Shelfari edited the description of A Diet of Treacle Wednesday, August 5, 2009.
Reprinted in 2008 by Hard Case Crime, this is a novel originally published under a different title (Pads Are For Passion, God help us) and a pseudonym in 1961. Publishers Weekly had good things to say about it: From Publishers Weekly "Reprinted for the first time since its pseudonymous publication nearly 50 years ago, this tour of the 1950s Manhattan underworld begins with Anita, a good college girl with a bright but predictable future, who comes to Greenwich Village to find what else is out there. Block's New York is a noir wonderland, populated with junkies and beatsters (the dark predecessor to the modern hipster) spouting angular tough-guy dialogue, in which Anita plays curious, confused Alice. Down the rabbit hole, she meets Joe, an aimless loser, and his roommate, Shank, a violent drug dealer whose earnings provide them with a life of leisure. When psychopathic Shank murders a cop, however, they all go on the run toward an uncertain fate. Block effortlessly immerses himself in the mind space of Joe and Shank, reporting their world of drugs, sex and disaffection with a matter-of-factness that hits hard, all the more convincing because Block never makes an overt effort to convince. A potboiler morality play at its finest, the novel doesn't deliver much action until its last third, but the slow build of the first two will give readers the delicious (and all-too-rare) feeling that anything could happen." Well, that's generous of them, innit? What struck me in the course of formatting it for Kindle publication is that you'd never believe I wrote it when I was 22 or 23 years old. I'll tell you, it sure reads like the work of a fourteen-year old to me. But what do I know?