After the First Death

After the First Death Lawrence Block weaves his spell in this suspenseful tale of a man haunted by murders he hopes he hasn t committed It was all too frighteningly familiar For the second time in his life Alex Penn wakes

  • Title: After the First Death
  • Author: Lawrence Block
  • ISBN: 9780743445078
  • Page: 421
  • Format: Paperback
  • Lawrence Block weaves his spell in this suspenseful tale of a man haunted by murders he hopes he hasn t committed It was all too frighteningly familiar For the second time in his life, Alex Penn wakes up in an alcoholic daze in a cheap hotel room off Times Square and finds himself lying next to the savagely mutilated body of a young woman After the first death, heLawrence Block weaves his spell in this suspenseful tale of a man haunted by murders he hopes he hasn t committed It was all too frighteningly familiar For the second time in his life, Alex Penn wakes up in an alcoholic daze in a cheap hotel room off Times Square and finds himself lying next to the savagely mutilated body of a young woman After the first death, he was convicted of murder and imprisoned, then released on a technicality But this time he has to find out what happened during the blackout and why before the police do.

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    About "Lawrence Block"

    1. Lawrence Block

      Lawrence Block has been writing crime, mystery, and suspense fiction for than half a century He has published in excess oh, wretched excess of 100 books, and no end of short stories.Born in Buffalo, N.Y LB attended Antioch College, but left before completing his studies school authorities advised him that they felt he d be happier elsewhere, and he thought this was remarkably perceptive of them.His earliest work, published pseudonymously in the late 1950s, was mostly in the field of midcentury erotica, an apprenticeship he shared with Donald E Westlake and Robert Silverberg The first time Lawrence Block s name appeared in print was when his short story You Can t Lose was published in the February 1958 issue of Manhunt The first book published under his own name was Mona 1961 it was reissued several times over the years, once as Sweet Slow Death In 2005 it became the first offering from Hard Case Crime, and bore for the first time LB s original title, Grifter s Game is best known for his series characters, including cop turned private investigator Matthew Scudder, gentleman burglar Bernie Rhodenbarr, globe trotting insomniac Evan Tanner, and introspective assassin Keller.Because one name is never enough, LB has also published under pseudonyms including Jill Emerson, John Warren Wells, Lesley Evans, and Anne Campbell Clarke s magazine appearances include American Heritage, Redbook, Playboy, Linn s Stamp News, Cosmopolitan, GQ, and The New York Times His monthly instructional column ran in Writer s Digest for 14 years, and led to a string of books for writers, including the classics Telling Lies for Fun Profit and The Liar s Bible He has also written episodic television Tilt and the Wong Kar wai film, My Blueberry Nights.Several of LB s books have been filmed The latest, A Walk Among the Tombstones, stars Liam Neeson as Matthew Scudder and is scheduled for release in September, 2014 is a Grand Master of Mystery Writers of America, and a past president of MWA and the Private Eye Writers of America He has won the Edgar and Shamus awards four times each, and the Japanese Maltese Falcon award twice, as well as the Nero Wolfe and Philip Marlowe awards, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Private Eye Writers of America, and the Diamond Dagger for Life Achievement from the Crime Writers Association UK He s also been honored with the Gumshoe Lifetime Achievement Award from Mystery Ink magazine and the Edward D Hoch Memorial Golden Derringer for Lifetime Achievement in the short story In France, he has been proclaimed a Grand Maitre du Roman Noir and has twice been awarded the Societe 813 trophy He has been a guest of honor at Bouchercon and at book fairs and mystery festivals in France, Germany, Australia, Italy, New Zealand, Spain and Taiwan As if that were not enough, he was also presented with the key to the city of Muncie, Indiana But as soon as he left, they changed the locks LB and his wife Lynne are enthusiastic New Yorkers and relentless world travelers the two are members of the Travelers Century Club, and have visited around 160 countries.He is a modest and humble fellow, although you would never guess as much from this biographical note.

