More mayhem? Listen to another Matt Scudder mystery.
©1986 Lawrence Block; (P)1991 Recorded Books
"Chilling." (Washington Post)
Typical cat lady: lazy, sings off-key, craves spicy bloody marys.
Block paints a detailed portrait of New York's boozy underbelly while weaving in mystery, dirty deeds and self-doubt. The characters ring true--hopeless men and women who frequent dive bars and attempt to make sense of their lives. The narration is akin to listening to poetry.
I am a 65-year-old psychologist, married for 25 years, with two sons who are 25 and 22. I love reviewing the books and the feedback I get.
Lawrence Block has been a very prolific writer over a long career. Mark Hammer is an excellent narrator. The action of the book is set entirely in New York City. The action is also as booze-soaked as one can imagine, if one can imagine booze on every page. The book was written in 1975. The plot includes a stickup of an after-hours bar called Morrissey's, and also a murder in Brooklyn, as well as a theft of account books at another bar. At first the book seems caught in a time when people really did do that much drinking. Matt Scudder and his five or six friends are constantly hanging out in various bars, mainly drinking. However, the plot picks up speed as the crimes come close to solutions. As with many great whodunits, you will not be able to predict them. Mark Hammer's somewhat boozy voice works perfectly here. Aside from the alcoholism, the characters are believable denizens of NYC. Block has written at least one other book about Scudder, and a whole fleet of Bernie Rhodenbarr books. He has found an audience, and, you might be among them if you enjoy this. It isn't profound, but few mysteries are. It has action and good characters, and the view of NYC may be old, but it rings true. I have read some of Block's other books, and he can write. Enjoy.
Elegant writing. Masterful narration. The mood remains even after the book is over. And best of all, there are 17 more of them in my future!!
I love Block's books and enjoy Matt Scudder mysteries generally. However, this book disappointed because mostly there is a lot of meandering and conversations and talk about drinking with little or no relation to the mysteries. It picks up in the last 1/4 of the book, when developments occur that reveal, at least to Matt's satisfaction, whodunit. His behavior is novel with some nice twists at the end. I didn't find Matt's drinking buddies very intriguing and probably would have been satisfied had this been a short story.
A man's got to do what a man's got to do..
The story is off to a slow start and seems to ramble with no clear direction. But then little by little it picks up and get you involved as all the Scudder stories do.
The mystery part is good, but the amazing characters' development, the sharp dialogues and the pervasive New York atmosphere are what really fascinate and keep you listening (and willing more).
Lawrence Block's writing is as superb as ever, with every sentence sparkling with quality. Mark Hammer is fully immersed in Scudder character and adds value to the book.
I have never read anything by this author before. The book and the reader were both superb. I mean really fantastic. I was blown away at how much I enjoyed this story.
I got kind of board with all of the bar talk and drinking. What kept me going was the narrator, Mark Hammer was perfect for the salty drinker bar voice.
I did like ending and was glad I didn't stop listening.
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