Review: The Burglar Who Traded Ted Williams

The Burglar Who Traded Ted Williams
The Burglar Who Traded Ted Williams by Lawrence Block
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I wish I had given the previous Bernie book 2.5 stars instead of 2, so I could give this one two stars and not worry that folks will think one’s as good as the other. Cause they’re not. Mondrian is an okay book, but Ted Williams suffers from too much of the same-old same-old, and rests on its own laurels, and is too confusing and convenient.

Too many coincidences, distracting me the whole time, and I was just waiting for it all to explained to me at the end. And when the big explanation does come, it’s so meager and phoned-in. And then a room full of people hear a man confess to murder and they don’t care? Not even the side-character who had nothing to do with the plot whatsoever?

This one was water-thin. Nothing happens in half the book. I mean nothing. I mean there are chapters (plural) with Bernie and Carolyn getting drunk and doing nothing. If it’s supposed to be symbolic of something, fine, but maybe keep it to a few pages, not a quarter of the book.

On the flip side, we only get a few pages dedicated to an idea that could be the basis for a whole novel. It’s just slipped in there, like the writer thought of it at the last second but by then just needed to finish the darn thing and tie up a few loose ends.

Who knows, maybe all of this is because there’s an 11 year-gap between this one and the previous ones. Maybe the next will be better. I sure hope so.

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