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Eight Million Ways To Die (Matt Scudder Mystery) Paperback – 5 Oct 2000


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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Orion; New Ed edition (5 Oct. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752837001
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752837000
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 2.5 x 17.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,057,572 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

Corruption and danger are rife in Lawrence Block's incredible Matt Scudder thriller.

About the Author

Lawrence Block was awarded the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger in 2004. He is also a Grand Master of the Mystery Writers of America. He is the author of many novels and short stories and has won numerous awards for his mystery writing. He lives and works in New York City.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David Roy on 21 Feb. 2008
Format: Hardcover
It's 2008, and it's the 25th anniversary of the Lawrence Block's Eight Million Ways to Die. So let's put out a celebratory edition! I've never read a Block book, so I'm not sure why this particular book warrants a re-issue in a special hardcover, but it does mark a significant milestone in Matt Scudder's career, so maybe that's why. This handsome hardcover also includes an afterword by Block, so fans of the Scudder series may want to pick this up to at least read that. For non-fans of the series, you can pick it up because it's a very good book.

If you're like me, you'll have to keep reminding yourself that Eight Million Ways to Die was written back in 1983. I kept asking why the characters didn't use cell phones until I remembered. Also, the image of New York as a crime-infested city kept jarring with the way it is now. The title of the book is said by a cynical cop who claims that there are eight million ways to die in New York. While there are probably still quite a few, I don't think there are that many any more.

Block does immerse you in the seedy atmosphere of the New York of 1983, though. His imagery is quite stark, and he constantly has Scudder reading the newspaper, pulling out headlines and news stories about how certain innocent people were killed, and commenting on how these will quickly get relegated to the back pages as something even more monstrous hits the front page. This atmosphere constantly weighs Scudder (and the reader) down, but at least the reader can put the book down if it gets too oppressive. What can Scudder do?

Scudder is an extremely interesting character, and evidently one who changes throughout his series of books. His alcoholism has been a constant presence in previous books, and this is the one where it comes to a head.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Warren M. Fisher VINE VOICE on 10 Oct. 2002
Format: Paperback
Only my second Matt Scudder mystery, but already I'm hooked. Block has been lauded as the grandmaster of the modern PI novel, and I have no problem with this. A dark, tormented hero on a quest to right a terrible wrong in a brutal, unforgiving world, what more could you want? Intelligent, gripping and thrillingly authentic.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Synopsis/blurb......
Nobody knows better than Matthew Scudder how far down a person can sink in this city. A young prostitute named Kim knew it also--and she wanted out. Maybe Kim didn't deserve the life fate had dealt her. She surely didn't deserve her death. The alcoholic ex-cop turned PI was supposed to protect her, but someone slashed her to ribbons on a crumbling New York City waterfront pier. Now finding Kim's killer will be Scudder's penance. But there are lethal secrets hiding in the slain hooker's past that are far dirtier than her trade. And there are many ways of dying in this cruel and dangerous town--some quick and brutal ... and some agonizingly slow.

My fifth and probably most enjoyable book so far in this prolific author's series of 17 books to date. On the front cover of my edition, Stephen King blurbs "A hell of a book!" Whilst on the odd occasion I may take exception to King's recommendations and disagree, not this time around. The book also won the Shamus Award for Best Hardcover PI Novel in 1982.

When I say probably, I will qualify it by saying I was a little bit disappointed in the resolution of the crime and the motivations and raison d'être for the protagonist acting the way he/she did - I'll leave it ambiguous to avoid spoiling anyone's subsequent reading of the book. It's a minor gripe to be honest, but it was a little bit of a niggle for me just the same.

Kim, a good-time girl for hire, wants out of the game. Scudder is asked to speak to Kim's pimp, Chance on her behalf to arrange this. Chance, once Scudder has spoken to him has no objections and an amicable arrangement is reached. Kim is murdered a few short days later.
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