RARA-AVIS: Lawrence Block -- Odds and Ends

From: DJ-Anonyme@webtv.net
Date: 15 Nov 2007

Over the years, Block has strayed from the crime genre on occasion.

One such occasion was Ronald Rabbit Is a Dirty Old Man, which Richard Moore recently reviewed so well. Made me want a copy. Here are two more, neither or which I've read:

Ariel (1980) seems to be a southern gothic ghost story. I once saw a copy in the horror section of a used book store (of course it wasn't there when I went back for it). Has anyone read this? How does Block fare in this genre?

Random Walk (1988) looks like a strange book. I have a copy, but frankly, the packaging has always made me leery, from the cover painting that looks like a cross between a romance novel and a Tor (who published it) SF novel, to the subtitle: A Novel for a New Age. Sorry, but when I hear "New Age," well, to quote Mission of Burma, that's when I reach for my revolver. And it's referred to as a "parable" in several of the blurbs. The plot seems to be about a guy who just starts walking. And
"wonderful things happen." That makes me think of Forrest Gump (which came later, so I know that comparison is unfair). Maybe if I think of it as Flitcraft walking away from his old life I can give it a chance. On his website, Block mentions that this has brought the most divided reaction of any of his books. Many don't get it, but those who do seem to read it numerous times. The website also mentions that there's a parallel plot about a serial killer, which is not even hinted at in the jacket copy of the paperback, which is all very feel goody. Has anyone here read this one? Your opinion?


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