• Cinderella Sims

  • The Classic Crime Library, Book 14
  • By: Lawrence Block
  • Narrated by: Theo Holland
  • Length: 4 hrs and 40 mins
  • 3.9 out of 5 stars (12 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

There's no glass slipper in this fairy tale - just a damsel in distress, a bag of cash, and a whole lot of dead bodies.

Reporter Ted Lindsay is trying to forget his ex-wife, and New York City's tough streets are just what the doctor ordered. They're also filled with alluring women, but only one catches Ted's eye. Cinderella Sims is not only beautiful, she's on the run and she needs Ted's help. She's got a bag full of cash and some very angry people staking out her apartment. Before long Ted's forgotten his heartbreak and is launched into the dark streets of crime with Cindy at his side.

The author speaks:

“Look, this wasn’t my idea.

Three or four years ago, Bill Schafer suggested that I might give some consideration to republishing a book of mine called $20 Lust, which had originally appeared under a pen name. I recalled the book he meant, but dimly; I had, after all, written it in 1960. But I didn’t need to remember it all that vividly to know the answer to his suggestion.

No, I told him.

A little later I suggested he might want to publish a fancy edition of Mona, the first book under my own name; it had come out as a paperback original in 1961, and we could celebrate its fortieth anniversary with a nice limited edition hardcover.

Bill was lukewarm to the notion, but had an alternative proposal; how about issuing a double volume, containing Mona and $20 Lust? Once again, I didn’t have to do a lot of soul-searching to come up with a response.

No, I told him.

Time passed. Then Ed Gorman, the Sage of Cedar Rapids, used an ancient private eye novelette of mine in a pulp anthology. When it came out he sent me a copy, and, while I didn’t read my novelette - I figured it was enough that I wrote the damned thing - I did read his introduction, which I found to be thoughtful and incisive and generous. I e-mailed him and told him so, and he e-mailed me back and thanked me, adding that my early work was probably better than I thought.

And, he added, "I really think you ought to let Bill Schafer publish $20 Lust.
 

I felt as though I’d been sucker-punched. Where the hell did that come from?

So I got in touch with Bill. I suppose I could at least read it, I said, except I can’t, because I don’t have a copy. Three days later, a battered copy arrived in the mail. I looked at the first two pages, and I looked at the last two or three pages, and I heaved a sigh. Heaved it clear across the room, and would have heaved the book, too, but instead I hollered for my wife.

Bill Schafer wants to reprint this, I said.

Great, she said.

Not necessarily, I said, and explained the circumstances. I’d like you to read this, I said, or as much of it as you can without gagging, and then tell me it’s utter crap and I’d surely destroy what little reputation I have if I consent to its republication.

Suppose I like it?

Not to worry, I said. I’ll sign the commitment papers, and I’ll make sure they take real good care of you.

Well, she liked it. And Bill Schafer published it, and a lot of people liked it, and my agent sold it in France, where even more people liked it. Shows what I know. And it’s now my pleasure to include it in the Classic Crime Library.

Cinderella Sims was originally intended to be my second crime novel for Gold Medal, to follow Grifter’s Game (aka Mona). At some point along the way I lost faith in it, and wrapped it up in a hurry, and sold it to Nightstand Books. Hope y’all enjoy it!

©2016 Lawrence Block (P)2020 Lawrence Block

What listeners say about Cinderella Sims

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Cinderella Sims

This book is absolutely great. There's great characters. Ted gets in all kinds of messes. It's funny. There's good love scenes. Ted falls in love and she has a lot of money and guys is after her. They have all kinds of adventure . They get close and have a good romance scenes. Theo Holland does a great job narraiting this book. If my review was any help will you please click the helpful link. Thank you

1 person found this helpful

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Excellent

Intriguing tale, a man loses so much, and comes to America. Finding an attractive woman. With her came bags of money, Murder and dead bodies. Very well done by the narration of Holland added to this. Given audio for my voluntary review

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Another winner from Block and Holland


Lawrence Block’s Classic Crime Library has been a blessing. As you wade backwards through time, the younger Block may not hit you as hard as he has with some of his more acclaimed books from the seventies through today, this does nothing to take away from the quality of the older books. Cinderella Sims is pretty simple — a man loses his wife first to another man and then to death, ultimately leaving his home in search of distance therapy: separating himself from the things that have felt prohibitive in his ability to live a life after the death. He ends up in New York and decides he needs the following: a woman, money (say fifty thousand dollars), and the ability to open a small independent weekly newspaper (an offshoot of his former life). Everything looks promising when a gorgeous woman with money walks right into his life, but with it comes murder, counterfeiting, deception, suspense, and the possibility that his search for a new life will lead to nothing but its own end. The pace is brisk and the writing is solid. Block weaves a wholly enjoyable story — he is incapable of not doing so — and the result is a fun, breezy read that will take the reader across America on the hunt for a new life or to die trying. It is good fun.

Theo Holland is a reliably wonderful narrator and Cinderella Sims is no exception. It’s easy to lose hours listening to him and it’s always a pleasure to see his name on an audiobook’s cover.

1 person found this helpful

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Unforgettable characters and good narration

I’ve read Block for more years than I care to acknowledge.

