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An Appreciation of the "Hit List" by Lawrence Block

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View Ratings | Rate It Headlined to None 10/14/12

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Late last century I became an avid reader of science fiction and crime fiction, two reading pursuits that abandoned me after the Beginning of the End (ie, the year 2000), as it were. Nonetheless, I intermittently try to resume one, then the other, then the one again, etc; and the book "Hit List" by Lawrence Block is crime fiction which is truly a hoot.


North Park Holiday Hit List (2010), by sbristow at Flickr Commons

"A hoot" in Texas-talk used to mean an unqualified Good Thing, and although I'm 70 years old I've never served on a jury. But the Hit List while being about a contract killer, convinced me that the next time (if there is a next time) I receive that little notice in the mail to report to determine my fitness to serve on a jury, I will not repeat last years completely true dodge ("I'm another year older and still fighting Alzheimer's").

In the case of Hit List, "a hoot" includes the sort of humor that passes over your head until you're ready for it and then has you laughing out loud; a killer named Keller who loves and respects women and lives in New York City but contracts (through Dot, the woman in the book who most appreciates his humor, so much so in fact you suspect it was her sense of humor in the first place) killings all over the country; and a plot that returns to the existential quandary presented when Keller realizes another contract killer is taking his/her time trying to kill off the competition.

I loved this book so much I'm appreciating it for you now, when I'm a full 132 pages from The End.

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I have a law degree (Stanford, 66') but have never practiced. Instead, from 1967 through 1977, I tried to contribute to the revolution in America. As unsuccessful as everyone else over that decade, in 1978 I went to work for the U.S. Forest (more...)

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