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photo 2014-04-09 21:16

More helpful Shakespeare stuff: an infographic demonstrating how stabby his plays are.

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review 2012-11-14 00:00
Everybody Dies - Lawrence Block Who is ready to weigh in on "How many books in a series is too much?" (http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/628822-how-many-books-to-a-series-what-is-your-thought#comment_id_61747914 )Though Lawrence Block is on his 14th book about investigator Matthew Scudder, he has yet to reach the "too much" point. Despite being book 14, Everybody Dies still manages to surprise.Mick Ballou has been backed into a corner. He suspects he's the target of a personal attack, but needless to say, he can't seek protection from the police. He requests Matt's help, and drives him out to Jersey to examine the death scene of two of Mick's employees. There's also a missing truckload of whiskey, worth ten grand or so, so it's possible that may be a motive. Scudder aids in clean-up but is reluctant to take the case further, and only agrees to verify it isn't a crime of opportunity. Unfortunately, even the quietest of inquiries from him and T.J. stirs up a host of trouble. Matt is walking up Fifty-third street, headed to report to Mick, when he gets jumped. Instinct kicks in and he fights back, getting away but potentially angering his unknown opponent.Perhaps the least enjoyable section was Matt ruminating over whether or not he should become involved in Ballou's battles. After years of friendship with Mick and blatant vigilante justice, it's hardly an ethical issue at this point. Unfortunately, no matter what Matt decides, he's going to be dragged into the fray. From there, it quickly takes a number of unexpected turns. Although one small part of the mystery was predictable, the ending was shocking. My reaction on finishing was a stunned, "oh wow." I may have even wandered around the house for awhile, repeating, "oh wow."Though it feels more violent than other Scudder books, it's actually less bloodthirsty. The violence is tempered with emotional loss, and will herald a number of significant changes in Matt's life. The attention to Matt's emotional life is one of the things that sets the Scudder series apart--the idea that there are ramifications, both political and emotional.A compelling series that shows no signs of burning out.Cross posted at: http://clsiewert.wordpress.com/2013/06/21/everybody-dies-by-lawrence-block/
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review 2011-11-03 00:00
Everybody Dies- A Children's Book for Grown Ups
Everybody Dies- A Children's Book for Gr... Everybody Dies- A Children's Book for Grown Ups - Maximum Pleasant We just got this in at the library. We sat at the desk reading it and laughing. It brings humor to a not very funny situation, which is sometimes the only way to deal with it. It's quirky and great.
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review 2010-08-26 00:00
Everybody Dies - Lawrence Block Someone has declared war on Mick Ballou and his criminal enterprises and Matthew Scudder is caught in the middle, first having a friend gunned down in front of him and then nearly being killed at Mick's bar. Can Matt figure out who is behind the attacks before anyone else close to him is killed?

Wow. After I finished Even the Wicked, I thought Lawrence Block might have been phoning in the rest of them. How wrong I was!

The thing that keeps me coming back to the Matthew Scudder books is the fluid nature of Matthew Scudder and his world. The supporting cast are as big of an attraction to me as Scudder himself. Hard Way Ray, Joe Durkin, Danny Boy Bell, Lisa Holtzman, then all make appearances in this one. A couple of them will never make appearances again. That's what made Everybody Dies so powerful. A few long-running cast members end up dead at the hands of a criminal gunning for Mick Ballou. Not even TJ gets out unscathed.

I had an idea who the mole was in Mick's crew about halfway through but I didn't figure out who the big baddie was until about a paragraph before Matt. This one had a finale that sticks out as one of my all time favorites in crime fiction, a glorious shit storm of violence. Like Matt said to Elaine near the end "Everybody else is dead."

I'd been waiting to read a Matthew Scudder story centering in Mick Ballou for a long time and this one did not disappoint. It's easily in the Scudder top three.
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