Friday, January 13, 2006

Larry from the Block

Last night, I toggled between Conan and Craig Ferguson for a bit; Tom Selleck was on the latter, talking about some new film project in which he plays (surprise!) a private eye. Ferguson asked Selleck if he read mystery novels (he said he didn't/didn't have time), then told him he should play Lawrence Block's Matthew Scudder character.

I've enjoyed a number of Scudder books—my favorite is When the Sacred Ginmill Closes. I'm not a frequent viewer of Ferguson, but I like that he's a fan of Block's stuff, to the extent that he even had LB on as a guest last year.

Aspiring Blockheads might give WTSGC a shot, or Grifter's Game (a clean-lined, unstoppable LB novel from the '60s, published by noir-recidivist imprint Hard Case Crime). He has other characters he returns to—hitman Keller, international man of mystery Tanner. I'm more a fan of his Bernie Rhodenbarr (The Burglar Who...) novels—not so much as mysteries (the solutions are convoluted to the point of parody), but as agreeable light reading. (Oh—and the one "Chip Harrison" novel I read was a lot of fun—but this seems to be a character LB has abandoned.)


Blogger Jenny D said...

I read all of the Scudder books in about 5 days after my friend M. loaned me a couple. (We're not supposed to know this bc of AA veil of secrecy, but several people I know who go to AA see LB regularly at meetings downtown.) The earlier ones are really, really good. SO depressing, in the best possible way! The later ones maybe not quite so much; but still, those characters and settings are just exceptional. I am not such a fan of the Bernie the burglar ones, I don't really like jokey crime writing (haven't been able to read Jasper Fforde either though people I trust keep on recommending him).

5:47 PM  

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