Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Book Review: Robert Bloch, The Scarf (1947)

While The Scarf is not the tour de force I had hoped for, it is nevertheless the best of the four Robert Bloch novels that I have read. The titular scarf belongs to narrator Dan Morley, an aspiring writer whose psychological problems, especially with women, are the result of his unhealthy boyhood relationship with Miss Frazer, his unmarried schoolteacher. The scarf is Morley's keepsake from his memorable last encounter with Miss Frazer, after which he ran away from home. The story follows Dan and his burgeoning writing career from Chicago to New York to Hollywood. My taste runs to the noir side of noir, and The Scarf was plenty dark enough for me, but I found Bloch's execution lacking, especially in the book's regrettably contrived dénouement. Grade: B

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