Showing posts with label lawrence block. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lawrence block. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 5

The Night and the Music by Lawrence Block: 5 out of 5 stars

I thought I had read all Lawrence Block's Matthew Scudder short stories, but I had missed one or two, and of course One Last Night At Grogan's was brand new. It was a joy to be drawn into Scudder's world again. It's one of those things you know is going to happen but is impossible to pinpoint the exact moment it occurs. One moment I was reading words and thinking about writing style and point of view and the next I was in the story, sharing Matthew Scudder's thoughts, alive in his world.

It was a thrill to read this collection of Scudder stories; this is Lawrence Block at his best. Here's hoping he never stops writing.

One more thing, at the end of THE NIGHT AND THE MUSIC, is a section titled, 'About These Stories,' in which Lawrence Block writes a bit about each of the stories in the volume. For me, this was one of the best parts of the book since I love reading writers discuss their writing, what they were thinking, what influenced their craft, and so on.

All in all, THE NIGHT AND THE MUSIC was a treat to read.

I know I've probably left a lot of questions about THE NIGHT unanswered, so here is a FAQ about The Night and the Music from LB's blog:
Far as I’m concerned, it’s not a real book unless a tree dies. How do I get The Night and the Music in real book form?

There’ll be print-on-demand trade paperbacks on sale at online booksellers, or through your local brick-and-mortar store, in two weeks or so. The price is $14.95.

You don’t understand. I want a signed copy.

No problem. At last count, there are thirteen top mystery booksellers who will be carrying signed copies. You can drop by one of their stores, phone up, or order online. The full list is on Matthew Scudder’s Page.

Or you can order from our own website operation, LB’s Bookstore. Our price is $15 plus shipping.

You only ship to the U.S. I live in Canada/Scotland/Tierra del Fuego. Don’t you care about your overseas readers? How can I get a signed copy?

I cherish my overseas readers, but stopped shipping out of the country because postal rigamarole makes it way too much trouble for an operation our size. The booksellers on Matthew Scudder’s Page are not thus constrained, and most if not all of them will be delighted to fill your order.

And, of course, the eBook is accessible just about anywhere. International prices may vary among online retailers, so you may want to shop around, but you’ll find it.

Will there be a hard cover edition?

Otto Penzler of Mysterious Bookshop has an upscale leatherbound signed-and-numbered edition of 100 copies that should be ready sometime in November. It’ll be gorgeous—and, at $150, it ought to be. (It’ll also sell out, so if you want one, better call: (800) 352-2840.)

It’s possible there’ll be a hardcover trade edition as well, sometime in the future, but at this stage I’d say chances of that are fairly slim.

What about an audiobook? What about foreign editions? Some of us like to read with our ears, and some of us prefer our native tongue. What are we, gehackte Leber?

I should have audiobook news soon. And my agent, the estimable Danny Baror (, will be representing the book at Frankfurt Book Fair. The Matthew Scudder books have been translated into a couple dozen languages, and I have every expectation that The Night and the Music will join them.
To read LBs entire post, click here: THE NIGHT AND THE MUSIC--some FAQs.

Here are some links to THE NIGHT AND THE MUSIC:
- on Amazon
- on Barnes & Noble
- on Smashwords

Monday, August 1

Lawrence Block's Afterthoughts only 99 cents on the Kindle

Yesterday, after reading a post by Passive Guy in which he discussed a literary gem he found in his spam filter, I raced to check mine to see if it contained similar literary gold.

It did! But not the sort I expected. I found an announcement that Lawrence Block has a new book coming out on the Kindle and for -- drum roll please -- only 99 cents! That is an amazingly good deal.

Here is a description of Afterthoughts:

A collection of afterwords from Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Lawrence Block’s most acclaimed works

In a career spanning more than fifty years, Lawrence Block has produced over one hundred books, ranging in genre from hard-boiled detective stories to pseudonymous erotica. Collected here for the first time are more than forty-five afterwords from the works that made him a master of modern fiction.

Each afterword is an insightful reflection on the experiences that have brought Block’s fiction to life, from the lessons he learned as a reader at a literary agency to the unlikely—and semi-autobiographical—origins of the acclaimed Matthew Scudder series. Witty and inspiring, Afterthoughts is a must-read for Block fans and mystery lovers alike.

This ebook features an illustrated biography of Lawrence Block, including rare photos and never-before-seen documents from the author’s personal collection.

