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Small Town: A Novel Hardcover – Jan 9 2003


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; First Edition edition (Jan. 9 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0739432001
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060011901
  • ASIN: 0060011904
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 771 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #953,019 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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BY THE TIME Jerry Pankow was ready for breakfast, he'd already been to three bars and a warehouse. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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By bettyl on Nov. 16 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I usually like Block's books a little more then this one. Not bad but not hard to put down & come back to later.
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By A Customer on April 17 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Hard to believe that an author with such strong credentials wrote this mess. Improbable plot, thoroughly unlikeable, flat characters, excessive boring, badly-described, kinky sex, implausible coincidences...presumably the reason for the book title... and a turgid drawn-out ending. I struggled to reach the end of the book. LB, please go back to your previous formulae.
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By Robert S. Hunsberger on March 23 2004
Format: Hardcover
I'm a real Block fan, but where this book was concerned, I just wanted it to end. Where is the Block who gave me those concise Matt Scudder books where I was hooked for hours on end until the end? Instead, I'm subjected to "New York" where everything is sex, sex, sex-- excuse me, where is Lawrence Block, the novelist, not the porn expert? Please, Lawrence, don't get senile on us-- get back to Matthew and his problems and those neat mysteries we can cozy up to with a hot toddy and our recliner and lose ourselves in your great prose. Please...
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By mrliteral on Feb. 19 2004
Format: Hardcover
In many of the novels of Lawrence Block, there is a somewhat hidden character, hidden because it is not a person, but a place: New York City. In Small Town, Block brings this character to the forefront, showing how it is recovering from the wounds it received on the infamous September 11. Block treats the city with a certain reverence and by interweaving the lives of his human characters, demonstrates that there is a certain "small-town" quality to the big city. It's a formula that is mostly, but not completely successful.
As a long-time fan of Block, this book reminded me of his many books on the art of writing. First, because of the good writing that once again indicates he's an author who knows his craft. Second, because in a couple of those books he discusses writing soft porn early in his career, and this novel does have a level of sexual explicitness that is unusual for most of his mysteries. Third, because one of his characters is a writer, and Block gives a behind-the-scenes look at what such a life could be like.
The story itself involves a serial killer whose family died as a result of 9/11 and now is driven by a delusion that the city itself requires sacrifices. The two principal characters are the writer mentioned above who is suspected of one of the killer's murders and an art gallery owner whose sexual addiction drives her to all sorts of interesting behavior, much of which is described in great detail. Although never directly involved in the life of the killer, she does become entangled in the lives he has affected.
In tone, this is reminiscent of Block's Matthew Scudder novels, which is a good thing, since Block is at best with that series of novels. As one of his rare excursions into non-series fiction, this is likely to please many of his fans; although not perfect, it is entertaining.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was unsure of this book when I bought it because of the reviews. However, I found this book interesting based on the strength of its characters. Sure the ending was weak as far as the bad guy was concerned. I just think the gist of this book is that for a city as large as New York City, the way the characters interact gives it a small town feeling. The book loses 1 star for the "Carpenter's" demise but 4 stars are given for the gallery owner, the writer, the lawyer and the former commissioner.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Best book I've read in years. A little ashamed to admit it with all the strange sex etc, but this is a fabulous book. Brilliant.
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By A Customer on Dec 31 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book started out in a fascinating way - a janitor discovers a body, a writer is possibly guilty (but doesn't remember the crime), etc., but then goes downhill fast. Once the murderer is revealed, it becomes dull, since we know the ending. Plus, the kinky sex scenes with the art dealer are embarrassing, juvenile, and actually got boring after awhile, since they seemed to have nothing to do with the book. I would not recommend this book.
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By clutchhitter on Dec 21 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
1. A lot of graphic sex scenes that just got boring after a while, I didn't mind, but without pictures, they didn't really add anything to the story.

2. ... driving home the point that New York is a "Small Town"...I lived there 20 years and I say "no WAY!"

3. Nicely paced, good climax.

4. Some plot threads are not resolved which is too bad because the characterizations were terrific.
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