I liked Lawrence Block's "A Ticket to the Boneyard" right off. This was my first Matthew Scudder novel to read, and I found the character very easy to associate with. Not that you'd have to be an alcoholic bum, because I am not, but his humble, desperate situations make him a great character immediately. I liked him, and found him to be very interesting. Of course the plot itself was a nice piece of work, with its twists and sudden turns, and the uncanny amount of realism in the story really brings it all together as a truly great read. It's written with a slightly amateurish style of grammatical structure, which merely adds to the authenticity of the book, but I thought that some of the words that came from Matt and Elaine's mouths were a little advanced for an ex-cop and a prostitute. Either way, the book was great and I will certainly pick up more Scudder novels to read in the future!