RARA-AVIS: Re: Block's Random Walk

From: Richard Moore ( moorich@aol.com)
Date: 15 Nov 2007

--- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, Vince Keenan <vpkeenan@...> wrote:
> I wondered how long it would take for Random Walk to
> come up. I've read this one more than once, and I
> honestly don't know what to make of it. And I say this
> as a mammoth Lawrence Block fan.
> A guy whose life isn't going anywhere in particular
> decides to take a walk, triggering an entire movement.
> He and a bunch of other like-minded individuals are
> just going to walk the earth. You know, like Caine in
> Kung Fu. At the same time, we also follow a guy who
> has applied the lessons of a get-rich-quick real
> estate seminar to serial killing. He's also wandering
> the country. Eventually, both storylines collide.

I was at a fair number of mystery conventions where Block appeared over the years and I very well remember his RANDOM WALK period. Block was always friendly and approachable to convention goers but he did give the impression of going through a New Age period. I recall him discussing how he decided to abandon having any fixed address and simply moving from one temporary abode to the next. The impression I had then, which was very different from my impressions of Block before or a couple of years later, did not encourage me to try RANDOM WALK.

Some writers are exactly what you expect--Dennis Lynds and William Campbell Gault are two fond memories--but others are more problematic. Over a period of some years I attended a fair number of panels sessions and interviews with Lawrence Block, had several conversations with him in hotel lobbies and autograph lines, and played poker with him once or twice. He is a charming, friendly fellow but there was a time or two when he had me scratching my head. I love Block's work but there is a hazzard in meeting a writer in that he can at times be off-putting.

Of course, my wife says the same thing about me and I still hope to slip into bed with her in a few minutes.

Richard Moore

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