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The Crime of Our Lives

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really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  59 ratings  ·  19 reviews
An MWA Grand Master tells it straight: Fredric Brown: "When I read Murder Can Be Fun, I had a bottle of bourbon on the table and every time Brown's hero took a drink, I had a snort myself. This is a hazardous undertaking when in the company of Brown's characters, and, I've been given to understand, would have been just as dangerous around the author himself. By the time th ...more
Paperback, 250 pages
Published March 26th 2015 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform (first published January 1st 2015)
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Kemper
Lawrence Block is one of those authors that I’ve often wished I could spend some time with just to hear him reminisce about his long career as well as get his opinions on other crime writers. I haven’t gotten a dinner invitation yet (Although I did get to meet him when he was touring for Hope to Die.), but until that day reading The Crime of Our Lives is a damn fine substitute.

Through this collection of introductions and essays he’s done over the years you get a sense of what Block thinks about
...more
Dan Schwent
Mar 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
The Crime of Our Lives is a collection of Lawrence Block's non-fiction writing, taking from columns, tributes, introductions, and other sources.

Ever wonder what a crime writer thinks of other crime writers? Wonder no more! In the Crime of Our Lives, Block covers a wide variety of writers, starting with himself and running through a great portion of the alphabet, from Anthony Boucher and Frederic Brown, all the way to the great Donald E. Westlake and Charles Willeford.

Along the way, Block touches
...more
Karl
Jun 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lawrence Block picks some of his favorite authors (about 15) and collects the book introductions and articles he wrote about those authors and creates a book of appreciations.

Now I'm a fan of Mr. Block, and by some wonderful coincident or reading tastes appears to be similar when it comes to mystery authors. What he has done here was make me want to go and read many of the authors he sites once again. It's been a while since I'd read any Ross Thomas, or Charles Willaford or Donald Westlake's "Pa
...more
Col
Apr 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, b
Synopsis/blurb….

An MWA Grand Master tells it straight:
Fredric Brown: “When I read Murder Can Be Fun, I had a bottle of bourbon on the table and every time Brown’s hero took a drink, I had a snort myself. This is a hazardous undertaking when in the company of Brown’s characters, and, I’ve been given to understand, would have been just as dangerous around the author himself. By the time the book was finished, so was I.”

Raymond Chandler: “You have to wonder how he got it so right. He spent a lot of
...more
Benoit Lelièvre
Jul 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
John D. MacDonald.

Ed McBain.

Charles Willeford.

I've been hearing these three names for several years now, and they've always always been showered in the kind of hollow praise that didn't make me want to hype for myself one bit...until now. I was already familiar with Lawrence Block's terrific brand of hardboiled fiction, but what I didn't know is that he felt such a passion for the genre. A passion that echoes the one I feel for several other things, including authors of the following generation.
...more
Deb
Note: This is reposted from my blog, at NOT JUST ANOTHER GROUCHY GRAMMARIAN.

There's only one problem with opening a new non-fiction book by Lawrence Block: Your reading list explodes logarithmically. His newest collection of introductions, eulogies, and other appreciations, The Crime of Our Lives, is no exception. In addition to finding authors I already knew of and enjoyed, like Robert B. Parker and Donald E. Westlake, there were a whole bunch whose work I had never heard of, and another bunch
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Randy
Mar 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A collection of nonfiction pieces on some of Mr. Block's favorite crime writers. Only some because he chooses not to write about any still living writers because he doesn't want to hurt feelings, either for things he might say about a subject or for not mentioning them at all.

What we do get is a list of fine writers that he either knew and admired while they lived or very early writers that may have led him in his younger days to writing crime stories. And one or two shady characters he encounte
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Craig Childs
Jun 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At age 77, Lawrence Block continues to churn out top-notch new novels (there will be a new one published next month from Hard Case Crime, in fact). He belongs to a small elite group of older writers whose legacy and popularity will almost certainly outlive him. Perhaps this is why over the last few years he has also busied himself republishing old pseudonymous works and collecting previously forgotten pieces—early short stories, essays, magazine articles, etc.—into new books. Or maybe he just wa ...more
Kevintipple
Jun 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Noted crime writer, author, and much more, Lawrence Block avoids writing book reviews. He also prefers to write, if he is going to, about those authors that have departed. He explains why and more in the first section titled “Before We Begin” of The Crime of our Lives. While he won’t write reviews, he will write introductions to books which is what most of this book consists of— many of the various introductions he has written over the years.

