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Publisher's Summary

Battling the bottle one day at a time, ex-cop, sometime PI Matthew Scudder finds that next to staying sober, staying alive seems easy. But in the mean streets of New York City it never is. Not for the prostitute who wanted out and got her beautiful self slashed to ribbons. Not for a pimp named Chance who is betting his life that the broken-down detective can find her murderer. And not for Matthew Scudder - just trying to stay alive in a city that knows nothing better than how to die. Winner of the Shamus Award!

©1982 Lawrence Block; 2012 AudioGO

What listeners say about Eight Million Ways to Die

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  • ej
  • 15-08-2020

Writers write, actors perform, rarely they meet

The Matthew Scudder series is an excellent, contemporary hard-boiled detective series. I read all as books and wanted to be able to listen at leisure. I have been collecting them in sequential order, because Scudder grows and matures with each passing year,

This book is being returned. I'm returning it, not because of the storyline. It's a classic, excellent Lawrence Block tome. I'm returning because Block narrates the book and as a narrator, he's a great writer.

If I were to write a paragraph the way that Block reads (not performs) his own work you would notice that there is no punctuation nor any paragraph break because that is the way that Block drones in "Eight Million Ways To Die" I gave up about the third chapter when I could not differentiate between women and men characters and Scudder changed voice several times so I exercised my right to return the book to get a different one from the series narrated by an actual performer I recommend you do the same. If you can't stand the punctuationless paragrah, here are all the missing periods and commas that you can add back in. ............,,,,,,

4 people found this helpful

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  • antonio
  • 26-05-2012

Matt Scudder is the best !

Would you consider the audio edition of Eight Million Ways to Die to be better than the print version?

Yes, certainly. I've read the book many years ago, but was truly a pleasure to listen to it. Lawrence Block does a great job in reading it and one can see the empathy with the main character (i.e. Matt Scudder)

What was one of the most memorable moments of Eight Million Ways to Die?

There not a particular moment. The strength of this book is the way the author describes characters and the NY atmosphere . Reflective with a dark humor and an acute sense on how to develop the plot

What does Lawrence Block bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

It is simply a different experience .

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The beginning and the end

Any additional comments?

Lawrence Block is one of the very best writers of crime novels ( probably better than Michael Connelly). The challenge with him is that he has written too many books of uneven quality. With Matt Scudder he is at his best (probably because is the character closer to him) and delivers very consistent top quality books

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  • FRITZ STOOP
  • 06-06-2019

Block nearly ruined it

This book is a very good mystery and a fair and accurate treatment of AA (I’m 30 years sober), but someone should have stopped Block from narrating. He was the worst i have ever experienced and i have listened to more than a thousand titles. I hung in and tried to ignore and embellish his droning failure.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Ron D.
  • 12-04-2021

Good story, terrible narrator

This was the most horrible narrator I've ever heard and I've listened to hundreds of books from Audible. He sounded like he didn't even care about his reading and was uninterested in doing it at all. His voice was dry, flat, nasal, uninflected, no different voices for any of the characters. It was often difficult to tell which character was even speaking. I had to fight my way through it. He should not be allowed to read another single book.

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  • ReginaD727
  • 24-01-2021

Narrator is, simply put, reallyyyyy baddddd

I am only two chapters in and the narrator is just terrible! Why oh why does an author who’s good at writing think that he’s just as good at narrating? Someone, anyone, should have done him and all of us a favor and begged him to shell out the money for a qualified narrator. Why would Audible leave us to listen to such a grating droning voice? It’s like coarse sandpaper constantly being scratched in my ear. Not a pleasant feeling!
If I manage to make it through the entire book, I will edit this review an ad more stars to the story.

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  • Ben B.
  • 14-06-2017

Much deeper than most detective fiction

Very good entry in the Scudder series. Lawrence Block is a better writer than narrator; he's an odd choice to play his hard boiled narrator. He reads almost everything in the same monotone drawl. Yet he can be strangely endearing after a while, too. The story itself needs no qualifications. It's at times sordid, at times depressing, and at times uplifting or at least hopeful. Scudder's battle with alcoholism plays at least as important role as the murder mystery. Deep and moving stuff.

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  • John
  • 21-02-2016

Powerful

What made the experience of listening to Eight Million Ways to Die the most enjoyable?

Two great story lines going on at the same time. Both story lines deal with human emotions and frailties . Block has created a captivating novel that tugs at your heart strings and emotions. His best work in the series to date.

What does Lawrence Block bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

It is his story. He knows how it is supposed to sound and does a great job.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

If I had the time ..Definitely

Any additional comments?

A must read !!!

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  • S. Weldy
  • 31-07-2021

Another great one!

I have always enjoyed the Matthew Scudder series! With Lawrence Block narrating, I feel like I'm at the bar listening to Matt talking to me!!

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  • Q Garcia
  • 27-03-2021

Riddle of the Emerald Ring

Scudder waivers between sobriety and solving the murder of a high end prostitute. A beautiful emerald ring holds the key. Scudder is able to go and do things forbidden by the police to find the killer, but not before a second murder. True to Scudder mysteries, many false leads.

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  • Wayne E. Waldrop
  • 08-01-2021

great detective story

it turns out Lawrence Block is a far better writer than he is a reader . I expected the author would present the characters best. But, Alan Sklar's interpretation in books 1 through 3 is much better. It's difficult to tell Block's characters apart. This book has great characters, great dialogue, good scenes, and good ending. the main character's inner dialogue is casually profound but matter of fact and honest, even about his character flaws.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 05-12-2016

Brilliant noir

Have you listened to any of Lawrence Block’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Great book, and well read. I'm a fan of Block and the Scudder series. This is the first book of the Scudder series that breaks away from the formula of boozing-detective, as Scudder realises he has a drinking problem and exerts as much effort fighting his urge to drink as he does solving the mystery. So well written and crafted, all the story holds up except perhaps for the ending which was a bit 80s-B-movie for me, but considering this was written in 1982, is holds up amazingly well. I didn't read/ listen to this for a long time as I'd seen an awful film version, but the plot had been changed and has nothing to do with the plot of the novel (funny how Hollywood does that). Highly recommended

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  • Klyn
  • 26-08-2021

Superb

I don't love this narrator, no big flaws just OK but the plot and character development just carried him! Best so far. Possibly best overall? I missed bits by dropping off but always went bac so I never missed a bit. When reading a good book I had the weird habit of nipping to the back, oddly the more exciting and intriguing the story the more often I did it. Well I went to the last chapter with about 90 mins to go and... Stopped myself. It was a long habit to break - old now! - but I did. I just took the book everywhere. I didn't want it to end as I was enjoying it so much. I have preferred English authors and female protagonists - often if not always flawed or damaged - but thus book just appealed

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  • R
  • 13-08-2021

So good

Initially I thought that Lawrence Blocks voice wasn’t as good as professional voice actors, but after a few minutes I didn’t even notice. The reading was great. The story more so. I just love these Scudder books. Real slow, but the tension is great.

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  • Lynn Braybrooke
  • 16-01-2020

this is so cool

I could listen all day long to Lawrence Block's books whether he reads them or someone else. Just great writing. Loved it.

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