Wednesday, October 05, 2011

The Night and the Music -- Lawrence Block

In the middle 1970s, I was living in Brownwood, Texas. In those days, Texas still had Blue Laws, which meant that on Sunday, stores could remain open, but only certain items could be sold. I'd occasionally go out to Walgreen's on Sunday afternoons to look over the paperback rack, since it was apparently okay for me to buy one, though other areas of the store were roped off. And so it came to pass that one Sunday afternoon I picked up a Dell paperback called Sins of the Fathers. I'd already read a lot of other Lawrence Block titles and liked them all, so I grabbed this one, paid for it, and went home to read it. Thus I was introduced to Matthew Scudder.

When I finished the book the next day, I was ready for the next one, and I've read all the succeeding Matt Scudder books, which means that I've been keeping up with Scudder's career for a frighteningly long time. I hadn't, however, read all the short stories about Scudder. Until recently, that is. Now the stories have been collected in the e-book you see pictured here, and it's only $2.99, making it the one of the biggest bargains you'll ever find.

As I said, I hadn't read all the Scudder stories, but I'd read several of them, including the Edgar-award-winning "By the Dawn's Early Light" and the Shamus-winning "The Merciful Angel of Death," but some of the other things included here were hard to come by even for die-hard fans. And Block's included a never-before-published story titled "One Last Night at Grogan's" that's guaranteed to make fans of the series a little misty-eyed.

There's also Block's "Afterword," an invaluable discussion of how the stories came to be written, plus an introduction and appreciation by Brian Koppelman. Put it all together and you have an irresistible collection. You'll want this one for sure. Trust me.

1 comment:

George said...

I've downloaded it. Thanks for the heads-up!