REDD asked:

I see that this is a book series featuring Matthew Scudder. Can this book be read on it's own or it is best to read Book 1 instead. Thanks.

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Toby Having read the first 10 now I'd say you definitely get more if you watch the characters grow. There's a fantastic emotional arc for Scudder, especially in the first 5 and if you read anything after book 9 before book 9 you'll miss out on what would otherwise be a rather shocking moment in the series. But if you just want to read the book before the movie go for it, as everybody else has said Block writes so well that you can just dip in and out if you choose to.
S.L. Eaves On its own. One thing I like about this series is you can pretty much pick up any of the books in any order and it serves as a stand-alone mystery. You get a little background on Scudder in each to catch the reader up. David makes a good point as there is some carry-over in the more recent books of the series, but I read all of the early ones in random order and I didn't feel lost or confused by the narrative.
Dana I am at 35% of this book and have only just learned it's from a character series. I didn't feel there was anything I was missing out on. No references to past cases, characters or events.
Very well written btw. Worth every minute.
Nikiverse I just started this book and it is super easy to get into! I have not read any of the previous books. But I'm only about 10% of the way through the book ...
David You can read most of them in just about any order. Block does a good job of letting you know what you need to know. The books themselves aren't even always written in chronological order.

I would just say, save "Everybody Dies, Hope to Die, and All The Flowers Are Dying" for last, as there are some pretty major character moments in those books that would lose their impact if you didn't get to know their stories in previous books. Otherwise, you are good to go.

(That being said... all of the books in the series are quite good. The first is a little plain, but they're all really well done).
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by Lawrence Block (Goodreads Author)
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