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The Resource A drop of the hard stuff : a Matthew Scudder novel, by Lawrence Block

A drop of the hard stuff : a Matthew Scudder novel, by Lawrence Block

Label
A drop of the hard stuff : a Matthew Scudder novel
Title
A drop of the hard stuff
Title remainder
a Matthew Scudder novel
Statement of responsibility
by Lawrence Block
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
After a childhood friend is shot down while attempting to atone for past sins, Scudder is drawn into a murder investigation that threatens to upset his path toward recovery--and get him killed in the process
Member of
Storyline
Pace
Tone
Writing style
Character
Review
  • /* Starred Review */ When a character ages from book to book, a series has a built-in life span. At some point, the hero can only walk the mean streets with the help of a cane. Given Block’s allegiance to verisimilitude and that he returns to a series only when he has something fresh for the characters to say and do, readers might have wondered whether they’d ever see Matt Scudder again, after the powerful ending of All the Flowers Are Dying (2005). Scudder is indeed back, but with a story from the past, told to Mick Ballou over a late-night drink of club soda. The premise is typical of Block’s genius. It’s so perfect that you can’t believe you haven’t seen it before. As Scudder nears his first anniversary of sobriety, he’s hired to investigate the murder of another alcoholic who may have been killed because he was following the Twelve Steps to the letter, for when you make amends to a partner in crime, he’s going to wonder who else you’ve been talking to. Scudder fans, and there are many, will enjoy both the mystery and the history, glimpsing characters who did (and didn’t) make it into the later story line. And the prose, as always, is like the club soda Scudder sips in the opening pages: cool, fizzy, and completely refreshing. -- Graff, Keir (Reviewed 03-01-2011) (Booklist, vol 107, number 13, p31)
  • /* Starred Review */ MWA Grand Master Block's powerful 17th novel featuring PI Matthew Scudder (after 2005's All the Flowers Were Dying) explores the challenges of an alcoholic attempting to atone for his past misdeeds. In 1970 or '71, Scudder, then a Manhattan NYPD detective, recognizes a guy he knew in grade school in the Bronx, Jack Ellery, in a police lineup to identify a robber. The victim picks someone else as the man who held her up at gunpoint, though Ellery's the guilty party. Years later, after Scudder has left the force, he meets Ellery, now an ex-con, at an AA meeting, where Ellery is trying to take the ninth step—making amends to all the people he'd harmed. Scudder's efforts to solve the murder that results from Ellery's quest for absolution place his own sobriety—and life—at risk. Block's pitch-perfect prose bolsters the elegiac plot. Accessible to first-timers, this book should add many more fans to the author's considerable following. (May) --Staff (Reviewed March 7, 2011) (Publishers Weekly, vol 258, issue 10, p)
  • This 17th installment of Block's long-running series about New York private detective Matthew Scudder (the first since 2005's All the Flowers Are Dying ) has Scudder reflecting on an old case from the 1980s, less than a year after he joined Alcoholics Anonymous. Scudder's childhood friend (and fellow AA member) Jack Ellery is murdered while trying to make up for past deeds as part of his 12-step program, and Scudder is hired by Ellery's AA sponsor to investigate. Meanwhile, Scudder struggles to maintain his nascent sobriety. As with all of Block's Scudder novels, the mystery here is engaging but secondary to the author's sharp insights into human nature and life in the big city. The deftly handled nostalgic tone this time around adds to the appeal. VERDICT Fans will certainly appreciate this entry, which recaptures the feel of the best Scudder mysteries of the 1980s and fills in part of the series chronology. That said, it will also likely work well as an introduction to the detective for new readers. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 12/10.]— David Rapp, Library Journal --David Rapp (Reviewed January 1, 2011) (Library Journal, vol 136, issue 1, p80)
  • Matthew Scudder looks back at his first year off the sauce to recall that making amends can be murder. Years after he went to school with Jack Ellery, Scudder next sees him through a one-way mirror after Det. Bill Lonergan's pulled Ellery in for a robbery. The witness fails to pick Jack out of the lineup, but it's not long this time before Scudder runs into him again at an AA meeting. The two men get to talking about this and that, and Jack indicates that his sponsor, gay jewelry designer Gregory Stillman, is something of a Step Nazi who's making him go through each of the 12 steps in the AA program. It's step 8 that brings Jack to grief. Having prepared a list of the people he's wronged, he's determined to apologize to each of them and ask what he can do to make things right. One of them, a fence he set up to be robbed, beats him up; another, a stockbroker he sold bogus cocaine, thanks Jack for helping turn his life around; another, the mover Jack cuckolded, shrugs off his contrition on the grounds that his old lady was making it with everything in pants. But who reacted by shooting Jack in the mouth and the forehead? Accepting $1,000 from Greg Stillman to look into the people on Jack's list, Scudder (All the Flowers Are Dying, 2005, etc.) is increasingly forced to confront his own attachment to the bottle and the certainty that Jack's executioner doesn't mind killing again. Sure, Block's written stronger mysteries. But this lonesome, wintry, compassionate tale is guaranteed to get under your skin, and make you thirsty to boot.(Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 2011)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
381973
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Block, Lawrence
Dewey number
813/.54
Index
no index present
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Series statement
Matthew Scudder mysteries
Series volume
0017
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Scudder, Matt (Fictitious character)
  • Private investigators
  • Alcoholics
  • Murder
Target audience
adult
http://bibfra.me/vocab/lite/titleRemainder
a Matthew Scudder novel
Label
A drop of the hard stuff : a Matthew Scudder novel, by Lawrence Block
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
808738
Edition
First edition.
Extent
pages cm
Isbn
9780316127332
Isbn Type
(hardcover)
Lccn
2010041792
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780316127332
  • (OCoLC)669160835
Label
A drop of the hard stuff : a Matthew Scudder novel, by Lawrence Block
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
808738
Edition
First edition.
Extent
pages cm
Isbn
9780316127332
Isbn Type
(hardcover)
Lccn
2010041792
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780316127332
  • (OCoLC)669160835

Library Locations

    • Central LibraryBorrow it
      710 W. Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX, 78701, US
      30.2713021 -97.7460168
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      30.2982508 -97.7675915
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      30.362144 -97.7305032
    • St. John BranchBorrow it
      7500 Blessing Ave., Austin, TX, 78752, US
      30.3328231 -97.6937014
    • Spicewood Springs BranchBorrow it
      8637 Spicewood Springs Rd., Austin, TX, 78759, US
      30.4337083 -97.7730809
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