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Other titles in the Hard Case Crime Novels series:
A Diet of Treacleby Lawrence Block
Synopses & Reviews
Sex, drugs, and murder in the land of the lotus eaters.
Anita Carbone was a good girl — and it bored her.
That's why she took the long subway ride down to Greenwich Village, home of the Beats and the stoners, home to every kind of misfit and dropout and free spirit you could imagine. It was where she met Joe Milani, the troubled young war veteran with the gentle touch. But it was also where she met his drug-dealing roommate — a man whose unnatural appetites led to murder...
"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." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Exceptional....A whale of a knockout punch to the solar plexus." The New York Daily News
"Block is awfully good, with an ear for dialogue, an eye for lowlife types and a gift [for] storytelling." Los Angeles Times
"Lawrence Block is finally getting the attention he deserved." Chicago Tribune
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