On the border between El Paso, Texas and Juarez, Mexico, five lives are about to collide - with fatal results. You'll meet:
This is MWA Grand Master Lawrence Block at his rawest and most visceral, a bloody, bawdy, brutal story of passion and punishment - and of lines that were never meant to be crossed - available for the first time in 50 years!
©1962, 2014 Lawrence Block (P)2014 Lawrence Block
If that friend is a fan of noir, absolutely. Particularly if said friend enjoys the hard-bitten, road-weary, booze-drenched noir provided by this novel.
The parallel storylines by the disparate characters all added their own tone to the story, but the entire time it was readily apparent they were all on a collision course. I had built up how that inevitable showdown might play out, but when it actually happens--and I hope that detail isn't too much of a spoiler--it defies expectations.
This was my first time listening to Mike Dennis' narration, and it worked out perfectly that my first encounter with his work should be a Lawrence Block novel. His deep, grizzled drawl was so pitch-perfect, I wonder if he might have done the performance while holding a copy of the novel in one hand and a glass of scotch in the other.
There was a moment late in the book involving a card game that, while I found to be a bit predictable in how it would play out, was pleasantly surprised by the motivation and reasoning behind it. Not so much moving storyline-wise, but in the sense that the author may lead you down a familiar path but still find those overlooked landmarks along the way.
Along with the novel, there were a couple bonus short stories thrown in, and those were equally enjoyable too.
The dead pan but easy listening created a feel of a well done voice over Micky Splane story.
Never realized how impressive the writing was back in the day of the dime novel. Wickedly cool, tauntingly sexual and horrifyingly real thoughts from a moronic serial killer. Eros Pathos and Thanatos (Love, Pain and Death.) It you want it - it is in Borderline.
The Tag Line might be Late Night Drives to Juarez.
Next read "Galveston" Written by 2014 Emmy Award Winning writer Nic P. for True Detectives with Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey.
I live in the Southernmost Point of US, Key West, FL
Fast, lurid and action packed.
His voice is gritty enough to make the story dark and real. He has an irresistible provocative style making it difficult to stop just anywhere.
To hear these stories rather than to read them sets the platform for imagining the players. There are three short stories and one of them have an emotional and the other a conspicuous sexual component that link the stories together. "The Stag Girl" is about a couple leading the listener to an anticipation of "will they or won't they". I little dirty, a little dark and plenty fast.
Fast paced, extremely well written, managing to inter-twin 5 stories and have them all come together at the climax
a good plot has you anticipate what will happen and therefore keep you reading to see if you are correct. This book does it in spades !!
Mike does a great job of not overplaying the parts, especially the women's voices. His inflections are easily matched up with the various characters. His short staccato reading of the sentences gives the book the noir feeling perfectly.
Yes...I finished it in 3 sittings, a personal best .
hard hitting , brutal at times, but no over descriptive gore scenes. The reader is left to fill in the blanks.The climax and then a quick Hitchcock ending, no extended denouement.
Love thought provoking and well written mystery or suspense novels.
The narration on this one was sooooo slow and boring. I'm a HUGE Block fan but this one must have been in really early times when he was writing all the smut. I don't mind smut but not the WHOLE storyline. The "story" was hard to follow, too much filler detail not enough substance. Wish I could have returned this one.
"Hugely Entertaining Hard Boiled Crime"
Yes - Well read and really entertaining
Some of the other hard boiled fiction by the same author
Hit just the right tone for the stories - great performance
Rough and Raw Noir
Written over 50 years ago, this set comprises a short novel (the title piece), two short stories and a novella. The main story is a hard boiled noir yarn involving four key players: a professional gambler, a divorcee seeking thrills and excitement, a party girl come drifter and a nasty serial killer. The action takes place on the U.S./Mexico border, alternating between the cities of El Paso and Juarez. The dialogue is sparse and sharp and the action is uncompromising and raw as their lives intersect, ultimately culminating in a brutal conclusion. This isn’t a novel for the prudish or feint hearted, but I loved it!
The two short stories are entertaining enough, but I preferred the whodunit novella. Like the longer tale, the prose is excellently crafted and the plot intriguing enough to keep you locked in.
Anyone familiar with the author’s later work will know that LB can string a good sentence together and is expert at drawing his audience into an enthralling narrative. This compendium of early offerings shows that he had talent to spare from his 20’s. It’s amazing how much quality work he’s produced in his long and industrious writing career.
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