©1977 Lawrence Block; (P)1998 Recorded Books, LLC
(Note: I use my stars sparingly; five stars is reserved for great, world-changing, timeless literature)
Interesting how individual and subjective humour is...I find Block's writing in the Burglar series very funny, enhanced IMMENSELY by Richard Ferrone's narration. Ferrone does a star turn at capturing the sardonic, self-deprecating character of Bernie Rhodenbarr. Though Rhodenbarr might have a slightly askew moral compass, he is essentially good-hearted and is (in his own words) "just another poor bastard working late." The story is engaging, with some nice twists and turns, but what really makes me want to come back again and again is Block's turn of phrase, his avoidance of the same old descriptions and his wise-ass humour.
While there are visits to some slightly seedy locations, there is no violence or graphic sex for those who prefer to avoid these things. This does not render the story bland, by any means. Highly recommended.
tongue in cheek humor, well written, well narrated. loved it as always. more please!
Used to read classic lit for pleasure of well-written prose. Now, with MS, it's thrillers, courtroom/police dramas, and adventure to escape!
Perhaps I went into reading this book with inappropriate expectations. I had been having a craving for more authors like Craig Johnson (Walt Longmire series) and David Rosenfelt (Andy Carpenter series.) Mysteries that are not exactly humorous, but that have an edgy, witty, fun side to them that make them a little more lighthearted than the usual tension-filled thriller.
I found this author by reading reviews on the internet from Mystery Book Readers who called Lawrence Block "wickedly funny." Nothing could have been further from the truth. The likeable, but nevertheless criminal character in Block's book, Bernie Rhodenbarr, is really rather, uh... blah. The story was slow, not particularly containing any form of humor, or even satire, wittiness, or irony. Yes there was a mystery. Bernie found himself framed for a murder, and the brunt of the story was Bernie solving the mystery of finding the real killer to save himself from a murder charge. It moved along well, and the writing was fine, but it just didn't have anything that kept me particularly interested.
The only slightly clever part of the story was when Bernie was caught in the act of a robbery, and the senior police officer who caught him in the act, greeted him like an old chum. There were several fun scenes with these two who, albeit on different sides of the law, had a mutual respect and even admiration for each other's chosen vocations.
I was hoping to be pleased enough with this book to launch into the full Bernie Rhodenbarr series by Block, but after this yawner, I think I will pass.
I had to look at the description of the book to see if I was listening to the correct book. I didn't find an ounce of humor and found the extreme detail in the descriptions boring.
Honestly I'm not sure what all the negative reviewers have against this story. It's a solid murder mystery with a fun perspective from another criminal that we don't really see a lot in other stories. The focus on locks, keys, and lock picking was a great over arching theme to the story. The only real complaint I had was the main character was stuck in the apartment a bit too long and I felt bored. Other than that the noire setting was executed really well, the narrator did a fine job creating the smokey filled room like nostalgia of a classic detective story (although Bernie and Ray sounded a bit too alike at times), and the characters themselves kept things interesting with their ever evolving and revealing back stories.
I'd recommend this to anyone who is a fan of the genre and audio books.
Interesting main character but the settings and attitude are dated and the main female character is unsympathetic.
Will definitely read more in the Bernie series
Much better than the two Matt Scudder novels I've read
None! He did an excellent job of differentiating characters' voices without going overboard, even to the extent of giving women distinction. Pacing was just right, too.
Yes, I'm looking forward to finding the rest of the series. The review I read described Bernie as a
Bernie is a thief, and unashamed of it. In fact he's proud of his professionalism. At the outset I couldn't imagine admiring, respecting, or even liking such a character. But by the end of this short book I saw Bernie in a much more wholesome light, and wanted to know him better and hear more of his adventures. That is a LOT for an author to accomplish in the first book in a series.
Yes, because the characters are so funny!
He sets the tone and lets you see the humor in the story and characters that you might miss if you're reading it yourself.
In a forest of cement and steel, a modern day Robin Hood comes to the rescue.
I just like Bernie. He's the sort of burglar everyone could love.
I Liked this book when I read it in text form two decades ago. I have always liked Lawrence Block but i hated the narrator Richard Ferrone as Bernie Rhodenbarr. The nasal, wise guy, gritty thing just makes him seem annoying.
Simply put: I loved the story & series but if you want to enjoy it too, read it in text don't lisrten to this version.
A better story, a better narrator. Unbelievably tedious and boring. Tried to listen thinking this might get better but had to return it.
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