New Releases: New Lawrence Block Audiobooks

September 20, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Aural Noir, New Releases 

Aural Noir: New Releases

Lawrence Block has recently embraced ebooks, blogging and even twitter. He’d already gotten into audiobooks, years and years ago, even recording and marketing one all on his own. I think a side effect of all this old cataloguing has been that a bunch of his older novels (and novellas) are getting dusted-off and audiobooked! I couldn’t be happier with the latest batch. Listed below are a few the old Block tales that have been recently audiobooked, and that are eminiently listenable, and a couple of his brand new books too:

This is a fantastic novel, surprising and gritty, I loved it when I read it in paperback years ago.

AUDIO GO - Such Men Are Dangerous by Lawrence BlockSuch Men Are Dangerous
By Lawrence Block; Read Fred Sullivan
Audible Download or 4 CDs – Approx. 5 Hours 7 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: AudioGO
Published: September 15, 2011
ISBN: 9780792779773
A very dangerous man. That’s Paul Kavanagh, an ex-Green Beret with nothing but time on his hands–until he gets an offer to steal a shipment of tactical nuclear weapons form the US government–and finds himself a partner, George Dattner, who has the cold eyes of a trained killer. Each of these men alone is dangerous. But anyone who tries to stop them together is guaranteed not to come out of it alive!

Block intended wrote this book as the first book in a series – it was the only book – so it is my favourite kind of series, a series of one.

AUDIO GO - The Specialists by Lawrence BlockThe Specialists
By Lawrence Block; Read by Fred Sullivan
Audible Download or 4 CDs – Approx. 4 Hours 24 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: AudioGo
Published: May 6, 2011 (audible), October 11, 2011 (cd)
ISBN: 9780792777847
Albert Platt is a rotten man. Bred in the rough parts of Brooklyn, he made his name as a killer and has built a fortune from gambling, loan sharking, and the other pastimes of a standard thug. His latest gambit? Buying banks, robbing them, and collecting the insurance. He’s a hard man, and no one ever stood in his way until he brushed up against Eddie Manso. Manso is no ordinary veteran. He and four other commandos, battle-hardened in the jungles of Laos, have found that the civilian world demands their talents as much as the military once did. These specialists have made a living targeting vicious men whom the law cannot touch, dismantling their empires and taking their plunder. And Albert Platt has just entered their crosshairs.

First published in 1961. This is one of Block’s first attempts at a series.

AUDIO GO - Coward's Kiss by Lawrence BlockCoward’s Kiss
By Lawrence Block; Read by Peter Berkrot
Audible Download or 4 CDs – Approx. 5 Hours 6 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: AudioGo
Published: June 9, 2011
ISBN: 9780792777052
Ed London is the type of private investigator that you call to clean up the mess when your mistress turns up dead. But after he dumps a body in Central Park, it appears this case is still alive and kicking. Seems that the dead girl was in possession of something special that some very shady characters want back. Now Ed, along with his pretty actress friend Maddy, will have to crack the case before he ends up dead himself. But there’s more than a murder here; there’s missing jewels, Israeli intelligence, Nazi spies, and a host of double-dealing, backstabbing thieves.

This is another unusual book for Block, it was a TV-tie in, connected with the short lived Markham TV series.

AUDIO GO - You Could Call It Murder by Lawrence BlockYou Could Call It Murder
By Lawrence Block; Read by Peter Berkrot
Audible Download or 4 CDs – Approx. 4 Hours 20 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: AudioGO
Published: July 13, 2011
ISBN: 9780792778325
A missing person case brings private eye Roy Markham to the remote winter-bound college town of Cliff’s End, New Hampshire. But what began as a routine investigation quickly becomes dark and dangerous. Six pornographic photos and a tidy little blackmail scheme result in a brutal and baffling murder, and no one is safe – especially Markham himself.

This sounds terrific! I’m a huge fan of Block’s short fiction and this one is novella length.

Whole Story Audio Books - Speaking Of Lust by Lawrence BlockSpeaking Of Lust
By Lawrence Block; Read by Maggie Mash
3 CDs – Approx. 2 Hours 43 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Whole Story Audio Books
Published: August 2009
Four old friends, a policeman, a solider, a doctor and a priest, play cards and trade stories….The Daily Telegraph recently proclaimed Lawrence Block as one of the 50 great crime writers of all time. Find out why in this spicy brew or lust, deception, double crosses, violence and forbidden desire.

