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Tanner on Ice (Evan Tanner #8)

3.41  ·  Rating Details ·  483 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
Cold War superspy Evan Tanner lost the ability to sleep on a battlefield in Korea. So where the heck has he been since the '70s?

Frozen. Cryogenically. A Tanner-sicle. Which he never thought would happen when he walked into a basement in Union City, New Jersey, more than a quarter century ago. Now he's unthawed and ready to rumble, and his somewhat addled, former super-secr
ebook, 304 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published 1998)
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Feb 09, 2008 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, mystery
Tanner is a great character. The stories won't keep you up at night, but that's okay, Tanner will stay up for you.
Feb 25, 2009 David rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: completed
Sometimes a publisher takes a well-known author and publishes anything he writes whether it belongs in a toilet or a landfill. It is my deeply-held opinion that this is one of those times that an author wrote a piece of garbage unfit for publication, but someone published it anyway.

If that doesn't convince you to avoid Tanner on Ice, I don't know what will. Here's some of the problem I had with the book.

1) Characterization

The lead character is a guy who was wounded in Korea and the shrapnel so
Glenn Younger
Jan 26, 2014 Glenn Younger rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Evan Tanner is back after 25 years of being on ice. The Cold War is over, Minna is all grown, and the Chief is still around only now he's working for some unnamed individual of private means who wants Tanner to undertake a shady assassination in Burma. Tanner takes the assignment with no intention of completing it, but it gives him a good excuse to get away from his growing attraction/confusion/whatever-it-is for Minna.

Burma proves to be the perfect setting for Tanner's signature high jinks invo
Brenda Hicks
Sep 21, 2014 Brenda Hicks rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great read. Block has a gift for dialogue. From the basement in New Jersey to the hills of Burma and streets of Bangkok, I was hooked. I even learned how to say "eight" in Burmese - a helpful thing to know as a mother of teenage boys. There is more by this author on the shelf. I may find myself camping in the BL section for a bit. This one was much better than the Bogart bit.
Apr 21, 2011 Ruth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one was a 3+ or even a 4. Our library was giving away books and this is one I brought home. It's from 1998 and is one of "Tanner" books. Tanner doesn't sleep, an interesting premise in itself. But then, you read the books.
Mar 31, 2013 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is Tanner after a 25 year in cold storage plus his crazy no sleep thing.
It was an unusual way to read about Burma.
But it was definetely a page turner.
It seemed more farfetched than other Block books but I always like Block's writing style.
May 31, 2009 Rosie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Apr 05, 2015 Greg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
TANNER ON ICE is the final volume of the world’s most refreshing set of espionage books. The tale opens innocently enough, with our man Evan enjoying a friendly drink with another political theorist, named Harald Engstrom, who happens to be a member of SKOAL, which (in Mr Block’s words, taken from location 136) is ’an acronymic organisation committed to restoring lost areas of Sweden and Norway to Danish control.” But as Tanner says to this supposed new friend in a “pine-panelled basement recrea ...more
Dec 02, 2008 Eric_W rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Evan Tanner, another of Block’s interesting creations, can’t sleep. He was hit in the head in Korea and that destroyed the part of the brain that controls his ability to sleep. This unusual disability has made him useful to a variety of secret service agencies. He’s also a favorite character of mine, along with Bernie Rhodenbarr, for his jaundiced view of the world. In this most entertaining story, Tanner wakes up in 1997, having been frozen in a basement deep freeze by a Swedish government agen ...more
TANNER ON ICE (Adventure-Evan Tanner-NYC/Thailand-Cont) – G+
Block, Lawrence – 8th in series
Harper, 2007 (copyright 1998), US Paperback – ISBN: 9780061283932
First Sentence: I flew from New York to Los Angeles, then nonstop to Seoul.
*** Due to a Korean War head wound, spy Even Tanner’s sleep center was turned off so he never sleeps. Except now, he’s been slipped a Mickey and cryogenically frozen for 25 years waking up in present day New York looking exactly as he did when Nixon was President. Reco
Oct 29, 2012 Kat rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 01, 2016 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: action, humor, espionage
#8 in the Evan Tanner series.

