A Time to Scatter Stones

A Time to Scatter Stones

eBook - 2019
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MATT SCUDDER RETURNS. More than 40 years after his debut and nearly a decade since his last appearance, one of the most renowned characters in all of crime fiction is back on the case in this major new novella by Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Lawrence Block. Well past retirement age and feeling his years -- but still staying sober one day at a time -- Matthew Scudder learns that alcoholics aren't the only ones who count the days since their last slip. Matt's longtime partner, Elaine, tells him of a group of former sex workers who do something similar, helping each other stay out of the life. But when one young woman describes an abusive client who's refusing to let her quit, Elaine encourages her to get help of a different sort. The sort only Scudder can deliver.
Publisher: [Place of publication not identified] : [Lawrence Block], [2019]
ISBN: 9781386716068 (electronic bk.)
1386716065 (electronic bk.)
Branch Call Number: eBOOK OVERDRIVE
Characteristics: 1 online resource

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A novella revisiting favorite character Matthew Scudder, a retired private investigator. A short, subtle, and well-crafted story from a crime-fiction master.


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s
srkmeyer
Apr 30, 2019

Very pleasant to read the Block dialogue again.

b
backoffbugaloo
Apr 20, 2019

I feel uncomfortable with a commenter who identifies so strongly with the fictional series character instead of the author, a real-life human being (okay, he mentions the author at the end of his entry). Lawrence 3elock is ending his time on earth. When that happens, so will the character ( there will be no more Scudder books). Then, he goes to Ecclesiastes, quoting a passage more familiar to most as the lyrics from a Byrds song of the 60s. I have enjoyed some of the Blocks I have read; others, however, have left me unmoved. But I appreciate the length of his career, and I mirror the eagerness to read anything he has written, recently.

d
DW_kcls
Apr 20, 2019

I read my first Matthew Scudder book in 1996. After that one, ‘Sins of the Father’, I couldn't read fast enough to catch up on all of them, then I could hardly wait for every new one to come out. Or to catch up with and wait for any Lawrence Block novels. Those of us who have read them all have watched Matthew's progression in life and in his career. Matthew has struggled with the changes in his life the same way we all do. That makes for riveting reading, but alas, also makes us recognize Matthew is toward the end. In ‘A Time to Scatter Stones’ Matthew realizes this. He desperately wants to be relevant, wants to be useful. And he is both, within his limits.
I can identify.

And, I believe, so can Lawrence Scudder: Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
A TIME TO SCATTER STONES AND A TIME TO GATHER THEM,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
There is much of Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 to be found in ‘A Time to Scatter Stones’ beyond its title. I hope he's not foreshadowing Matt's future.

The plot of ‘A Time to Scatter Stones’ was fairly interesting but I was taken aback by the amount of sexual talk and scenes, because that was never really Matthew.

Matthew's best line: "I'd have been more concise a few years earlier. An old man's like and old river, tending to meander, given to lingering in the interesting bends and curves it cuts into the earth."

4 stars, hoping we see more of Matthew Scudder, way more of John Paul Keller, more of Bernie Rhondenbarr, more of Chip Harrison and more of Evan Tanner. Thanks, Lawrence.

k
KJTakach
Aug 31, 2018

MATT SCUDDER RETURNS. More than 40 years after his debut and nearly a decade since his last appearance, one of the most renowned characters in all of crime fiction is back on the case in this major new novella by Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Lawrence Block. Well past retirement age and feeling his years—but still staying sober one day at a time—Matthew Scudder learns that alcoholics aren't the only ones who count the days since their last slip. Matt's longtime partner, Elaine, tells him of a group of former sex workers who do something similar, helping each other stay out of the life. But when one young woman describes an abusive client who's refusing to let her quit, Elaine encourages her to get help of a different sort. The sort only Scudder can deliver. A Time to Scatter Stones offers not just a gripping crime story but also a richly drawn portrait of Block's most famous character as he grapples with his own mortality while proving to the younger generation that he's still got what it takes. For Scudder's millions of fans around the world (including the many who met the character through Liam Neeson's portrayal in the film version of A Walk Among the Tombstones), A Time to Scatter Stones is an unexpected gift—a valedictory appearance that will remind readers why Scudder is simply the best there is.

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