Named a Grandmaster by the Mystery Writers of America, best-selling author Lawrence Block has won almost every major mystery award, including three Edgar and four Shamus Awards. His action-packed plot and irresistible characters, dramatically performed by Richard Ferrone, make this audiobook an irresistible work of art.
©1993 Lawrence Block; (P)1999 Recorded Books, LLC
I'm a fan of Lawrence Block so I don't mind that all Burglar novels are plotted to the same formula: burglary is arranged and executed, then something goes wrong (usually involving, or resulting in, a corpse), Bernie has to go underground for a while (often in the company of a lovely dame) and eventually solves it all. It's not as dark as Chandler or as violent as Hammett, but Block's New York is also full of bent cops and crooked middle-class people. Not much left of the credibility of the American dream. It's not really the plotting that's exciting but the wit of hard-boiled prose. It's the amiability of this slightly weather-beaten guy who's good at burglary, who is intelligent enough to entertain serious readers since he, too, reads, and whose best buddy is a lesbian with a dog-grooming parlour; all of these traits make for a companionable listening experience. The dialogue sparkles and the narration jogs along at a good pace. What's not to like? Richard Ferrone has exactly the right intonation and timbre to give Bernie the edge the prose demands. Really enjoyable.
I've read this series and re-read them over the years and they never disappoint. This audio, however, is slightly disappointing for 2 reasons: it's not the author reading and the recorded chapter breaks are obviously from the old disc release and not modernised to have chapters breaking in the recording at each book chapter's end.
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