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Publisher's Summary

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    52
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    74
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    50
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    15
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    4

Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Louella
  • Carpinteria, CA, United States
  • 01-16-12

more great Lawrence Block

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • David
  • Northridge, CA, United States
  • 11-22-11

Too Much...Not Enough.

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Booze Booze Everywhere . . . .

If you could sum up A Drop of the Hard Stuff in three words, what would they be?

A Hellova Life

What did you like best about this story?

It's honesty. It's truthfulness. It's grittiness.

Which character – as performed by Tom Stechschulte – was your favorite?

Our Hero was the best. His struggle for sobriety made the story meaningful. His search for the truth made it worth listening to.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

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.

Any additional comments?

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Pretty Good

Would you try another book from Lawrence Block and/or Tom Stechschulte?

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 you be willing to try another book from Lawrence Block? Why or why not?

Would have to consider

What three words best describe Tom Stechschulte’s voice?

Monotone

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

No

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Dull with no action.

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No.

Would you ever listen to anything by Lawrence Block again?

Maybe

What does Tom Stechschulte bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Absolutely

Do you think A Drop of the Hard Stuff needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No.

Any additional comments?

The narration and writing was good but I wish there was some action in at least a few spots.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

For AA Members Only

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..

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

I love Lawrence Block...

...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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Good for some readers.

A difficult story. The plot was woven in with an AA 12 step program. A reader with
interest in moral support and encouragement might be interested. However, there was a good murder mystery mixed in.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

AA, AA and more AA

OK I get the title, but 95% of the book was about AA and alcoholics. The other 5% was a very - very weak plot - ah yeah about the murder of an - alcoholic. If the plot had been expanded, characters developed and a passing bit of information about AA and what alcoholics go through it would have been much better.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

A good mystery but a depressing alcoholic scene.

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

More emphasis on the mystery, on the evidence, on the motives and less on the failures of the various drunks and their sad lives.

What do you think your next listen will be?

David Baldacci, "The Innocent".

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The solution to the mystery was well hidden and satisfying.

Any additional comments?

Suggest abridged version.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Stephen
  • 02-17-18

One day at a time

As a man in recovery it was wonderful to be educated by the "wise owl" wisdom of the sponsor and the flow of the book was perfectly paced.

The characters were real and the powerful description of the morning after a bender were so accurate and reminded me why I no longer drink today.

A thoroughly enjoyable experience.