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Tanner's Virgin (2007)

Tanner's Virgin (2007)

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3.75 of 5 Votes: 5
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0061262382 (ISBN13: 9780061262388)

About book Tanner's Virgin (2007)

Lawrence Block has been named a Grand Master my the Mystery Writers of America. He's also won multiple Edgar Awards, Shamus Awards, and the most prestigious Diamond Dagger award. In short, he's good. He's long been near the top of my list of favorite authors and it's odd that, in the roughly one year I've been writing reviews, this is the first time I've selected one of his books. I'm ashamed and I really have no excuse other than to say that I read most of his books long before my review writing began.. Tanner's Virgin is one of eight Lawrence Block novels featuring Evan Michael Tanner, an accidental revolutionary who, as the result of a head injury suffered during the Korean War, has lost the ability to sleep. That is a real albeit uncommon malady. Most of the Tanner novels were written in the late 60's and early 70's. Tanner's Virgin was released in 1968 but it has the same timeless quality of many of Block's other works. According to the author, the Tanner storylines "generally range from farfetched to absurd." However, as unlikely as it may seem, the outlandish tale told in the pages of Tanner's Virgin is strikingly similar to something that actually happened. What do you do if you have a girl who just won't leave you alone? Simple. Arrange to ship her to Afghanistan where she'll be sold into white slavery, which is the polite way of saying prostitution. People, or at least one person made a very successful living doing just that. And when Lawrence Block learned about it, that tragic yet entirely true story morphed into a wonderful, witty, hilarious work of fiction. Tanner met a beautiful young girl, was immediately attracted to her, and invited her home when he found out she had no place to stay. They lived happily together for a month, at least as happily as could be considering their relationship did not run what many would consider its natural course. She was a virgin and determined to stay that way until the time was right. In their unique cohabitation, sleeping together meant SLEEPING together, except Tanner wasn't even capable of doing that.. She slept while he thought, and stewed, and grew increasingly frustrated. Eventually, she knew it was time to move on. For the next five years, there was no communication whatsoever. Then, the girl's mother called with the disturbing news that her baby had disappeared. Tanner didn't want to go after her yet still ended up chasing her half way around the world. I don't want to give anything away here so let's just say the girl he found was not the same one who'd walked out of his life years before. Since this is my first review of a Lawrence Block book, I'd like to say a few words about why I enjoy him so much. Actually, I don't know if I can do it in a few words but I'll give it a try. I'm a sucker for a good hero. I don't mean the carbon copy type that can do no wrong. I like heroes with flaws, and those who've grown and learned from their mistakes. I especially like heroes, protagonists if you will, who do not fit the typical literary mold. Block has made a career of crafting such heroes. You've already met Tanner. There's also Matthew Scudder, a private investigator and recovering alcoholic, Bernie Rhodenbar, a cat burglar and used bookstore owner (his sidekicks include a dirty cop as well as a lesbian dog groomer), and Keller (John Paul Keller), an assassin who also happens to be an avid stamp collector. These are not cookie cutter heroes. They are about as unlikely as an assassin who collects stamps. Still, somehow, Block makes it work. To be honest, I'm not crazy about the Keller stories. The Tanner novels are fun, the Rhodenbar ones are absolutely brilliant, and Matthew Scudder is one of my all-time favorite characters. His character arc, which now spans almost forty years and is perhaps partially autobiographical, is a true masterpiece. Block is a masterpiece as well. Grab a copy of Tanner's Virgin, or any of his other books. You won't be disappointed.

With the completion of this book, I've now read all the "series" books by Block, which includes Evan Tanner (spy who was injured in the Korean war and as a result does not have to sleep, 8 books in the series), Chip Harrison (a young guy just starting out in life working with a detective, 4 books in the series), Matthew Scudder (ex-cop and alcoholic PI, 16 books in series), Bernie Rhodenbarr (sophisticated burglar who owns a used bookstore, 10 books in series) and Keller (likeable hitman who collects stamps, 4 books in series). I've never rated a Block book less than 3 stars, which to me signifies a worthwhile read. He's a very solid writer.

Do You like book Tanner's Virgin (2007)?

Book six of the world’s most unique series of espionage novels starts with our hero, Evan Tanner - ET - dealing (unsuccessfully) with the growing pains of his seven year old angel and unofficially adopted daughter / Princess of Lithuania, Minna. The chapter finishes with ET having to deal with his his own set of sexual and academic frustrations, caused principally by the presence on his sofa of the delightfully cute but delightfully untouched eighteen year old Miss Phaedra Horowitz. And other pressing commitments of course. Chapter two takes the reader to London and it is not long before we have the hang of the book’s plot. Little Miss Horowitz - Tanner’s Virgin - is missing, and it is up to ET himself to save the day. But does he? Read the book to find out! But with Mr Block in charge of writing these classic works of educational entertainment, and given the fact that they are each one individual stories, it is fair to assume we will have a happy ending to look forward to. But you know what happens when you assume? This time the bad guy (appears to be) convincing his “victims” to partake a working holiday to the middle east from good old London town. No one really knows what they go there for, so a friend of a friend of Evan’s signs up for duties and the early stages of the employment gives the good guys a chance to get the low down on the situ, and also try to track down the missing Virgin. The “recruitment centre” is not exactly in the most family friendly part of London, if you get my drift, so the reader’s stomach is soon tied in knots with worry about our petite, young, innocent victim. Tanner’s Virgin is another excellent, entertaining, mysterious, fist pumping, adrenalin-rushing reason to splash out the moolah for either your e-or-p-copy of this tome. Will it scale the same literary, entertainment and educational heights of the second volume? That is not for me to say. But each book of this brilliant series has been fantastic reading from several points of view, and TANNER’S VIRGIN is no different. I give it four stars, but you may give it five. BFN Greggorio

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