Wednesday, March 11, 2020

SURPRISE! I wasn't expecting...this... by Cathy Ace

Reading - What book(s) surprised you by the impact it/they had on you?

I’ve thought about this one long, and hard. It’s so difficult to mention one title among so many. What is an impact, after all? Being stunned by how terribly disappointed I was after all the hype? Being astonished by the fluidity of the prose, but the vacuity of the message? Being transported by the humour…or the energy of the telling of a wonderful tale? For me, here, I shall tell you about the impact of JOY! The best impact of all, because I read for JOY!

Maybe I am a horrifically cynical person, but little surprises me any more. 

But there was a book that I didn’t think would be the book it was. 

There was I book I read knowing what to expect – but it wasn’t that.

I was fooled. And I was happy about it.

I enjoy Lawrence Block’s books: Matthew Scudder is a private eye I enjoy reading about, and investigating with; Bernie Rhodenbarr is the most sympathetic burglar out there. So, when I saw a deal on BookBub for “Evan Tanner, Book #1 by Lawrence Block...THE THIEF WHO COULDN'T SLEEP”, I thought I'd give it a go, because...well, it was by Lawrence Block, so it probably wouldn't be awful! Hey, it might have been first published in 1966, but I realised this was a book written by one of my favorite authors when he was really quite young, so I thought I’d give it a try.


Look – if you haven’t read the Evan Tanner books, you should! 

Here’s the set up – a veteran of the Korean war, Evan suffers total sleep deprivation due to a shrapnel injury. He is the epitome of the hapless – yet somehow fabulously successful – international man of...well, mystery isn't the right word...but I love, love, love, the characters, plots, and utter ridiculousness of the Evan Tanner books. 

Evan himself is a truly unique creation. No, I won’t tell you about him…find out for yourself. 

The books make me laugh, make me cry…make me happy to suspend my disbelief and travel beside Evan along previously untrodden paths to face bizarre challenges and absolutely unpredictable victories and losses. 

Okay, okay, I have only read three of the eight books in the series so far (numbers 1, 2 and 3...which is unusual for me, because I rarely read a series in order...because I am disorganised and greedy!) but I have enjoyed all three of them so far. 

I don’t possess Block’s abilities, and don’t dare reproduce here what he writes. Just check out the Evan Tanner books. They surprised me. In the best possible way. If you don't know them ( which I accept you might, because I still have so much to discover in this world, which others have long enjoyed before I even knew of its existence) then have at them...and enjoy!

And in today’s world? Oh…my…word. Just read them…go on…

Oh, and by the way...for all my stuff, CLICK HERE.


Paul D. Marks said...

Like you say, Cathy, it's hard to be surprised anymore. But isn't it great when it happens like with the Evan Tanner books. I haven't read them but sounds like something I'd enjoy.

Susan C Shea said...

I have never read his books, thinking them "guys" style stories. But Tim read them and I'll see if they're among the books in Tim's library I kept. Thanks for the tip - always happy to hear a recommendation from an author whose works I already enjoy!

Lee Rowan said...

I read these back when they first came out and yes - Evan Tanner is unique. Medically impossible, of course, but the books are a lot of fun.

Dietrich Kalteis said...

Thanks for the recommend, Cathy. I'll give the Evan Tanner series a try.