Afterthoughts is available to pre-order for August 2nd.

It's amazing how fast times have changed. Even a couple of years ago when I wanted to buy Lawrence Block's latest book I would have to pay thirty dollars for a hardback or wait six months and pay ten dollars for the paperback (and his books were well worth the money, but money is often hard to come by). Now I get his latest book the day that it comes out for only 99 cents. Wow! That is incredible, and, even in these times of inexpensive ebooks, an amazingly good deal.

If you want to know why I'm raving about Lawrence Block's writing, read some samples from his other books or go on over to his blog and read his posts.

Grifter's Game
Eight Million Ways to Die
The Sings of the Father's
Telling Lies for Fun and Profit

Sunday, July 24

Writing and Self-Sabotage

This morning I was excited to receive an email containing an, apparently, new blog post by Lawrence Block. I read it and enjoyed it and immediately knew I wanted to blog about it so I headed on over to LB's site to copy and paste a teaser paragraph when I found out the post wasn't new at all!

That's okay, the topic of the post is timeless so it doesn't matter. The subject of LB's post is negative thinking and that is something I have been guilty of for many, many, years.

Toward the end of his post LB writes:

Each of us has a ruling negative principle to which we’ve proved as loyal as the Shreveport Schlepper to his. Any of these ring a bell?

I’m not good enough.

It’s not safe to let people know the real me.

Writing is a struggle.

I’m boring.

I’m too old.

No one wants to hear what I have to say.

I’m stupid.

Success would separate me from the people I love.

I’d go on, but you can figure out yours on your own. And why not? It’s been running in your head all your life.

All. Your. Life.

When I read the negative affirmation, "Success would separate me from the people I love," it was eerie, that's exactly what I believed for years.

And then it happened anyway. It felt as though God, or the universe, or fate, or I-know-not-what decided to take that particular excuse away from me and give me a kick in the pants.

So I'm writing now and my writing is about the only thing I do have but, you know what? It feels good.

Oh, in the quotation LB referred to the Shreveport Schlepper. That's explained in his post and it's one of the best stories I've ever read.

The Power of Negative Thinking

Tuesday, July 19

Lawrence Block has a blog!

The first book I read by Lawrence Block was, "Telling Lies for Fun and Profit."  It was great!  I highly recommend it, not only for writing tips but because it is a pleasure to read.

Now, thanks to John Locke, LB has his own blog! He writes:

... John Locke got a ton of press for selling his one millionth Kindle book. And, as soon as he did, he released a book he’d had waiting in the wings all along. He called it How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months, and offered it not at his usual price of 99¢ but $4.99 (or $9.99 in paperback).

Yeah, right, said the snarky voice that lives inside my head. Who could resist paying five bucks to learn how to write mediocre fiction?

I told the voice Thanks for sharing and ordered the book. This was on June 21, and I started reading it on my Kindle that night. I read the rest of it the following day, and started re–reading it the day after that. And the next day was June 24, my birthday, and I started the day doing something I’d been absolutely certain I would never do. But what the hell, I figured I was finally old enough. So I joined Twitter.

Because John Locke told me to.

That day or the next, I asked my web guy to set me up with a blog. Five years ago I was on a book tour in aid of The Burglar on the Prowl, and each night I made myself write a newsy paragraph on the day’s events, and emailed it for him to post on my website. It was a pain in the ass, and it didn’t accomplish anything, and that was the end of my blogging. But now I wanted a real blog, one I could manage myself, and that’s what I asked for.

Because John Locke told me to.
John Locke’s background is in sales, and he blogs and tweets with the aim of increasing his own sales. He wants you not only to buy his books, but to help him get others to buy them. As he explains, the actions he takes online are frankly manipulative; he outlines a method of gaining a reader’s allegiance and illustrates it with a blog about Joe Paterno and his mother that leaves one gaping. The damn thing seems so calculating. . .

But here’s the thing. It’s not cold and calculating. It’s warm and calculating.

Read the entire blog post here.

I had been wondering if I should buy John Locke's book; after reading LB talk about Locke I don't see how I can not buy it.

Telling Lies for Fun and Profit
Block's Amazon Author Page
Lawrence Block's Blog
Thanks to Dean Wesley Smith and @PassiveVoiceBlg for spreading the news about LB's blog.
How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months