By: Lawrence Block

Afterthoughts is an interesting compilation. It is, essentially, a collection of many of the afterwards’ that Block wrote for many of his novels and stories. But, what it accomplishes is a bit more. It serves as a sort of memoir of Block’s writing career, with notes about where he lived while writing the story, what his thoughts were on the story, and even the original editors and publishers. The informal, correspondence style that the afterwards are written in makes it an easy read and I quickly read through most of it.

I haven’t read any of Block’s actual stories, so some of the references were completely lost on me. There were few of those, however, so I was able to read through it and get the information that I think Block intended for us to get. And, that, is that his career was far from simple, and it certainly wasn’t the career of an instant bestselling author. Few of us aspiring authors will be that instant bestselling author, so it’s heartening to read the history of someone like Block who wrote his way up the authorial ladder to be the recognized crime fiction author that he is today.

Don’t expect to get any great tips on becoming a successful writer, except that you just have to keep writing and selling. Do expect a great story, through a collection of afterwards that weren’t really intended as a coherent story, but did just fine as one.

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