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Enough Rope

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  513 ratings  ·  42 reviews
Enough Rope, a collection of superb stories, establishes the extraordinary skill, power, and versatility of contemporary Grand Master Lawrence Block.

Block's beloved series characters are on hand, including ex-cop Matt Scudder, bookselling burglar Bernie Rhodenbarr, and the disarming duo of Chip Harrison and Leo Haig. Here, too, are Keller, the wistful hit man, and the natt
Paperback, 896 pages
Published November 4th 2003 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published August 1st 2002)
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Average rating 4.06  · 
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 ·  513 ratings  ·  42 reviews

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Dec 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
Ah, Lawrence Block...

When you've been reading other mystery writers for a while, coming back to Lawrence Block feels a lot like pulling a treasured but scuffed old leather jacket out of your closet, putting it on, and feeling that perfect fit with a very faint lingering scent of old tobacco and ale. He captures time and place so masterfully that you're instantly transported to New York, but his sense of style, turn of the phrase, and ear for dialogue is so idiosyncratic, that you're taken to Blo
Craig Childs
Oct 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Lawrence Block has written almost exclusively in the field of crime fiction for sixty years. This collection of 84 stories—comprised of almost his entire output of short fiction from 1960 to 2002—showcases the variety of styles possible within the genre. This may be one of the best short story collections of the last 25 years.

Block can be funny (“One Thousand Dollars a Word”, “Nothing Short of Highway Robbery”). He can write gritty noir (“Looking for David”, “By the Dawn’s Early Light”). His st
Riju Ganguly
Oct 24, 2018 rated it liked it
I had read this humongous tome long back. It contains several memorable stories, several unpleasant stories with twist endings, and several duds, as expected. Most of the stories, if tried to be read today, would appear rather unreadable, since they had been written for a readership that doesn't exist any longer. Nevertheless, if you are in suitably dark mood, and looking for some twisted and dark tales laced with crime & human frailty, get hold of this one.
It would take care of your needs for m
Jim A
Jan 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
A pretty good collection of short stories by one of my favorite authors. As the print version is almost 900 pages, Block calls it "more of a doorstop than book".

All of Block's characters are represented as well as many of his stand alone stories, so there is something for all Block fans.

Jan 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Solid collection of short stories. The lawyer that never wins, and the assassin, were my favorites as far as the series-characters go. I think Block is more into sports than I am; was annoyed by that, in a couple of the one-offs. These were all pretty great. The one-offs that weren't really mysteries at all were the most effective/affecting, I think. I am not a frequent reader of short stories, and bought this collection on the recommendation of a friend, because I wanted to see how good short s ...more
Chris Birdy
Jan 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm writing about Enough Rope - Volume II. I can't imagine that there was a Volume I because this set of tapes was massive with more than 23 hours of listening. Enough Rope has 3 Bernie Rhodenbarr stories, 5 Keller stories, 9 Matthew Scudder stories and 13 more. Between Bernie Rhodenbarr, Matt Scudder and the little attorney Keller there is a treasure trove of entertainment. If you're not a Lawrence Block fan when you start this, you will be by the end. ...more
Mar 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant. Some of the best short stories I have ever read. Its difficult to believe that this entire body of work (900+ pages) all came from one person.. and that this is just a fraction of his total work! One of those rare books which you do not want to finish. Block really is the master of the crime short story format.
Wally Dunn
Martin Ehrengraf is not good, Keller & Scudder stories are good.
Nathan Shumate
Apr 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Block is possibly more of a master of short fiction than novels. His deceptively simple prose qualifies as "compulsively readable." ...more
Apr 21, 2020 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mrs. Read
Feb 18, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a hard one for me to rate. Block was a terrific writer, and short stories were his forte. This collection includes "A Blow for Freedom," which I came across in some anthology years ago (I think it was an Edgar winner?). I promptly forgot both author and title, but I sure remembered the story, and I’ve been searching for it ever since. It’s only one of the great stories in Enough Rope, which certainly qualifies the book for 5 stars plus.
But ... two or three of the stories involve animal
Oct 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
A mammoth collection of short stories by one of my favorite authors. I originally had the paperback version, but lost that when my house flooded in 2015. Found it again in hardcover soon thereafter.

All Block's regular characters are well-represented here, Matthew Scudder and John Keller being my favorites. There are also plenty of "stand alone" stories, and I don't recall a bad one in the whole collection.

I'm not 100% sure I have read all the stories. There are so many and I tend to read them a
Danny Smith
Jun 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enough Rope is a collection of short stories. I enjoyed all of them, but I couldn't give each five stars, so collectively I think an overall four-star review is appropriate. The one story about the gun is perplexing as it never goes anywhere. I mean, you can read into it, but I just didn't like the way it ended. ...more
May 11, 2020 added it
Great collection of short stories. Many I've read before but the re-reads of Ehrengraff, Chip, Bernie and Matthew were as well crafted as when they were first written. ...more
Todd Stockslager
Jun 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
883 pages is a lot of book, or as Block says in the introduction (attributing to a friend, but we know better after reading the book!), 84 stories isn't a book, it's a skyscraper.

