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When the Sacred Ginmill Closes (Matthew Scudder Mysteries Book 6) Kindle Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the hardcover edition.
- ASIN : B000FC14HQ
- Publisher : HarperCollins e-books (October 6, 2009)
- Publication date : October 6, 2009
- Language: : English
- File size : 439 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 384 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #238,419 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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This particular episode in the Matthew Scudder series takes place in New York City in 1975. Matt Scudder is a former Special Forces hero, an ex NYC cop, and a current and committed drinker who does favors for friends in exchange for money. Even though he and his friends spend most days and nights drinking heavily, none of them considers themselves to be alcoholics. All of them profess to be able to stop drinking at the drop of a hat, but somehow that never seems to happen. They just sort of stumble around together in sort of a "groundhog day", chasing their next drink and not much else.
Unfortunately (and surprisingly) a few of his friends get themselves into difficult situations, and Matt finds himself collecting three different paychecks while looking for answers. He is the type of (unlicensed) private eye who walks in circles and gathers countless bits of information until he hits that "Eureka" moment where everything falls together. Sometimes the smallest piece of information.....
Matt has his hands full with these cases and not everyone is who they seem to be. The problem is figuring out who is responsible for each crime and then extracting retribution without involving the local coppers. Not surprisingly, the Irish have their own way of balancing the scales. Innovative, tricky and effective.
Some books contain a chapter or a phrase that is so extraordinary and so beautiful that it lifts the work above the realm of the ordinary and into the space or territory of the mythical. When the Sacred Gin Mill Closes is like this. Chapter twelve opens in a drab, samey manner (just like its preceding sibling chapters) with our man Scud drinking his way through the three simultaneous mysteries he is attempting to solve. After ensuring one of his clients gets home safely after a hard and depressing night on the booze, he leaves his own apartment at some insane hour and finds himself drinking bourbon at Armstrong's. Conversation with the owner takes precedence over drinking and before Scudder knows it, he is (we are) experiencing and learning about the heart-breakingly beautiful paralytic dancers from Dave Van Ronk's mournful jazz masterpiece, "When the sacred Gin Mill closes". I won't infringe copyright by quoting the text here but rest assured this section of the book is worth the cost of admission alone.
Back in the real world, days after the first listen, Scudder is helping his buddies solve a minor problem of extortion, and the song is still playing on his mind. Just like mine. And yours, too, when you read it. But this book is about more than Dave Van Ronk and his music. It is about friendship, and booze, and keeping your promises. And it is also about Ireland, and family, and home, and tradition.
But most importantly, it is about truth, and how beauty can be found in the most unlikely and unexpected of places. So hang in there. Just like Matt does.
Top reviews from other countries
First off, I'm a Patti Labelle fan with "Stir It Up", so nothing phases me. (I'll fall out with Lawre..nah...rry Block, so long as I don't with Madame Labelle.)
So, gettin' it from the wrong end of the sequence- to tax my brains- well I not goin' to do: but it was a good novel: but a bit Ingmar Bergman, for a long while. And serious drinkin'. And maybe It was all a forerunner to Typical Lonely Guy- The humour at the end was great.
I got a sense of bleakness and waste from this book that I found quite deep and actually emotionally effecting.
Overall I think it is better to have read the other books before this one, but I do heartily recommend it!