Lawrence Block was born in Buffalo NY in 1938. He became a professional writer in 1958 and over the past 55 years has written dozens of books under his own name and countless pseudonyms. Along the way he has been given four Anthony awards, twelve Shamus Awards, and ten Edgar Awards including the Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America. Each of his enormously popular series has its fans: hardboiled private eye Matthew Scudder, gentleman burglar Bernie Rhodenbarr, sleepless spy Evan Tanner, stamp collecting hit man Keller, etc.
Twenty years ago I did a Lawrence Block checklist for my mail order customers. In those pre-internet days there were very few cover images shown on that list. Now, twenty years later, I can show you the updated list with all the covers scanned, plus new information about the books from the best possible source: Lawrence Block.
For many years Mr. Block did not care to talk much about his earlier efforts written under pen names, but in recent years he has really opened up and verified many of those titles. Best of all, he has begun putting out e-book versions of many of those books. For example, he recently brought all of the formerly-difficult-to-find John Warren Wells books out in new e-books.
And there are now Lawrence Block e-books that were originally credited to Sheldon Lord and Andrew Shaw as well. Those e-books are available – and recommended – on all the popular e-book sites such as Amazon etc.
Lawrence Block fans (like me) are kept up to date on this prolific author's doings through his informative newsletters and from his highly recommended website:
The movies have not yet done justice to Lawrence Block's storytelling skills, but Block fans hope that will all change next year with the release of a new film version of A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES. It's a great story, and Liam Neeson looks like good casting in the role of Matthew Scudder. The film version is being written and directed by Scott Frank, who did such a memorable job adapting Elmore Leonard's GET SHORTY and OUT OF SIGHT. So we are optimistic.
In addition to the books shown here, Lawrence Block also wrote the screenplay for the Wong Kar Wai film MY BLUEBERRY NIGHTS. Unfortunately the published screenplay is only available in a Chinese-language edition.
The checklist that follows focuses on Block's paperback originals. He wrote a remarkable collection of books under various names including his own over the first 20 years of his writing career. And his high standard of excellence has continued as a bestselling “hardcover firsts” writer, with most of his books from the past 30+ years appearing under his own name. As Ed McBain said about Block: “Even at the outset of his career, when he was turning out books at a furious pace, he managed to bring elegance and taste to even minor assignments, particularly with a knowing, wry take on the relationships and interactions between his characters…. Not only is he one of the premier crime novelists of our time…. He is also one of our most accomplished short story writers.”
The others come and go, but Lawrence Block endures over the decades. At his best he is a dazzling, brilliant writer, capturing his readers again and again with each new book. This checklist, dedicated to Larry, spotlights the diverse and superb breadth of his talent.
Thanks to Lawrence Block, Ed & Jeannie Kaufman, Tom Lesser, Robert Speray, Attila Gyenis, Tony Jacobs at Sideshow Books, Mark Goodman at Green Lion Books, Ron Blum at Kayo Books, Chris Eckhoff, Grant Thiessen at bookit enterprises, Don Z. Block and Tim Friesen at Pandora's Books Ltd..
All of the books shown here are for sale. Inquire for prices.
NOT listed on this checklist: Large print library editions, foreign language editions, signed limited editions, audio books, e-books, etc.