Tuesday 26 July 2022



Synopsis/blurb ….

A collection...of collection

What leads one person to collect stamps and another coins, one fine art and another butterflies? Who can say? But one thing is certain: those who've got the collecting bug care passionately - sometimes violently - about the objects of their obsession. No one covets like a collector; and as you will find in the chapters of this brand new anthology from MWA Grand Master Lawrence Block, a truly dedicated collector will ignore the other nine commandments, too, in his quest for his personal Holy Grail.

From Joyce Carol Oates's tale of the ultimate Marilyn Monroe collectible to Dennis Lehane's book seller with a penchant for other people's tragic correspondence, from Lee Goldberg's Hollywood hustler with a collection of unaired TV shows to Joe R. Lansdale's stylish foray into noir, culminating in Lawrence Block's own classic story of a killer with a unique approach to choosing his victims, Collectibles illustrates the range of the collecting impulse and the lengths people will go to in their hunger to possess the perfect piece.

Table of contents…

Lawrence Block – The Elephant in the Living Room (An Introduction)

Junior Burke – The Evan Price Signature Model

S. A. Cosby – Blue Book Value

… From Otto Penzler’s Mysterious Obsession: Introduction

Janice Eidus – A Collection of Friends

Lee Goldberg – Lost Shows

Rob Hart – Bar Wall Panda

Elaine Kagan – God Bless America

… From Otto Penzler’s Mysterious Obsession: Memoires de Vidocq Francoise-Eugene Vidocq

Kasey Lansdale – Resonator

Joe R. Lansdale – The Skull Collector

Dennis Lehane – A Bostonian (in Cambridge)

Joyce Carol Oates – Miss Golden Dreams 1949

... From Otto Penzler’s Mysterious Obsession: Lingo Dan Percival Pollard

Thomas Pluck – The Green Manalishi with the Two-Pronged Crown

David Rachels – Devil Sent the Rain Blues (PM 13040)

S. J. Rozan - Chin Yong-Yun Meets a Mongol

Kristine Kathryn Rusch - The Demise of Snot Rocket

… From Otto Penzler’s Mysterious Obsession: Red Harvest and The Maltese Falcon Dashiell Hammett

Alex Segura – First Appearance

Lawrence Block – Collecting Ackermans

About Our Contributors

About Lawrence Block

A Block essay, sixteen short stories and some pieces from Otto Penzler on books and collecting.

I'm a bit of a collector/hoarder myself so I could very easily relate to the stories, although some of the items were a little bit far out for me. In my fifty plus years on the planet, I've variously collected badges, football programmes, coins, cigarette cards, stamps, first day covers and now just books, though I'm endeavouring to curb that particularly nasty habit.

A few months on memories have faded on some of them. Ok most of them. Lee Goldberg's story sticks in the mind, as does S. A. Cosby's. Ditto Lawrence Block's. I don't think I loved them all, but that's to be expected. I've encountered some of the authors before and was happy to make the acquaintance of some new guys and gals. 

Entertained, satisfied, happy??? Yes, yes, yes. 
It's a collection I'll listen to again in another year or so's time.

4.5 stars from 5

Read – (listened to) March, 2022
Published – 2021
Page count – 300 (10 hrs 29 mins)
Source – review copy from author
Format – Audible


  1. What an absolutely fascinating theme, Col! And there are some terrific names on this author list as well. With Block editing, I can see how there were some good 'uns among these, too. It doesn't sound as though there were a lot of disappointments, and that's a good thing; glad you enjoyed this.

    1. Margot, it was interesting to see the variety in the stories considering the general theme was the same. When I give it a second go, hopefully I can do it a bit more justice!

  2. This one sounds good. I do have two other art-related collections by Lawrence Block I haven't finished yet, and a lot of other anthologies I need to read, but if I run into this one sometime I will pick it up. I am particularly interested in the story by S. J. Rozan.

    1. Well worth looking up it you come across it. I can't recall the Rozan offhand, but there was nothing that I didn't enjoy. I might have the same art-related anthologies you mention. Just never enough time to get around to even half of it!