After that beginning, which is basically an interesti
...more
A.M.
Sep 23, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own, e-books
In his bio, he says he’s written in excess of 100 books. GR lists 445.
*blinks*
That’s some excess. A goodly chunk of his work have also made it to film.
But this is a compilation of forewords he has written for the works of his friends and genre compatriots.
For Anthony Boucher:
My own favorite, though but dimly recalled, is Nine Times Nine, a locked-room mystery investigated by Sister Ursula of the Order of Martha of Bethany. (Kindle Locations 299-300).

[wait… a nun detective? Runs off to check loca
...more
Anthony
Mar 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Right. Time to write a review of the latest Lawrence Block non-fiction collection. Because the man was nice enough to send me a review copy, and who am I to say "no" in the face of such graciousness? ("You're no-one, regardless of getting a free copy," the insecure writer at the back of my brain says. Let's ignore him for the moment, shall we?)

Look, here's the thing.

If you're already a Larry Block fan, you don't need some hack like me telling you to read this collection of introductions and essa
...more
Slade Grayson
Jan 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A collection of pieces the author wrote about other mystery/crime authors.

Note: I'm a fan of Mr. Block's writing, whether it's his fiction or nonfiction. The man has an easygoing way of telling a story, whether it's about an alcoholic P.I. working to solve a murder, or it's his own true account of meeting and befriending a contemporary in the world of crime fiction. This book will not be for everyone. It's for people, like myself, who find the lives of some of our writer idols to be as fascinati
...more
Cathi Davis
Repetitive. He retells the same story many times. This is a better book if you read a few pages, take a break. Maybe come back in a month and read some more. I didn't hate it but I was bored at the end. He talks about writers he has admired and mostly known. The insights feel superficial, a hale and hearty men's club with back slapping, self congratulations and token women. BUT I have to admit that partway through this book, I remembered I had an unfinished Ed McBain book and went back to it and ...more
Kipp Poe
Apr 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A book about books you will want to read

I have been a big fan of Lawrence Block his fiction and nonfiction so the day this book came to kindle I had to buy it. A word of warning this book will lead you to more reading and if you are like me more book collecting.

The book is comprised of articles and stories about other writers and how their work has formed the crime writing category as we know it. The book is a delightful read and I filled the book with highlights to investigate other books and
...more
Andrew
Jun 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overview Of Crime

If you are as into crime writers, novelists and the milieu in which they operate as I am, this book is for you. Block has known them all and isn't afraid to tell you what he knows about their lives, warts and all. I particularly like his essay on Charles Willeford, one of my favorite and under appreciated writers. Also interesting reporting on what it was like to toil in the world of digests, paperback originals, and soft core porn books in the late nineteen fifties.
Dave
Oct 22, 2015 rated it liked it
No offense to LB, but this is obviously not where you should start reading him. It's nice to read his views/reminiscences about significant mystery writers of the past, but these are not really edited from their original state, so you hear the story of Block's intro to pulp fiction through Evan Hunter again and again. Still, now I have a couple more authors to check out more thoroughly, and I know what a jerk Scott Meredith was. And Block is always readable, even in repetition.
David Macpherson
May 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had a good time with this collection of pieces about other crime writers. Block writes well about the people he admired and at least in this collection of non fiction, the stories don't repeat themselves too much. I discovered a few writers from this book, so who can not like it?
Jeremy Bagai
Jan 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Charming and delightful. Larry dishes the classic crime writers.

If you're well versed in this field, you'll love the personal reflections on your favorites. If you're just starting out, you'll find the tour most valuable in finding your next author.
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1,896 followers
Lawrence Block has been writing crime, mystery, and suspense fiction for more than half a century. He has published in excess (oh, wretched excess!) of 100 books, and no end of short stories.

Born in Buffalo, N.Y., LB attended Antioch College, but left before completing his studies; school authorities advised him that they felt he’d be happier elsewhere, and he thought this was remarkably perceptiv
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“A treat indeed, to read Raymond Chandler for the first time. I almost envied the man,” 2 likes
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