Re: RARA-AVIS: Block-McBain

From: phred deVecca (
Date: 06 Jan 2010

  • Next message: jacquesdebierue: "Re: RARA-AVIS: Block-McBain"

    well, to be fair - the 2 "Burgler" books you cite are not Scudder books... EVERYBODY DIES is, I believe, but I'm pretty sure it was one of the later books where he wasn't actively drinking (though even the later books, with the constant AA meetings, and the tithing, are still effective)

    I've read Algren and I stand by my statement - Scudder captures the quiet melancholy, unstated depression, and aimless lonlieness as well as anything relating to alcoholism that I've ever read - ever been to an AA meeting? - there is some kind of sorry wisdom in alcoholics that Block captures - I always wondered (not that it's any of my damn business) if Block had alcoholism issues in real life and knew whereof he wrote

    >wow -talk about "different strokes"!

    I've never been able to finish an 87th Precinct book and I've tried several- and I think Block is one of the 2 or 3 best PI novelists of the modern age... 8 MILLION WAYS TO DIE and WHEN THE SACRED GINMILL CLOSES are 2 of the best of the century (though the more recent titles are weaker - still worthwhile though) and Scudder is one of the most believable, effective and approachable alcoholc characters anywhere in literature


    If you've read some of my other posts, you may realize I don't waste my reading time. If a writer disappoints me, he seldom gets another chance. With Lawrence Block, I read EVERYBODY DIES, THE BURGLAR WHO THOUGHT HE WAS BOGART & THE BURGLAR WHO TRADED TED WILLIAMS... and really? You think these are the most believable, effective and approachable alcoholic characters in literature? Read Nelson Algren, please! Maybe I've just hit his 3 turkeys but I didn't find these books believable in any way.

    Patrick King

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