The Autobiography of Matthew Scudder

ebook Matthew Scudder

By Lawrence Block

cover image of The Autobiography of Matthew Scudder

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Since the 1970s, Lawrence Block has been writing award-winning novels and short fiction featuring Matthew Scudder. Now, with both himself and his detective half a century older, the author found himself charged with writing a book about his protagonist.
And he decided he wasn't the right person for the job.
LB: "What was Matt's family like? How did he spend his childhood? What steered him toward the NYPD, and how did he get all the way from the Police Academy to a detective's gold shield? Who were the influences and what were the experiences that made him the man we've come to know? These were important questions. There were certainly stories to be told, but that didn't mean I was the person to tell them. If Matt Scudder was to have a memoir, he ought to write it himself."
So Block passed on the assignment to his most enduring fictional character, and the result—The Autobiography of Matthew Scudder—is a remarkable document, at once a convincing Bildungsroman and the indispensable capstone of an outstanding series.
Since his 1976 debut in The Sins of the Fathers, Matthew Scudder has aged in real time; so too, remarkably enough, has his creator. Lawrence Block turned 84 on June 24, 2022, while Mr. Scudder reached that same milestone on September 7. The Autobiography of Matthew Scudder demonstrates clearly—and irresistibly—that neither one of them has lost a step.
Lawrence Block, named a Grand Master by Mystery Writers of America, is a multiple winner of the Edgar Allan Poe and Shamus awards; recognition for his lifetime achievement includes the UK Crime Writers Association's Diamond Dagger.

"Fare thee well, Matt Scudder. You picked a hell of a novelist to chronicle your most sensational cases, and you've done him proud in telling the story of the rest of your life. And happy birthday, LB. Thanks for sharing your present with us." ~Frank Sennett, Chicago Culture Authority
"I finished the autobiography and loved it! At one point I had to stop and ask myself, "Wait, Scudder is Larry's invention, right?" I was so into his narrative and life. Makes me want to go back and reread all the Scudder books." ~Jonathan Santlofer
"It's evident from his handling of this meta approach that Block hasn't lost much speed off his fastball. But for devoted readers (like me), there's an element of pure wish fulfillment at play. The book is essentially a chance to tug the sleeve of a character we've gotten to know quite well and offer to buy him another cup of coffee before he heads out, to hear an additional story or two and ask questions long wondered about. It's an impressive trick that requires decades of work on the part of both writer and reader to carry off. You need to know Matt Scudder in order to appreciate this book, and if you know Matt Scudder you've already ordered it." ~Vince Keenan

"This is Scudder's back story; where he was born, what his family was like, how he became a cop, a detective, and also, an alcoholic. To this reviewer the most fascinating bits in this story revolved around how Scudder became a police officer. We meet his partner, an older cop who demonstrates how he thinks policing should work, the occasional bribe notwithstanding. And we get to see how Scudder washed out of the force to become the private investigator Block has been writing about for half a century. Devotees of the Scudder books will not want to miss this one. If you have never experienced any of the stories in this series I think after you read this autobiography you'll be intrigued to comprehend there are another 19 Scudder books already out there just waiting for you to devour...

The Autobiography of Matthew Scudder