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I d read a scratching from Block on the back of a cereal pack, so picking up a new set of short stories from the Master of Crime was a no brainer I say new but I ve come across some of these before, notably in a previous collection Night and the Music and also a book he penned in 2011 under the pseudonym Jill Emerson Getting Off Though rereading these offerings was no problem, in fact given the state of my memory these days it was a while before I recognised I d trodden some of these paths before.For the record my favourite offerings were, in no particular order Clean SlateMick Ballou Looks at the Blank ScreenOne Last Night at Grogan sSpeaking of GreedSpeaking of LustWelcome to the Real WorldThere is a huge variety of tales here The second and third stories listed above feature Block s brilliant sleuth Matt Scudder They remind me what a fine body of work the Scudder series represents I really must re read these books one day Speaking of Lust Greed two works previously published as stand alone novellas are very clever If you were ever in doubt, you ll know you re in the hands of the master when you get to these just brilliant And the final story I listed is funny and, as a fair weather golfer, something I could absolutely relate to.The only reason I couldn t bring myself to give this five stars is that and it s the nature of a collection like this there are a few stories here not up the the very high standard of the very best But don t let that put you off, overall it s an excellent compilation. I gave the majority of these stories 1 or 2 stars I liked 7 out of the 17 and gave them 3 stars each Here are some of my thoughts on some of the stories A Burglar s Eye View of Greed What a tease How the hell do you rate a story with only a couple of pages I get that it s a short story, but really I was looking forward to a story featuring Bernie Rhodenbarr after reading past books featuring this character and this was a big disappointment Rating 1 out of 5 stars A Chance to Get Even Surprisingly, I liked the way it ended, even though all that card talk was boring It was probably boring because I don t know a damn thing about poker Rating 3 out of 5 stars A Vision in White If the author s goal was to thoroughly creep me out he did it in spades However, I always have a difficult time enjoying a story revolving around a bad guy Unlike A Chance to Get Even where I felt sympathy for the main character until he did what he did or what you re led to believe he s about to do I didn t feel anything good about this stalker Rating 1 out of 5 stars Catch and Release This story was extremely disturbing If I was rating based on the quality of writing, I d give it a high rating However, since the rating system is a matter of showing how much you like it, I ll have to give it 1 star because I most certainly did not like this story How Far Surprisingly, I liked it It wasn t creepy at all not like some of the others At this point, I hadn t liked the majority of the stories and I thought that this would be another dud Rating 3 out of 5 stars Mick Ballou Looks at the Blank Screen Short, but sweet Rating 3 out of 5 stars Part of the Job Whoa That story had a surprising ending I disagree with the author on one thing The story itself IS better than the story about the story Rating 3 out of 5 stars See the Woman A very depressing story Rating 3 out of 5 stars Without a Body I liked that the character Irene had something beautiful to look forward to after death Rating 3 out of 5 stars I liked the the idea of these short stories and their themes but Lawrence Block as a narrator didn t work for me OVERALL GRADE C to C plus. Conpillation of short works, took a flyer on it because of the hardcase imprimatur and was not disappointed. [ FREE ] ♎ Catch and Release ⚖ The Master Returns With Never Before Collected Tales Of Murder And Desire On Of The Most Highly Acclaimed Novelists In The Crime Genre, Lawrence Block Is Also A Master Of The Short Story, With Award Winning Work Ranging From The Macabre To The Slyly Comic, From Heart Stopping Tales Of Revenge To Memorable Explorations Of Lust And Greed, All Told In Block S Unmistakable Style The Sixteen Stories And One Stage Play Collected Here Feature Appearances By Some Of Block S Most Famous Characters, Including Bernie Rhodenbarr And Alcoholic Private Detective Matt Scudder, As Well As Glimpses Into The Minds Of A Rogue S Gallery Of Frightening Killers, Dangerous Sociopaths, Crooked Cops, And Lost Souls Whose Only Chance To Find Themselves May Be On The Wrong Side Of A GunYou Ll Meet A Compulsive Hoarder Whose Towering Piles Of Trash And Treasures Hide Disturbing Secretsa Beautiful Young Tennis Star With A Rather Too Secret Admirera Dealer In Stolen Art Who Is Unwilling To Part With His Most Prized Possession At Any Pricepoker Players With Agendas That Have Nothing To Do With The Cards In Their Handsand A Catch And Release Fisherman Whose Preferred Catch Walks On Two LegsTerror And Passion, Cruelty And Vindication It S All Here, In A Collection That Will Thrill You, Scare You, And Remind You Why Lawrence Block Is Still The Best There Is At What He Does CATCH AND RELEASE is a collection of crime stories that run the gamut of settings We have backgrounds of golf, fishing, a couple on poker We get serial killers, burglars, retired folks, a cop, a priest, a doctor, and a soldier.A couple I d read in their original appearances, but it was nice to get reacquainted All were well written, as one would suspect from the master, and had a twist here and there with victims getting in shot here and there.The book is available in a nice hardcover edition from Subterranean Press who do their usual handsome job as well as Hard Case Crime s trade edition and an ebook for those on that end of the reading base.Highly recommended. I have no problem with trash, but this isn t quite the kind of trash I d hoped for instead of gleefully pulpy tales, most of these are either quite pedestrian especially the insufferable poker and golf stories, and the lengthy philosophical discussions , or else they are dark and depraved for no reason other than seemingly to shock and titillate There are only a couple of entries that truly surprise and entertain. Well, it is not really a novel, but a number of short stories, a couple of novellas that are really one story, and a few things he had forgotten he had written including one he is not sure is his or not.The best part of the book, Story Notes, hardly than 4 pages after the fiction, is included in the back. Like any collection of short stories this is hit or miss The two worst were Speaking of Greed and Speaking of Lust They involve a soldier, priest, policeman, and doctor playing cards and like Caterbury Tales they each tell a story relating to greed and then lust Greed was pretty boring while Lust was fairly disgusting, involving incest, rape, and a murderer who kills so he can get a boner The characters actually say, What s the harm in a brother and sister sleeping together and marrying Really Are these guys members of House Lannister or what The other stories were OK Some like the one about golf were funny I wish the Bernie Rhodenbarr one had been longer He s the only regular Block character to show up in this.That is all. The author s voice is so droning and one dimensional it was enough to put me to sleep That was bad because I listened to this while driving I m not sure if the stories were boring or just the voice.