Step by Step
A Pedestrian Memoir
By Lawrence Block
(William Morrow, Hardcover, 9780061721816, 384pp.)
Publication Date: June 2009
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From the revered New York Times bestselling author comes a touching, insightful, and humorous memoir of an unlikely racewalker and world traveler
Before Lawrence Block was the author of bestselling novels featuring unforgettable characters such as the hit man Keller, private investigator Matthew Scudder, burglar Bernie Rhodenbarr, and time traveler Evan Tanner, he was a walker.
As a child, he walked home from school (mostly because he couldn't ride a bike). As a col-lege student, he walked until he was able to buy his first car (a deep blue 1950 Chevrolet coupe named Pamela, after the Samuel Richardson novel). As an adult, he ran marathons until he discovered what would become a lifelong obsession—never mind if some people didn't think it was a real sport—racewalking.
By that time Block had already spent plenty of time walking through the city of New York. But racewalking ended up taking him all over the country, from New Orleans to Anchorage, from marathons in the punishing heat to marathons in the pouring rain. And along the way, as he began to pen the books that would make him a household name among suspense fans all over the world, he found that in life, as in writing, you just need to take one step after the other.
Through the lens of his adventures while walking—in twenty-four-hour races, on a pilgrimage through Spain, and just about everywhere you can imagine—Lawrence Block shares his heartwarming personal story about life's trials and tribulations, discomforts and successes, which truly lets readers walk a mile in the master of mystery's shoes.
Lawrence Block is one of the most widely recognized names in the mystery genre. He has been named a Grand Master of the Mystery Writers of America and is a four-time winner of the prestigious Edgar and Shamus Awards, as well as a recipient of prizes in France, Germany, and Japan. He received the Diamond Dagger from the British Crime Writers' Association—only the third American to be given this award. He is a prolific author, having written more than fifty books and numerous short stories, and is a devoted New Yorker and an enthusiastic global traveler.
“Block’s memoir is a worthy addition to his impressive list of accomplishments.”
“Block’s exercise of memory is a delight compounded of rumination and amusement.”
“Amusing....A peripatetic but never pedestrian memoir.”
“Unpretentiously serious, offhandedly funny, and unfailingly entertaining.”
“Block knows that character and ambience are the heart and soul of crime fiction, but unlike so many of his brethren, he also maintaines a healthy respect for plot.”
“Block has never been better.”
-New York Daily News
“One of the best writers now working the beat, Lawrence Block has done something new and remarkable with the private eye novel.”
-The Wall Street Journal
“One of the most accomplished writers of mystery and suspense fiction in America.”
-Kansas City Star
“A superior storyteller. . . . Block has an awareness of the pain and pleasure of living. It is a gift not all authors have.”
-San Antonio Express-News