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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Review of A Candle for the Bag Lady

Goodreads | Eric_W Welch (Forreston, IL)'s review of A Candle for the Bag Lady:

A novella in the classic Block mold, read by the author, who, unlike most authors, does an excellent job portraying the humdrum, rather ordinary, plodding existence that is Matt Scudder.

Matt is visited by a lawyer who gives him a check for $1200 from a bag lady who Matt barely knew and for whom he had done nothing remarkable. He learns she had been murdered and had been quite wealthy, revising her will regularly to make bequests to people she didn't know and barely had any interaction with.

Matt, in his inimitable way, after tithing from the bequest and sending some to his ex-wife and sons, decides to assume the money was to discover who and why she had been murdered.  The result is utterly banal (intentional reference to Hannah Arendt.)

It's interesting to feel the undercurrent of danger and lawlessness attributed to New York.  The book was written many decades ago in 1977.  New York is now considered one of the safer cities so from that sense it feels somewhat anachronistic.

It's a marvelous listen/read, nevertheless, very short but a great character study.  Block has been reissuing many of his earlier works for Kindle and audio, much to my delight.  Not to mention we get to hear Block sing in this audiobook. Well, we'll overlook that.

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