Spy Evan Tanner series - International man of action Evan Tanner returns after more than 25 years. Tanner, one of whose characteristics is his inability to sleep, had in fact been comatose - in a deep freeze, in fact - for all that time, and the scene where he wakes up, thinking Richard Nixon is still president, is as funny and sharp as a similar one in Woody Allen's Sleeper. After that, Tanner is off to a new exotic locale, activated as usual by his vaguely CIA mana
Rick Ludwig
This my second Tanner book. It was fascinating reading. I especially enjoyed it because the other one I read was the first one and this was the last, so far. These were separated in time by decades, but the character was equally quirky and interesting in both. This books opens with Tanner waking up after a d ay or two in his mind, but twenty-five years in the real world. His adaptation to the changes between the early seventies and the late nineties is mesmerizing. But the change in time has lit ...more
Jul 28, 2010 Jon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is the first Lawrence Block I've read that wasn't tight in construction and carefully planned. It has its clever moments, and you keep reading to find out what's going to happen; but the mystery, if there is one, is never solved, motives remain unclear, even who the bad guy might have been is left open. I learned a bit about Burma and Buddhism, but otherwise it wasn't a particularly rewarding read. The last page suggests very heavily that there will be a sequel--but it's been 13 years, Bloc ...more
Jeff Dickison
Sep 27, 2015 Jeff Dickison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good book if you can accept two unlikely premises: 1) Tanner does not sleep due to an injury to his sleep center 2) Tanner is cryonically frozen for 25 years with no ill effects. If you can get past those things then the book is entertaining with a lot of action and good characters, especially Katya. Recommended to fans of the unusual.
Rose Blum
Evan Tanner is a great character but Lawrence Block inserts such a bunch of porno trivia into Tanner's trip to Burma in the beginning that I almost stopped reading it. Luckily I preservered & the trivia trickled down as the story unfolded. Glad to read another episode of the spy who couldn't sleep!!!
Jan 17, 2012 Steve rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, kindle
Normally, I quite like Block's work, especially the Matthew Scudder novels, which are entertaining, funny, with vibrant characters and plots.
But this, my first Tanner novel, left me a bit cold. It didn't really seem to work, though a few good scenes, such as the arrest at the hotel come off particularly well.
Gabriel Clarke
If this hasn't come with Block's name on the masthead, would I have even got through the first 50 pages? I'm not sure. The style is "lean and taut" but it disguises a baggy plot that doesn't really start or end anywhere but lurches from one incident to another without Tanner ever seeming to do very much except get rescued or get trolled on Burmese hooch.
Joan Husmann
Dec 11, 2013 Joan Husmann rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I finished this book just because it was short, and I wanted to see if it could possibly get worse. It did. Normally I enjoy Lawrence Block's books, but I guess every prolific author is entitled to a clinker.
Oct 14, 2014 Dave rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-reread
Tanner's as charming as any of Block's heroes, but his adventure plots are dated (not to mention confusing), and updating them for the nineties didn't really work. Pleasant, but the reason for Tanner's agelessness is the best thing about the book.
Aug 28, 2016 Mike rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Yipes, never thought I would give Block just one star. He's one of the most reliable authors - I can always count on him for a tight entertaining read. When he writes a stinker, oh boy. This book is just a mess.
Margaret Andrews
Meh. The story was all right, but the dialogue? Oy. I don't read a lot of mystery novels, so I don't know if this is normal, but the dialogue was too pedantic for me and kept taking me out of the story.
Nov 26, 2007 Bruce rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: not recommended
Thin and unconvincing plot, lots of travelogue padding to make it novel length, some mildly amusing scenes and incidents.
Ricardo Neves
Gostei bastante. Qual foi o problema? Sim, houve um problema: comecei pelo oitavo e devia ter lido os outros antes. Fora isso, lê-se bem.
Joe O'c
Very Good; Continuing character: Evan Tanner; after being frozen for 25 years Tanner comes back and takes an assignment to start some insurrection in Burma; started well, but slow at the end.
A hit man who has a therapits and who ends up as hero/protagonist? You got it!
My favorite of this series.
Vikas Datta
Jan 29, 2016 Vikas Datta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Begins with promise... but the ending leaves too many issues, vital issues, unanswered... However, am said that the series is over
Judith Teggelaar
Sep 16, 2015 Judith Teggelaar rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
After reading about 125 pages of this book, I decided I couldn't go on. The setting was in Burma which I didn't like plus I think it is a man's book.
Dec 01, 2013 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Perhaps not the best book to start the Evan Tanner series, or Lawrence Block's corpus. It's all right - exactly middle of the road.
Mathew Carruthers
Good entertainment - would like to read the earlier volumes in the series to see how the character developed.
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Received the Shamus Award, "The Eye" (Lifetime achievment award) in 2002.

From his web site:

I'm told every good author website needs a bio, so here's mine:

"Lawrence Block's novels range from the urban noir of Matthew Scudder (A Drop of the Hard Stuff) to the urbane effervescence of Bernie Rhodenbarr (The Burglar on the Prowl), while other characters include the globe-trotting insomniac Evan Tanne
More about Lawrence Block...

Other Books in the Series

Evan Tanner (8 books)
  • The Thief Who Couldn't Sleep (Evan Tanner, #1)
  • The Canceled Czech (Evan Tanner, #2)
  • Tanner's Twelve Swingers (Evan Tanner #3)
  • Two For Tanner (Evan Tanner, #4)
  • Tanner's Tiger (Evan Tanner, #5)
  • Tanner's Virgin (Evan Tanner, #6)
  • Me Tanner, You Jane (Evan Tanner, #7)

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