A Walk Among the Tombstones : Matt Scudder

  • by Lawrence Block
  • Narrated by Mark Hammer
  • Series: Matt Scudder
  • 12 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Private detective Matt Scudder investigates a series of kidnappings that always end in brutal murder. Best-selling author Lawrence Block takes us into the seedier back alleys and side-streets of New York City, rendering his subject with a gritty realism.

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CODE 5 EMERGENCY

THE THINGS PEOPLE DO TO EACH OTHER
A lot of this is the mechanics of solving a serial killer case, starting from scratch. Their are no lucky breaks or things just falling in to place, Matt Scuder thinks things through and does the leg work, some of it with a lot of help from a street kid. It is a character driven story with lots of gore. Most of the gory parts you are not there as they happen, you hear about them later, yet they are still very gory.(Warning, gory) Example: a woman watches as a man cuts off one of her breasts with a garrote. She watches it slide down her side. If you are still with me, there are also some funny parts. The Kongs are computer nerds and hackers, who eat lots of chunk food and spend all day hacking into systems and getting things for free. They are a hoot. Scuder is an ex cop and often goes outside the law to solve a case. This book is very dated, rotary phones, phone booths, etc. Though dated it is a great listen.

THINGS CHANGE, THEY CAN'T DO OTHERWISE
The really strange thing is, that I should not have liked this book. Matt is an ex-cop who is an alcoholic, (cliché, right). I have no sympathy for alcoholics, having been on the other side of the problem, and feeling it is a self inflicted thing. (I know I am politically incorrect, but those are my feelings.) Having said that I learned a lot about alcoholics, I did not realize that they go to meetings almost everyday. I did not know what they did in the meetings. More cliché, is that the cop's girlfriend is a hooker. It is a relationship I have a problem understanding. The book is kind of slow moving, with lots of thought and conversation over action. Block, like Asimov pulls it off, to the point that I really liked it. Probably the weirdest thing was the narrator.

YOU DIDN'T HAVE TO LISTEN REAL HARD, TO HEAR WHAT THEY WERE THINKING.
This narrator talks so slow he makes Rudnicki sound like Speedy Gonzales. The guy reminded me of an old guy I used to work with. Sometimes it sounded like it took all his effort to push out one word. They kind of came out with a grunt and almost all the characters sound old, almost. He does a great job with the Kongs. Having said that, and I normally hate slow narrators, I loved this guy. A lot of reviewers have complained about him and you need to listen to the sample, but I felt that this was the way Block wrote the book and how he wanted it to sound. I am hoping he is the narrator for the other Scuder books. I felt he was Matt Scuder. I enjoyed the real way cases or solved and how good detectives get clues. Often he would try to find answers to questions he had, not knowing if the answer would be of any help.

P.S.
YOUR HARDER TO GET THEN LUCKY
This is just an aside that has nothing to do with the story. I first came across Lawrence Block through a short story in Warriors, a Science Fiction Anthology. Block normally does not write in that genre. The story (Clean Slate) was excellent, with excellent writing which made me want to search Block out and led me to detective stories that I normally don't listen to. Anthologies are great way to find new authors. It is also a great way for authors to widen their audience. I will be reading or listening to a lot more Lawrence Block in the future, regardless of the genre.
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- Jim "The Impatient"

Movie to be out Sept 19, 2014

What made the experience of listening to A Walk Among the Tombstones the most enjoyable?

Hearing the character voices, seeing the story in my mind. Doing two things at once. All reason why listening is enjoyable.


Any additional comments?

Lawrence Block's 10th Matt Scudder novel is being released as a movie staring Liem Neeson on September 19th. I wanted to review the book prior to the movie being released. I have not read any of Block's books and was interested to find out he started this series in 1976. 

This is a story about an ex-New York City Detective who happens to be an alcoholic. Although this story has nothing to do with alcoholism many scenes take place at Alcoholic's Anonymous  meetings. This story is truly told through the eyes of as alcoholic who takes his sobriety one day at a time. 

The book begins with the kidnapping and murder of a drug traffickers wife even after the ransom is paid. Matt Scudder is hired to find out who committed the murder without involving the police. When Matt finds a series of murders the seem connected he works with police, without reveling his clients situation, to find the serial killers.

The story weaves Scudder's personsonal life with his professional one and had many rememorable characters. 

Mark Hammer does an excellent job as a narrator and having been released on audiobook in 1992 the story takes place at the beginning of the computer age when people were just starting to use pagers and still used pay phones. I am sure the story will be updated for the upcoming movie.

This story grabbed my attention right away. It is written without the vulgarity in many of the modern crime novels and the characters are well developed and well thought out.

I recommend this book and look forward to going back into the Audible Archieves and listening to the complete series of Matt Scudder novels.

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- PerryMartinBookReviews

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-04-2008
  • Publisher: Recorded Books