Re: RARA-AVIS: Block-McBain

From: hardcasecrime (
Date: 07 Jan 2010

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

    I'm well known to be a fan (and of course a publisher) of Lawrence Block, so take this with a grain of salt if you must, but honestly, saying you think Block's not worth reading because you've read EVERYBODY DIES, THE BURGLAR WHO THOUGHT HE WAS BOGART, and THE BURGLAR WHO TRADED TED WILLIAMS is a lot like saying you think James M. Cain's an overrated hack because you read GALATEA, THE MAGICIAN'S WIFE, and THE INSTITUTE. Or that Ed McBain's not worth reading because you read JIGSAW (which, incidentally, is one of the weakest novels I've ever read). Every author's got better and worse books, and if you're going to form an opinion of an author based on just a few examples, you owe it to yourself to choose the ones that are widely considered to be his best.

    If, after you read some of these, you still don't like Block, so be it
    -- no author, no matter how good, pleases everyone. But all this talk about how McBain is objectively better because he writes realistically and honestly conveys emotion, etc., etc., is utter nonsense. McBain at his best does do those things, but so does Block, every bit as well.


    --- In, Patrick King <abrasax93@...> wrote:
    > 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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