Thursday, March 19, 2015


For this week's Throwback Thursday we head back in the notebook more than a decade to Lawrence Block's Small Town. Sadly, I have not, in the ten plus years since I first read this passage, been able to think of my irritations as future pearls. Maybe they just need more time:

"The by-product of the oyster's relief was the shimmering beauty of the pearl. And every pearl, every single luminous gem, had at the core of its being a grain of irritation."

If you haven't read Lawrence Block, by all means get started on that. His Matt Scudder series has been one of the best in crime fiction for almost forty years. I also recommend the Keller and Bernie Rhodenbarr series, and he writes fantastic short fiction. Hell, just go try it all. You can find out more about him at or @LawrenceBlock.


Chris La Tray said...

Did you see the Scudder movie with Liam Neeson? I actually liked it, and Liam has been all but dead to me for a couple years now. Nice to see him bounce back, even if he DID make another dreadful Taken movie. Which I didn't see, nor do I need to to know it's awful.

Malcolm Avenue Review said...

Chris - I borrowed from Netflix and loaded on the iPad, but have not been able to make myself watch yet. I have heard nothing but good things about the movie (and Neeson, for that matter), but I'm having issues with the age-old "I don't see X as Y" bit and Neeson is just so far afield from how Scudder lives in my head I'm being a weenie about it.

I really appreciated the first Taken movie for several reasons. It was down and dirty and did what it came to do and got it. It didn't drag things on for two hours, but was screaming action from start to finish, about 1;30 later. Perfect. Also, it didn't ruin the whole damn thing with some stupidly contrived love interest. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for love, but my shorts naturally torque when it's added just because someone didn't think a movie could stand without it.

Chris La Tray said...

The gawdawful acting on the part of the daughter is what I remember most in my loathing for the first Taken movie. I remember Julia and I heckling it for other reasons, but I've thankfully blasted them from my head. In fact, it's one of the few movies -- maybe the only one -- that I feel ashamed for talking Julia into seeing, because I'd heard from people it was good. People like YOU, I might add.

Malcolm Avenue Review said...

Your reliance on my recommendations is sorely misplaced. :) (But you are very correct re daughter, didn't say I was rooting for success)

About Malcolm Avenue Review

I was lucky enough to be born and raised in a nifty, oak-shaded ranch house on Malcolm Avenue, a wide-laned residential street with little through traffic, located amid the foothills of Northern California. It was on that street and in that house I learned most of my adolescent life lessons, and many grown-up ones to boot. Malcolm Avenue was "home" for more than thirty years.

It was on Malcolm Avenue, through and with my family and the other families that made up our neighborhood of characters, that I first learned about and gained an appreciation for the things I continue to love the most to this day: music, animals, photography, sports, television/movies and, of course, books.

I owe a debt of gratitude to that life on Malcolm Avenue. It gave me a sense of community and friendship, support and adventure. For better and worse, life on that street likely had the biggest impact on the person I've become. So this blog, and the things I write here, are all, at their base level, a little bit of a love letter to Malcolm Avenue.


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