Craig Childs's Reviews > The Canceled Czech

The Canceled Czech by Lawrence Block
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's review
Apr 11, 2012

really liked it
Read from January 16 to 21, 2017

Evan Tanner’ s second adventure once again finds him behind the Iron Curtain in Eastern Europe in 1966, this time working as a spy for an organization so secret it has no name. He is sent on a mission to rescue a Nazi war criminal who has (unwittingly) become a rich source of information for the United States government.

He also owns a rich Swiss bank account, which just may allow Tanner to reimburse himself for expenses, plus a little extra, without having to unduly burden the U.S. taxpayers.

Evan is assisted by a cell of zealot Jewish Stern Gang terrorists and the beautiful Greta, who is “the sort of Czech every crook in Europe would love to see bounce” (according to the book’s original cover).

The Canceled Czech is an improvement on the first book, The Thief Who Couldn’t Sleep. The jokes are funnier, the action tighter, the satire sharper, and the plot more suspenseful. The dedication alone should win some sort of prize for best use of puns as it contains a “Czechered past”, a “pair of Czech mates”, and a “bouncing Czech”.

This is not my favorite Block series, but it is consistently entertaining. Light and breezy most of the time, but it ends on a fittingly bleak note which provides a nice overall balance to the story.

The next entry in the series is Tanner’s Twelve Swingers.
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01/16 marked as: to-read
01/16 marked as: currently-reading
01/21 marked as: read

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