    282 thoughts on “After the First Death”

    1. Alex Penn is having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. He wakes up painfully hungover, coming out of a blackout drunk. When he finally gets out of bed, he discovers his clothes are all messed up, covered in blood it would seem and, just when he thinks things might have been looking up (not having a nosebleed counts as a win in these circumstances), he turns his head. In what I assume is an homage to the words of Julius Caesar: "I looked, I saw, I vomited." Sorry Alexander, Penn's got y [...]


    2. It's always interesting when you wake up after a night of heavy drinking and don't recognize the person next to you. When the person next to you is a murdered hooker, things go from "interesting" to "Fuckfuckfuckfuck!" real fast. Especially when it's your second dead hooker. That's a bad day right there.This is only my second Lawrence Block book, and while I liked it, it didn't work for me quite as well as The Sins of the Fathers. This book feels a bit dated, with the $0.44 packs of cigarettes, [...]


    3. Alex Penn has had better starts to the day. After waking up following a night of heavy drinking he can, at first, barely face the day. Once he’s persuaded his eyes to open it gets worse – his clothes are covered in blood and what’s that on the floor? It’s a naked and very dead woman. To rub salt in the wound it’s the second time he’s experienced the self same scenario. It surely can’t be just bad luck…This book was written in 1969 and it’s interesting to see how this simplifies [...]


    4. The one thing I have to keep remembering is that I'm a bit jaded when I read these books from the 1950s and 1960s. This one is from 1969 and while I always enjoy Lawrence Block's work, this seemed a bit flat to me. But that is what I should remember: this was written in the 1960s and for its time, this is pretty darn good.Its a tale of a man, recently released from a murder sentence on a technicality, who finds himself in the exact same setting as the first murder. And right away, he believe he [...]


    5. I've been going back and reading some of Block's backlist stuff that has been re-released, and this one is the best yet. As anther reviewer said, it's "perfect noir." It was published in 1969, when Block was 31 years old, not yet famous, but writing feverishly. You can feel the enthusiasm coming off the page. It's like Block knew he was going to make it big if he just kept on writing. And of course, he eventually did.The plot takes off running and never slows down: A man wakes up in a hotel room [...]


    6. Another reissue of a Block classic that was originally published in 1969. A man wakes in a hotel room only to discover he is covered in blood and there is a dead girl he has apparently murdered while in an alcoholic haze. He had done this before, and had, in fact, just been released from prison for the murder of another prostitute. He was sure of his innocence the first time; now he’s not sure of what he might have done. Could he have done it again?A lot of Block’s later themes are beginning [...]


    7. Great opening chapter but, overall, too many improbabilities make this less than stellar Block, but even at his weakest Block is still better than most.


    8. Interesting with a wham! ending. Beginning to think author must have nightmares and writes 'em down. :) Reader: Peter Burkhart did a good job. Have read author before and will again. ©1969 text/ 2014 audio




    9. I'm a recent fan of Block's work. This is an example that I need to add *some* of Block's work. I wasn't nutty about this moody, dark tale. The ending didn't help - Especially in that I never doubted what it would be.The writing is certainly better than most all done today. But the plot is lacking. There are good elements in it, but seems Block was on a tear punching out books and this may have been a victim of speed. The idea that a man is wanted for murder and then runs pretty freely around as [...]


    10. Another Lawrence Block bookLawrence Block writes a ton of crime books, and this is another one of them. After the First Death is your classic tale of a wrongly accused guy on the run and trying to clear his name. He has a bad habit of getting black-out drunk, which complicates things. It's not a super-original premise, but as usual Block bangs out a compelling narrative.


    11. An excellent 'guy wakes up next to a dead hooker and has to figure out what's going on' story. I finished it in 2 sittings, and it feels like it's meant to be read that way. Fast paced first person narrator takes you through seedy old Times Square of 1969 in search of the 'real' killer.




    12. At first I thought this book had too many thriller clichés. Then I found out it was written nearly 50 years ago - and realized it was probably not so clichéd at that time! Good storyline.


    13. 8.5/10256 pagesThis is the kind of Lawrence Block I enjoy. Hard boiled crime thriller in which a man is wrongly framed / accused of. Smirked amidst the backdrop of Supreme Court reversals in the mid-sixties. Or is he?It's that question that floats in the backdrop of his fast paced narrative. Block has called it his most personal narrative and I can see why. An excellent read.


