Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Da Booze, Da Horse

From: George Upper (
Date: 24 Jul 2001

--- Kevin Burton Smith <> wrote:

> (And speaking of EIGHT MILLION WAYS TO DIE, isn't
> that about the
> worst, most disappointing adaptation of a great
> hard-boiled novel
> ever committed to film? I saw it years ago and
> thought it reeked. I
> re-watched it just this weekend, and I've decided I
> was too generous
> originally. The video should bear the warning:
> "Watch only in a
> well-ventilated area.")

I agree whole-heartedly. Block has two new movie deals currently in the works. If memory serves, one is based on the Scudder novel _Everybody Dies_ (and is set to feature Jeff Bridges again as Scudder--why??) and the other is based on _Hit Man_. Since _Hit Man_ is really a collection of short stories as opposed to a novel (Block calls it an "episodic novel," which phrase has the same ring to it as "daytime drama" in my opinion), I assume the latter film will be very loosely based on it.

And speaking of Block short story collections, I am working my way through _The Collected Mystery Stories_, which was published only (to my knowledge) in Great Britain by Orion in 1999. I don't know why there seems to be no U.S. version--it's a great collection, with something like 70 shorts. Block claims that it includes all of his short fiction except for most of _Hit Man_ (it does include three
"chapters" or stories from that release) and his earliest works, which have previously been collected in _One Night Stands_. He also claims that there may be a few out there that he's forgotten about. Ten or eleven of the stories included are previously uncollected, and two of them feature Martin Ehrengraf,
"the little lawyer who rarely sees the inside of a courtroom."

I love Block, even if I find his self-merchandizing somewhat over the top every once in a while. I recommend the collection, particularly to our members in the UK, where I imagine it would be easier to come by.


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