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Seriously, Read a Book!

Thoughts on books, often interpreted through the high-brow prism of cartoon (read: Archer) references. Wait! I had something for this...

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Jean H. Baker, Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.

Eight Million Ways to Die (Matthew Scudder #5)

Eight Million Ways to Die - Lawrence Block

What starts out as Matthew Scudder, fresh off of a drinking bender that landed him in a hospital, helping a hooker "get out of the game" turns into layer upon layer of murder and mystery in a city where people keep killing each other and there are eight million ways to die. 

 

This installment of Lawrence Block's Matthew Scudder series takes things to the next level. Things are richer, deeper; the grime is grimier- it's just more in all the right ways. Since some cleverer people have come before me and said most of the substantive things worth saying about what makes this story all that it is (Kemper and Trudi's reviews are worth checking out), I'll just share some of the miscellaneous bits and pieces that hopped into my mixed-up mind as I followed Scudder about the city this time around. 

 

"I'm looking for a particular pimp."

"They're all particular. Some of them are downright finicky."

 

When dead hookers turn up, it should be of no surprise that a detective is out pimp hunting, but the way Scudder takes it all in just struck me as hilarious and (for you South Park aficionados out there) immediately reminded me of Butters' Bottom Bitch

 

Butters at Pimp Convention

 

Matt's trying to get his 90 in 90 together one day at a time, so there are plenty of rich AA/recovery observations made as he struggles to confront and understand his alcoholism.

 

He was holding up his end of a typical alcoholic conversation, wherein two drunks take polite turns talking aloud to their own selves.

 

Like most friends of Bill W. at some point, Scudder sits through meetings thinking that it's all self-congratulatory bullshit, that he's an exception to the rule, I could go on...but seeing the absurdity doesn't read as criticism. Block does a good job of letting Scudder's flaws come out, while managing to keep the reader from feeling like they're taking his moral inventory (heck, Matt's not at his Fourth Step yet anyhow).