Re: RARA-AVIS: New Scudder by Block

From: Vince Keenan (
Date: 22 Mar 2005

Chris M wrote:

>Ever since I read CRIMSON JOY when I was 14 or 15 I've been
: anti books with alternating story lines with the hero taking a chapter
: or two alternating with the serial killer's chapters in italics.

And Bill Denton wrote:

>I was very disappointed in the last Scudder book, and I doubt I'll bother
>with this one now that I know he's structured it the same way.

And here I was thinking I was the only person who called this the CRIMSON JOY effect.

I finished ALL THE FLOWERS ARE DYING last night, Bill, and I've got to say that for anyone who has followed the Scudder series it's a must-read, in spite of any qualms about the structure. I also found HOPE TO DIE a disappointment, but Block integrates the material more effectively here.
(Although at times the Virginia material seems like it belongs in another book. A good book, but another book nonetheless.) The bloat that has crept into some of Block's later novels is gone; FLOWERS is stripped down and mean. The focus is squarely on Scudder late in his life, and as someone who's read the entire series it had a profound emotional impact. And as always, Block's writing goes down easy.

Vince Pop culture, high and low, past and present. One day at a time.

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 22 Mar 2005 EST