Friday 18 March 2022


A couple of maybe lesser known titles from one of my absolute favourite authors, Lawrence Block.

I think I've read about 70 titles from Block in various genres and lengths and the good news is I must have at least as many still to go. 

The Triumph of Evil was originally published under the Paul Kavanagh moniker. 

Random Walk appears to be Block's Marmite book, equally loved and loathed. I'd better read it soon then. Personally I love Marmite.

Random Walk (1988)

"Every now and then someone comes up to me at a speech or signing and says one of two things.'I've liked all your books,' I'll be told, 'but there was one I couldn't make head or tails out of.' Or just the opposite: 'I've read most of your books, but there was one that really knocked me for a loop, and I've read it seventeen times now, and it's completely changed my life.' It's always the same book, Random Walk. I wrote the book in the spring of 1987, and never was a book more eager to be written. Paradoxically, never was a book less eager to be read - the advance sale was light, the reviews were venomous, and most readers never even knew the book existed. Now it's getting a new lease on life, and I'm delighted. I don't know that its time has come - its just possible its time has come and gone. But I do know Random Walk has enormous impact on some people who read it, and I hope that now they'll have a chance to find it." - Lawrence Block

It begins in the Pacific Northwest. Guthrie decides to take a walk. He doesn't know how far he's going or where he's going. A journey of any length begins with a single step and Guthrie takes it, facing east.

Wonderful things happen as he walks. He begins to draw people to him. The group grows and walks and heals.

The random walk: It never ends, it just changes; it is not the destination which matters, but the journey.

The Triumph of Evil (1971)

The Triumph of Evil concerns a sinister plot to take over a vast nation. Called for are the assassinations of five key political figures and a demagogue in place to take over in the ensuing chaos. One man with a gun is enough for the job, one man whose sole life function is to kill. His name is Miles Dorn, and his story will not be easily forgotten.

"Block's fiction is tense and energetic. His stories unfold smoothly and elegantly, with plenty of detail and rich characterization." - Houston Chronicle


  1. Hmm....I'm not sure Random Walk would be for me, Col, but I've thought that before about books and been utterly blown away, so who knows? I can see what you mean by Marmite, though. I'll be very interested in your reaction to it! And again.. Hmm.......

    1. Margot, it's one I've been excited about reading for a long time, but keep putting it off. Delayed gratification, heightening my sense of anticipation. Now I've dug it out, I ought to read it!

  2. I've looked at Random Walk many, many times, but I can't ever seem to pull the trigger and read it. Maybe one of these days.

    1. Ben, I'm the same. Time to man up and commit!