    14. "After The First Death" is a 1969 novel by Lawrence Block. The basis of the plot is nothing new to crime fiction. This is yet another man-on- the-run story about an ordinary, law-abiding guy, who was originally a well-respected professor, who wakes up after an all-night bender in a sleazy hotel room, covered with blood with a dead prostitute on the floor. You say that could happen to anyone. Well, the twist here is that it is not the first time that this has happened to Alex Penn. The first time [...]


    15. THIS LONG LOST member of the LB Crime Family is a meritorious read no matter which way you look at it. Not only does it act as an awesome introduction to the works of a 20th century literary master, but it can also introduce newbies to the PI genre as well. And as an added bonus, ATFD can be suitably subtitled, 'THE PRELUDE TO GREATNESS.' For that is precisely what it is. In some respects, bookworms who read and devour (pun intended) this story will no doubt savour every word, but for the book a [...]


    16. I've read 20 or so of Lawrence Block's 130+ novels, and this one has the best opening hook I've seen yet: A man wakes up from an alcohol-induced blackout next to a dead hooker. He doesn't know if he killed her, or if he's being framed. The door is locked from the inside, and the police are coming. And, oh yeah, this has happened to him once before If that premise doesn't draw you right in, then I don't know what will. Andy Penn spends a few hectic days trying to elude capture and combing through [...]


    17. Heard library audible.A tale of a man haunted by murders he hopes he hasn't committed as drunk both times. So second time was all too frighteningly familiar. Alex Penn wakes up in an alcoholic daze in a cheap hotel room off Times Square and finds himself lying next to the savagely mutilated body of a young woman. After the first death, he was convicted of murder and imprisoned, then released on a technicality. But this time he has to find out what happened during the blackout and why? Before the [...]



    18. After the First Death never built up much excitement. The most clever element of the book was its turning certain elements of fiction on their head - specifically that the protagonist will be totally vindicated by the story's end. That made the book's ending a bit of a surprise, but unfortunately made the resolution rely too much on coincidence. Alex's dark side is described - is he just an alcoholic or is there something more? It's never explained. This is an early novel by Block, a good, fun, [...]


    19. A man wakes up in a cheap hotel after a night of excess drinking. There is the bloody body of a hooker on the floor. Her throat is cut and there is blood all over the man's clothes. All he can think is "Not again!". He has no memory of what happened last night. No memory at all but he had killed a prostitute in a hotel in the past and had no memory of that as well. A great beginning to this noir detective novel in which he evades the police and frantically searches for clues to find the killer, [...]


    20. Just average for me. I listened to this on audio, and it was very short - between four and five hours - so that was nice. But the story itself is just kinda plain. Interesting, but not especially so. Flows easy enough, but not the most enticing. The characters were fine. Believable enough, but nothing remarkable. And for me, the relationship between Alex and Jackie was a little silly at times. A little too high school. But I didn't dislike the book.Overall, I probably won't recommend it to anyon [...]


    21. This felt like lesser Block. It was a first person narrative about a despicable person who might have killed another prostitute. The guy drinks a lot and has black outs. He attempts to clear his name because he is convinced someone else did it. The mystery reveal is decent and the ending is very dire and nihilistic, but I just hated the character. I couldn't root for him and I had a hard time following along with him. Maybe if the book was in third person it would have been more palatable, but I [...]



    22. I think I have read all of Blocks "Burglar" books and loved them. He is a good writer and this book was no exception in keeping me interested. The reason I rated it lower was that it was just too dark for me. I've tried his Matthew Scudder books and am not a fan of those either. Give us more Burglar books, please.


    23. The copyright on the CD set I had was 2011 so I didn't realize that the story takes place in the 1960's or '70's. It was gritty and not my thing. Although there was not much sexual description it was more that I tolerate. I might check it out again from the library to finish, but I really don't care.


    24. This is an interesting early-Block read, especially as it forshadows the sleuth/hooker relationship that would become the heart of the Scudder series. The environment is the same as well - the darker side of New York - with the seedy hotels and 42nd Street at it's worst.


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