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A Dance at the Slaughterhouse Paperback – May 12 1994

4.9 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Orion mass market paperback (May 12 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857970659
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857970654
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15.2 x 3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,028,248 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

Matt Scudder, the recovering alcoholic private eye from The Devil Knows You're Dead and A Ticket to the Boneyard, embarks on another descent into the nightmarish quarters of New York, this time to investigate the sex-for-sale industry. Hired by the brother of an heiress to investigate her rape and murder, Scudder tails her husband to a boxing match and notices another man whom he saw on video a few months earlier on a different case involving a snuff film. As Scudder calls on old friends for assistance and tours New York's dark physical and social landscapes, Block masterfully builds the pressure that leads Scudder to the violent resolution in this winner of the 1992 Edgar Award for best mystery novel. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Block masterfully builds the pressure in this Edgar Award winner, as newly sober Manhattan PI Matt Scudder investigates the death of a TV producer's wife.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am a big fan of Lawrence Block. I am a grad. student in philosophy, and i never used to go near mysteries. My grandparents gave me The Burglar Who Studied Spinoza (i work on Spinoza), and i have been hooked on mysteries (Lawrence Block in particular--and the Scudder books especially) ever since.
I believe that Dance at the Slaughterhouse is the most powerful and interesting of all of Block's work (with perhaps the exception of a few of the short stories). However, i should add that Dance is certainly not a book to everyone's tastes. It's quite intense.
One aspect of Block's career that i appreciate is the diversity of his talents. The Burglar mysteries and the Tanner mysteries in particular are entertaining in the extreme. The Burglar books fascinate me because of their literary references; the Tanner books because of their political insights. But the Scudder books fascinate me because of their insights about the character of human beings. Consequently, they are often a bit more emotinoally taxing on the reader.
In Dance, Block plumbs the depths to get at some of the complicated relationships between human desire and drives towards violence toward the self as well as against others (and, not incidentally, also to get at the complicated structure that involves the tensions between love and violence as contrary expressions of desire). There's a hard-edge to this work as a consequence.
So while i highly recommend this book, i do so with the qualification that some of Block's other works might be more suitable to some readers (and even most of the other Scudder mysteries are less challenging).
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Matthew Scudder is Lawrence Block's remarkable private investigator. He's a former NYPD detective who left the force after an accident left a child dead in a crossfire. Because he is unlicensed you can't "hire" him. Instead he does you a favor by taking your case and solving the crime. In exchange for the favor the client returns the favor by giving him some cash. Scudder is an alcoholic. In past novels Scudeer it was rare to find him without a drink in has hand or at one of has favorite watering holes. Now, at one point in his life, Scudder has given up the coffee laced with booze for coffee or a Coke and attending AA meetings. I generally prefer to read series books in sequence to follow character development. I read "A Dance at the Slaughterhouse" out of sequence. In "A Dance at the Slaughterhouse", Scudder becomes involved with solving the murder of a beautiful woman. Her husband stands to inherit almost a million dollars. The women's brother hires Scudder because he suspects the husbands. Scudder takes on the assignment and comes across a porno snuff film involving a young man. The case is chilling and Scudder and his girl friend must find how the two crimes are connected.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Lawrence Block's Matthew Scudder series is one of the absolute best P.I. Fiction series out there. He is one of the few that can be compared with the great Raymond Chandler's Phillip Marlowe. And "Dance at the Slaughterhouse" is one of the best and is certainly the most grusome entry in the entire series. Death has always been a preoccupation in the Scudder novels. In New York City, death seems to be Scudder's constant companion as he struggles to remain alcohol free and to keep his life on track. Here he begin two seemingly unconnected cases and follows their meandering leads until they start to connect in some brutally ugly ways. Scudder has come into possession of a genuine snuff film, and he can't get it out of his mind. Ultimately, he encounters a world of sex deviants and children who sell their bodies. Along the way, recurring characters such as gangster Mickey Ballou, call girl Elaine and ex-pimp Chance provide plenty of color.
Block's Scudder series is almost unique among P.I. fiction in that it is able to maintain its edge even as its hero goes through significant life changes. His continuing battle with the bottle provides an added tension that stays in the background like a predator ready to pounce. Overall, this is one of the best Scudder novels and a must read for P.I. fiction fans.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Among Block's fifteen or so Scudder novels, and about sixty books overall, many are not worth reading, but some stack up quite well against the top output of other mystery novelists. Here, the plotting is relatively complicated, with Block using to good effect the common trick of having two separate cases come together. Scudder's history and present life situation are as usual made integral to the story, and many of the peripheral characters get time in the spotlight, with TJ, who's a lot of fun, being introduced here. Hell's Kitchen is vividly brought to life here, and the story is dark enough to - almost - invite comparison to Andrew Vachss. Sometimes the Scudder novels are mostly about his journey through life, sometimes they tend to degenerate into a series of conversations, sometimes the plots are simple, linear, and seemingly designed to give Block enough reason to crank out another book. This one is very solid. Along with Boneyard and Tombstones, this amonts to something of a renaissance for the series.
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