A Diet of Treacle

Lawrence Block, Author . Hard Case Crime $6.99 (205p) ISBN 978-0-8439-5957-4

Reprinted for the first time since its pseudonymous publication nearly 50 years ago, this tour of the 1950s Manhattan underworld begins with Anita, a good college girl with a bright but predictable future, who comes to Greenwich Village to find what else is out there. Block’s New York is a noir wonderland, populated with junkies and beatsters (the dark predecessor to the modern hipster) spouting angular tough-guy dialogue, in which Anita plays curious, confused Alice. Down the rabbit hole, she meets Joe, an aimless loser, and his roommate, Shank, a violent drug dealer whose earnings provide them with a life of leisure. When psychopathic Shank murders a cop, however, they all go on the run toward an uncertain fate. Block effortlessly immerses himself in the mind space of Joe and Shank, reporting their world of drugs, sex and disaffection with a matter-of-factness that hits hard, all the more convincing because Block never makes an overt effort to convince. A potboiler morality play at its finest, the novel doesn’t deliver much action until its last third, but the slow build of the first two will give readers the delicious (and all-too-rare) feeling that anything could happen. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 10/29/2007
Release date: 01/01/2008
Show other formats
Ebook - 208 pages - 978-1-4532-0850-2
Mass Market Paperbound - 205 pages - 978-0-85768-304-5
Book - 1 pages - 978-0-7927-5364-3
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-306-59636-7
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.