystery, on the evidence, on the motives and less on the failures of the various drunks and their sad lives.
David Baldacci, "The Innocent".
The solution to the mystery was well hidden and satisfying.
Suggest abridged version.
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