Pulp poems, book reviews, and other tidbits from the noirboiled world
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Book Review: Lawrence Block, Lucky at Cards (1964)
With reprints like this one, Hard Case Crime fulfills its mission in the universe. Lucky at Cards by Lawrence Block was originally published in 1964 as The Sex Shuffle by Sheldon Lord. The original title was terrible, and the pseudonym was not even to specific to Block--it was a name used by several house writers at sleaze publisher Beacon Books. In sum, this book might easily have fallen forever out of print, which would have been a shame. Lucky at Cards mines familiar territory with a great deal of skill: The book's narrator is a cardsharp who plots a score that could allow him to retire, and Block does a fine job of humanizing a character who, in other hands, might have seemed despicable and nothing more. Park some of your Hard Case Crime dollars here. Grade: B
A: Excellent. I intend to read it again. B: Good. I might read it again. C: So-so. I didn't mind reading it. D: Bad. I resented reading it. F: Atrocious. I finished it only because I'm compulsive that way.