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on 6 March 2017
This is another good installment about Scudder. The story this time is a lot more personal and helps to fill in the blanks about what he was like as a charactor before the series started. It is perhaps possible to think there were too many coincidences, or that for a villian as resourceful and efficient as this one the end is a little bit disappointing. But i found the story atmospheric, easy to read and overall i was very entertained by it.
Not the best in the series, but very entertaining nonetheless
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on 10 October 1996
I have just finished reading "A Ticket to the Boneyard"
and it is arguably the best in the Scudder series.
I have read all the Scudder mysteries except for the newest
three ("A long line of dead men", "The Devil knows
you're dead" and "A walk among the tombstones).
"A Ticket to the Boneyard" would definitely be my first
choice if I had to recommend someone to read a novel
by Lawrence Block. "Boneyard" is a cross between
existentialism and "Cape Fear", and Block takes Scudder's
restlessness and edginess to the extreme, in a perfectly
defined and balanced narrative that wastes no time
and takes you on a ride through the worst of NYC
from which you cannot escape. The villain in this
novel is one of the meanest, sharpest and most
believable SOB's to be featured in literature ever.
I inhaled "A Ticket to the Boneyard" in three days,
and it would have been less had I not cared about
being fired from my job. Scudder is a blast, and
Lawrence Block is a genius.
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on 2 December 1998
. Matthew Scudder is Lawrence Block's remarkable private investigator. He's a former NYPD detective who left the force after an accident left a child dead in a crossfire. Because he is unlicensed you can't "hire" him. Instead he does you a favor by taking your case and solving the crime. In exchange for the favor the client returns the favor by giving him some cash. Scudder is a recovering alcoholic who attends AA meetings throughout the book. In earlier Scudder novels Matt is almost always without a drink in his hands. I have read most of the Scudder series to date and fond "A Ticket to the Boneyard," the best. I could not put it down. Reading it took priority of everything else I had to do or should have done. Scudder is reacquainted with James Leo Motley sent to prison a dozen years earlier. Motley vowed to get even and kill Scudder and all his women. Although Scudder is divorced the only woman in his life is Elaine, a call girl. This doesn't stop Scudder as friends, acquaintances; the psychotic killer eliminates people he doesn't know. If you read only one Lawrence Block/Scudder novel, "A Ticket to the Boneyard," should be that novel. An afterthought: Matthew Scudder is a realistic, likeable character. In the early books we find that after he left the NYPD he took up drinking and left his wife and two sons. From time to time she asks Scudder to send more money because "we need it." Scudder generally obliges. Although not living with his family Scudder is not distant from them. He speaks to his boys on the phone and brings them into the city for a ball game. For some reason that Scudder doesn't know finds himself visiting churches and leaving a donation, tithing, ten percent of money recently received from a client. Scudder says Catholic churches receive donations for than others because they are generally open at late hours. Although he's not a religious man he finds peace and solitude in the almost always empty sanctuary he visits.
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on 6 January 2016
I have bought more books by Lawrence Block now, than any other author. My clumsy review rates him alongside Peter Temple, Walter Mosley and Elmore Leonard. In my eyes one of the masters. I am saving my 3 unread books in the Matthew Scudder series to read in a long haul flight to New Zealand next month, and provided I can keep my hands off them until then, I look forward to it hugely. I love him like a dear old friend, warts and all.
My husband told me I would like him, but I only started last year with one of the Keller(?) series that I found in a second hand book shop. So I am in that enviable state, an author I love with about 40 books stretching out in front of me. I'm not sure 5 stars are adequate.
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on 16 March 1998
This is a great book and keeps you glued to its pages. I have read almost all of Block's books and have enjoyed them all but, so far, this is the absoulute best one.
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on 7 June 2012
For anyone who loves a good detective story you must read the Matt Scudder series..his character is in AA which runs through the books and is portrayed brilliantly
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on 29 November 2014
Working my way through the Matthew Scudder books and this one doesn't disappoint. An excellent read!
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on 13 August 2015
Well-written engaging and compelling Matt Scudder mystery/thriller. Lawrence Block on top form.
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on 12 June 1998
Block is the world's greatest living master of the hard-edged, gritty detective novel. Be prepared to stay up late with this one...
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on 18 September 2009
I just can't get on with Block and his hero Matt Scudder. I've tried for years, picking up the occasional one here and there but can't say I've ever enjoyed them much. You can't compare this stuff to Connelly or even Crais at their best. It's short and dark. At least the book doesn't take you long to read.

I think the problem is that our hero Matt has too many pals - cop friends, gangster friends, women friends who think of him with affection. There's too much going for him. He's got a drink problem that causes him angst but hey why worry when so many folk are rooting for you, Matt? We even get the obligatory tender sex scene with the old flame Elaine (a scarcely convincing hooker).

Then he just leaves her to it apart from installing some locks on the door. She keeps turning off the flipping call recorder so we can't get the villain on tape. The doorman of her building inevitably waves through the baddie to commit atrocity in the end. Then when one of his pals plonks the villain's home address in his lap he nearly blows it. I kept saying "Just wait for the guy and shoot him, Matt" instead of clambering up fire escapes and having a fight. It's all a bit, well...frustrating - and yet he's well thought of as a lawman. Matt was a good cop back in the day.

Am I missing something? I take from the story the point that Scudder felt guilty about framing Motley the first time and now he's sort of done it again - playing god as he says. He's guilty about an earlier accidental shooting too. He's a guilty guy walking the streets of the Big Apple, desperate for a drink to kill his demons.

I'll keep trying.
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