Re: RARA-AVIS: Lawrence Block -- Evan Tanner

From: Victoria Two (
Date: 08 Nov 2007

Calling Evan Tanner a spy is like saying that old TV program "Get Smart" is about the FBI. They are pure candy so just read one. You may not even finish it, but try starting one when you are in a bad mood.
  Victoria wrote:
  I know I'm supposed to be the moderator this month, but as I mentioned, I'm not an expert on Block, just a long time fan. In that light, let me make an admission, and an appeal for info/opinions. I've never read any of Block's Evan Tanner books. I always kind of assumed they were spy novels. Not being particularly interested in reading that genre (yes, I read all of Fleming's James Bonds when I was young, but largely left the genre behind after him), I passed on them. But while recently clicking through Block's site and skimming some synopses, I'm beginning to think I was wrong about his being a spy or secret agent. Seems he's more an international adventurer, even thief. And I'm big on caper novels.

So there was the admission; now here's the appeal for info:

Are these spy novels? Or are they something else? What are they like?

Are they hard or soft boiled?

Are the books self-sufficient or should they be read in order? I have a copy of Here Come a Hero (bought as much for the cover, which looks like McGinnis, as for Block). Should I dig up The Thief Who Couldn't Sleep or will I be okay starting here? Which are the best in the series?


ps -- speaking of experts, thanks to those who sent me info on Block's early sleaze pseudonyms, especially the links to Lynn Munroe's site.

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