Here’s the latest Matt Scudder novel, Block’s series about an unlicensed private detective in NYC.

RECORDED BOOKS - A Drop Of The Hard Stuff by Lawrence BlockA Drop Of The Hard Stuff
By Lawrence Block; Read by Tom Stechschulte
7 CDs – Approx. 8 Hours 30 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Recorded Books
Published: June 8, 2011
ISBN: 9781449832704
A Drop Of The Hard Stuff continues Block’s popular series starring New York private detective and recovering alcoholic Matthew Scudder. Scudder is already struggling with his sobriety when his friend and fellow AA member Jack Ellery is found murdered. Now the only thing keeping Scudder from the bottle is his obsession with finding the culprit.

A brand new Hard Case Crime book marketed, in part, under Lawrence Block’s famed lesbian pseudonym, Jill Emerson.

RECORDED BOOKS - Getting Off by Lawrence BlockHard Case CrimeGetting Off: A Novel of Sex & Violence
By Lawrence Block; Read by Lily Bask
9 CDS – Approx. 9 Hours 21 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Recorded Books
Published: September 20, 2011
ISBN: 9781461801955
So this girl walks into a bar…and when she walks out there’s a man with her. She goes to bed with him, and she likes that part. Then she kills him, and she likes that even better. On her way out, she cleans out his wallet. She keeps moving, and has a new name for each change of address. She’s been doing this for a while, and she’s good at it. And then a chance remark gets her thinking of the men who got away, the lucky ones who survived a night with her. She starts writing down names. And now she’s a girl with a mission. Picking up their trails. Hunting them down. Crossing them off her list…

And here’s a snippet from Lawrence Block’s self published audiobook Telling Lies For Fun And Profit (he’s the narrator too), which has now been turned into a Recorded Books audiobook:

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

October 17, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Aural Noir, Reviews 

Aural Noir: Review

WHOLE STORY AUDIO BOOKS - The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg LarssonThe Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
By Stieg Larsson; Read by Saul Reichlin
Audible Download – Approx. 18 Hours 50 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Whole Story Audio Books
Published: May 2009
Provider: Audible.com
Themes: / Mystery / Murder / Intrigue / Political Intrigue / Hacking / Violence / Sex / Sweden / Politics / Feminism /

Forty years ago, Harriet Vanger disappeared from a family gathering. Her body was never found, yet her uncle is convinced it was murder – and that the killer is a member of his own family. He employs journalist Mikael Blomkvist and the tattooed, truculent computer hacker Lisbeth Salander to investigate. When the pair link Harriet’s disappearance to a number of grotesque murders from forty years ago, they begin to unravel a dark and appalling family history. But the Vangers are a secretive clan, and Blomkvist and Salander are about to find out just how far they are prepared to go to protect themselves.

Better to read than to listen…maybe. There are too many characters in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and we get to know all their names and all their breakfast habits, no matter how minor a role they play in the story. And like the overdeveloped minor characters, there are also many overly lengthy descriptions and over-described scenes that are not key to the plot. It may be that both the character and the storyline problems that I describe are more distracting in the audiobook version than in the print book. After finishing The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo I started reading the second book, The Girl Who Played With Fire, in paperback in order to compare the experiences. I still notice the excessive detail in the paperbook, but it is a more minor annoyance than in the audiobook. At first I thought my discomfort was because The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is a translation from Swedish, but I recognized that the translation is seamless. The only other Swedish books, in translation, that I recall reading are those of Astrid Lindgren and, if memory serves, they weren’t nearly as cluttered as The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. A quick look at the paperbook edition of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo revealed that the print edition comes with a genealogical table for keeping track of the numerous members of the Vanger family.

On the whole the almost 19 hours of listening is pleasant enough. There is no doubt that the main character is compelling, the plot interesting and that the reader, Saul Reichlin, is brilliant – but as an audio experience it can be daunting – at least without carrying around a character map.

[Here’s one!]

The Vanger Family Tree

Posted by Elaine Willis