A Drop of the Hard Stuff (Matthew Scudder #17)
Facing his demons in his first year of sobriety, Matthew Scudder finds himself on the trail of a killer. When Scudder's childhood friend Jack Ellery is murdered, presumably while attempting to atone for past sins, Scudder reluctantly begins his own investiga ...more
You know, every time I read one of Lawrence Block's Matthew Scudder books, I feel as if I've entered a metaphorical genital measuring contest with the esteemed Mr Block. I unzip my pants to reveal that I've read ...more
Thanks to a contest here on Goodreads, I ended up with an advanced reader’s copy of the new Matt Scudder novel. I had actually been rereading all of the Scudder books in preparation for the release of this in May, but I had only made it to When the Sacred Ginmill Closes when this arrived. I briefly thought about waiting while I reread the rest of the series, but I’m not known for my patience or willpower so I burned through this in less than 24 hours.
There’s two w ...more
By now, Matthew Scudder would be in his middle seventies, and so Block cleverly sets this book back ...more
I like hard boiled detective novels & this had a lot of the same qualities, but there wasn't much or any r ...more
It doesn't have the same punch as the film, but it is very nicely done, as private investigator books go. As in most of these books, it's primarily dialog but it's very good dialog.
The plot is pretty straightforward: Matt Scudder, former cor ...more
Now then, if I may. There are no spoilers in this review, because a Drop of the Hard Stuff cannot be spoiled. I could detail the plot from start to finish and every line would still sparkle. Block’s stories (for me, anyway) are not really about plot, which I suppose is why I find them so r ...more
This novel is told in one long flashback, an after hours confes ...more
A present-day Matt Scudder reminisces with his friend, Mick Ballou about a case in his early days of sobriety, particularly an incident when he was approaching his one-year mark in AA (Alcoholics Anonymous). Jack Ellery, now at sixteen months sober, was trying to follow each of the twelve steps; including making reparation to others for the harm he had done them. When Jack is murde ...more
This crime novel is as much the story of Matthew Scudder's struggle to stay sober, with 12 step references throughout, as it is the story of his boyhood friend who is murdered.
A flashback to the early 80's, this book finds Matt attending countless meetings working toward that elusive first year of sobriety. Through ...more
Hard Stuff is a backstory; Scudder and Ballou reminisce about a specific case from the past that coincides with the the former cop's first year of sobriety. Some of the AA stuff may get a bit long winded for some but it's nothing else if not accurate. Block writes so well it's sickening. Yes I'm j ...more
A Drop of the Hard Stuff is worth reading if only as a case study for how to write dialogue realistically, or how to research a setting -- the entire book revolves around Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and writings, which Block wrote so well, I was certain he was a recovering alcoholic.
For the record, Matt Scudder is a former NYPD d ...more
Published by Mulholland Books/Little, Brown and Company
At the request of Mulholland Books, an ARC TPB was sent, at no cost to me, for my honest review.
Synopsis (borrowed from B&N): Grandmaster Lawrence Block brings his greatest character, Matthew Scudder, back into action in his most personal case.
Matthew Scudder is finally on the straight and narrow when he runs into "High-Low" Jack Ellery, a childhood friend from the Bronx. ...more
By Ellen Rappaport (Florida) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Drop of the Hard Stuff (Matthew Scudder) (Paperback)
I started reading or listening to L.B.'s Matt Scudder series years ago and loved it. L.B. was born to write. I've gone back and started this series again. This time listening to "A Drop of the Hard Stuff" on CD narrated/performed by Tom Stechschulte who does an excellent job.
This was Matt going through one of the harde ...more
I'm about a hundred pages in, and if I didn't have other priorities, I would have finished it last night. Another great one from the master.
Update: finished, and it's a terrific read, very nearly as good as A Dance at the Slaughterhouse. It's an earlier Matt Scudder that we have here, just in his first year of not drinking, and con
I suspect my rating would have been much higher if I'd read any of the previous books in the series, if I knew and was already invested in the character of Matthew Scudder. I have the first book of the series in my shopping cart, and plan to meet Matthew properly soon-- I saw lots of promise in this book.
The mystery here is secondary, and that's fine with me. It provides something for Scudder to do while he deals with the real meat of the book-- facing one year of sobriety. It also gav ...more
All that said, I gave this one only three stars because it's a flashback to an earlier stage of Scudder's life ...more
Set in New York City in about 1982, this is the 17th installment in Block’s Matt Scudder series. Matt has resigned from the police force after a tragic accident where he kills a little girl while shooting it out with a pair of robbers. He has stopped drinking and is about to celebrate his first year of being dry. He spends a lot of time at AA meetings. At one of the meetings, he meets up with a man with whom he went to grammar school. Hi ...more
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
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You don't die all at once. Not anymore. These days you die a little at a time.”