One Night Stands and Lost Weekends
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In the era before he created moody private investigator Matthew Scudder, burglar Bernie Rhodenbarr, sleepless spy Evan Tanner, and the amiable hit man Keller—and years before his first Edgar Award—a young writer named Lawrence Block submitted a story titled "You Can't Lose" to Manhunt magazine. It was published, and the rest is history.
One Night Stands and Lost Weekends is a sterling collection of short crime fiction and suspense novelettes penned between 1958 and 1962 by a budding young master and soon-to-be Grand Master—an essential slice of genre history, and more fun than a high-speed police chase following a bank job gone bad.
ribbons.” “Was I good?” I told her she was fine. “Mmmmm,” she said. SEVEN I rolled out of bed just as the noon whistles started going off all over town. Lynn was gone. I listened to bells from a nearby church ring twelve times; then I showered, shaved, and swallowed aspirin. Lynn had left. Living proof of indiscretions makes bad company on the morning after. I caught a cab, and the driver and I prowled Third Avenue for my car. It was still there. I drove it back to the garage and tucked it
scare a guy silly by shooting the gun into the air. Now let me ask you how many guys could have figured that out? He was a brain. But to get back to the story, the old guy gave us a hard time. He started rattling off a mile a minute in German and he got real loud. So Charlie just turned to me and said, “Take him, Muscle.” That’s all he had to say, and he said it just like that. That was what I was waiting for. I stepped right in and belted the guy one in the mush, but not too hard. He went out
blaze was set. Of course, there was even a beauty in trapping someone in the building. A human sacrifice to the fire, an offering to the goddess of Beauty. The pain, the loss of life was unfortunate, but the beauty was compensation. He wondered who might be caught inside. Joe Dakin was almost to the top of the ladder. He stopped at a window on the fifth floor and looked inside. Then he climbed through. Joe is brave, he thought. I hope he isn’t hurt. I hope he saves the person in the building.
had become purposeful. Baker’s personal wardrobe came into being when Jordan began to make the rounds of Village bars and coffeehouses, and wanted to look more like a neighborhood resident and less like a celebrant from uptown. He bought denim trousers, canvas shoes, bulky sweaters; and when he shed his three-button suit and donned his Roy Baker costume, he was transformed as utterly as Bruce Wayne clad in Batman’s mask and cape. When he met people in the building or around the neighborhood, he
must be a genius. I made him feel powerful, and he liked that. That’s the only reason he tolerated anyone. Ruthie made him feel powerful too. She would crawl on her belly to him, begging him to take her. The last girl he had didn’t crawl to him one night, and he got irritated and broke her back. So Ruthie crawls, and I can’t really blame her. But she didn’t always crawl for him. There was a time when she would have crawled to me, and not because she was afraid of getting a broken back. But that