This book merits its 5-star Rating based on a straight-through reading forced by a three-week, no-renewal new-book policy at the library, but would be even better sitting on the shelf for reading in smaller chunks.

The stories cover several different character-based series, and collections of old and new stories arranged
May 16, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime, short-fiction
It's taken me two or three months to get through this huge collection. And I'm not sure these are all of Block's short stories, either. I think I remember one or two others. (Isn't Lamb to the Slaughter his?) But here, for example, are stories about Bernie Rhodenbarr, Keller, Matthew Scudder, that dapper defence attorney whose clients are always innocent, and an assortment of crime/femme fatale/quiet psychopath stories, the twist-in-the-tale type at which Block excels.

As in any collection this
An Odd1
Sep 02, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
"Enough Rope" by Lawrence Block has 84 stories from scary to incomprehensible, worst the sports-based. My favorite are the surprise endings. The author gives evil-doers enough rope to hang themselves. Twists cleverly make the bad guy get it from a worse nasty; sometimes evil wins.
The most coherent tales concern lawyer Ehrengraf. He arranges complicated frameups and multiple murders to free his clients and maintain his dainty dandy custom tailoring. Lighter cases from Bernie Rhodenbarr number on
Aug 23, 2014 rated it it was ok
Collected stories minus the earliest ones collected in One Night Stands. 882 pages! Have had my fill of Block now! For Block fans there are a bunch of stories featuring his novel series characters, so that is something to recommend this collection. It is interesting to compare these stories with the stories in One Night Stands: the quality of the latter stories is clearly evident and likewise the techniques that make them better, so that comparison would be quite useful for teaching. My biggest ...more
C.S. Daley
Mar 15, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Make sure you know what you are getting into if you read this book. I would say over half of it was previously printed in other Block short story collections. It was still a good book but it is huge and if you have desire to reread previous stories, then you can skip this book.

The new stuff was good but I am not sure it alone was worth have to deal with this giant book. If you want all of your Block in one spot, then this is the book for you. I gave it 3 stars only because of the amount of repr
Aug 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: block
Fabulous book and was a great deal. Excellent for an ebook since it has almost 900 pages!!! Yes, really. Must weigh a ton.

Includes all my favorite Block characters and some I had not read of before. A great collection of short stories.

From Martin Ehrengraf (complete series of short stories set in Buffalo NY), Matthew Scudder and some shorts about Keller the hit man.

Bernie Rhodenbarr makes an appearance (the book store owner/burglar) and then some stand alone stories.

SOme date back to the 60's an
Pat Burns
May 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I was so glad to find this collection of stories after finishing the Scudder series a while ago (i read them in order.) I never knew the short stories existed so it was a real treat to revisit the drinking days of Scudder after so many books of him on the wagon. They are a perfect read for someone not familiar with the series. After reading one, my guess is you will start on the novels in order.
Sep 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror, crime, mystery
These kind of stories are right up my alley. I have to admit I enjoyed them all. The only distraction was that, after a binge session of reading, some of the double-crosses tend to get mixed together in my head (and some of the archetypes, like the bumbling country brothers). I won't give it a star off though, this book saved me from hours of productivity. ...more
Oct 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a huge compendium of 84 Lawrence Block short stories featuring all his usual characters, many of whom operate outside the law or have checkered pasts. If you are new to Block, reading some of these stories is a good way to "audition" characters before selecting a full length novel in which they appear. Many of these stories have appeared in previous Block and other collections. ...more
May 29, 2014 rated it liked it
In this volume (among other stories) there are three Bernie Rhodenbarr short stories: "Like a Thief in the Night" (Cosmopolitan, May 1983), "The Burglar Who Dropped In On Elvis" (Playboy, April 1990), and "The Burglar Who Smelled Smoke" (Mary Higgins Clark Mystery Magazine, Summer/Fall 1997). These stories are collected in the 2002 anthology, Enough Rope. ...more
Mar 19, 2007 rated it liked it
Some really great short stories, some not so great. But it's fun bedtime reading! ...more
Mar 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
The entire collection of Lawence Block short stories--this is a large book and great reading.
Jun 14, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Long but wonderful -- all of Lawrence Block's short works in one volume. Easy to read when you have short snatches of time -- but easy to get sucked into. ...more
Jul 07, 2008 rated it liked it
Nice collection if you like Lawrence Block. It also has most of the Martin Engrhaf (spelling?) stories which are great, although just variations on the theme.

Mar 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
I normally don't like short stories, but this is Lawrence Block... so they're all good! ...more
Apr 27, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
nothing new or interesting. standard
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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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