Disambiguations™ for May 10, 2011
I. My first review for Time is up—a look at Lawrence Block's great new Scudder novel, A Drop of the Hard Stuff. (It really is as good as I say—a perfect place to start reading Block.) Thanks to Jessica Winter! Here is a tidbit:
By Scudder's previous outing in 2005, he'd become sober and downright uxorious: a better person but a diluted presence, even as the crimes remained nasty. Everybody Dies, Hope to Die, All the Flowers Are Dying — the titles of the past three Scudders themselves telegraphed exhaustion. Slipping out of the series' chronology, A Drop of the Hard Stuff reads like it's been jolted by factory-fresh defibrillator pads, as Scudder recalls his first, nerve-rattling year of sobriety. Here, his devotion to Alcoholics Anonymous not only shades in his character but also sets up the case. Following AA's Twelve Steps, Jack Ellery, a fellow recovering alcoholic and former felon, put together a list of people he'd hurt while drinking (Step 8) and attempted to make amends with them (Step 9). Ellery turns up dead, a bullet to the mouth, and Scudder figures that someone on the list wanted him to keep quiet about his lowlife past.
II. Congratulations to Adam Levin, who won the New York Public Library's Young Lions Fiction Award last night, for his humongous debut novel, The Instructions. (I chaired the reading committee this year—thanks to all the readers!)
III. I make Page Six! Well, not really...Click to read the Sloane Crosley theory of humor. (I think it's true.)
IV. There's more to come...