I never fail to be amazed at how he takes me, the reader, right along with his characters. He insists that I know them, that I walk, eat, love (or not) with them. His folk speak brashly but they are real, very real and they often spout what we think but don’t allow ourselves to say.

This one is part of his early works but don’t think it won’t…turn you on. It will, I promise. And the Cinderella Sims people are ones and places to remember, whether it is the water ring on the living room table, talking continually to keep from being killed, or engraving details. The specifics are just enough, never too much, to take you directly into the scene.

Theo Holland does a great job of narrating, altering his voice to keep you focused on each of the characters.

1 person found this helpful

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Grit, suspense and murder! This has it all!

This audio book has quickly become a favorite. I’m a fan of older suspense and mystery stories, and LB does not pull any punches here. If you like seedy characters and good old storytelling you will be at home here.
The story was not what I expected in a very good way. I thought that I had the premise figured out, but then it went sideways. Think a bag full of cash, a bunch of baddies who want it back, and a man on the run.
Recommended!

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An entertaining mystery...with benefits

This is one of Lawrence Block's early works. It's quite clearly a product of it's time...a pulp crime/mystery with erotic interludes.

Block eventually became a master of mystery writing. One senses in this story that he's still honing his craft into what it would eventually be known for, but the product isn't quite as polished as it would become with time. There are elements of the plot which don't get particularly well-developed, but that may be more a function of length restrictions than Block's ability at the time. The plot is, however, believable and interesting, and the characters are relatable in a way one expects in this genre.

I was quite entertained with the story and while I could have done without the sexual overtones, they weren't terribly overdone, I understand that Block was writing to a particular audience and market.

This story actually is reminiscent of his Evan Tanner stories - guy and girl on the run from dangerous people, trying to get from one place to the next while solving the puzzle. His writing style is easy to listen to, and the story is exactly what I would come to expect from Block's later works.

Theo Holland, has narrated several other Block titles, and once again his performance, voice and tone is always very enjoyable for me to listen to.

I really appreciate Mr. Block going back and having these early works re-released. When you come to enjoy his writing as I do, it's always good to have more of it available.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Block said he didn't want to republish

Block didn't want to republish--they should have listened. This was as much about the narrator's sexcapades, seasoned by his tragic past, as it was about crime and his own personal danger.

I thought the narrator (character, not reader) was a bit of a d1¢|<. At least two of his encounters are a bit rapey. And even when he is in love, it's 80% below his waist, although he presents it like it's True Romance.

He and the bad guys call the woman he's in love with, "stupid". Ugh. He apologized, but how many times have real life abusers done similar and gone back to abuse again?

Anyway, Ted, the narrator & main character, moves up to NYC because he's depressed about his broken marriage. While he's trying to get over things he cannot change, he has some adventures. To tell any more of the events would constitute spoilers.

There are bad guys, gangsters, bullies, and conmen. Sexually available women. But I wished for more story.

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  • col2910
  • 07-14-20

On balance more to like than dislike

Another Lawrence Block oldie from almost sixty years ago and one which I liked while harbouring some reservations about totally siding with the main character Ted. Early on in the book after receiving the news that his marriage is over Ted commits an unpardonable act against his wife which I found abhorrent.

For the rest of the book, I quite liked his adventures; his move to New York, the grief he felt at the news of his wife's death, his close encounter with the nymphomaniac and his somewhat comedic and fortuitous escape albeit achieved by another act of violence against a woman - maybe hypocritically I found it less offensive than the previous one, his crossing paths and subsequent infatuation with Cinderella Sims and their adventures together - in and out of the sack and on a cross country trip trying to elude and then best a gang of counterfeiters....... sex, violence, trust and mis-trust, false moves and mistakes, near misses, close escapes and violent encounters before an eventual triumph.

Main character behavioural niggles aside one that kept me entertained while I was listening too it. A bit grim and gritty in places, a bit erotic in others. Definitely of it's time.

I do like the story of it's journey back into print.

3.5 from 5

Read - (listened to) June, 2020
Published - 1961
Page count - 212 (4 hrs 40 mins)
Source - Audible download code from David one of LB's assistants.
(I do have a previously purchased copy on my Kindle.)
Format - Audible

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Profile Image for Norma Miles
  • Norma Miles
  • 06-05-20

Me Tarzan, you Jane.

An early book by the masterful Block, this story would have been more enjoyable with less of the sleazy sex scenes but still succeeds decades later because of the deliciously sardonic writing bolstering the reasonable crime story line.

Ted Lindsey was a respected reporter when his wife of two years left him for someone else only then to be killed in a car accident. Advised by his doctor to move away to a new environment, he begins a new, different, life alone in New York. Until he sees a girl who completely turns his head and subsequently pulls him into a world of danger, corruption and murder. Told in the first person, the reader has insight into all of Ted's hopes, fears and general observations such as, 'poverty is not without it's charm, but then neither is money' and, 'the spots in front of my eyes had spots in front of them'. Ted is not a bad man but he's certainly no angel and his attitude to women would nowadays be problematic. But, let's face it, this is a crime story and to make his more 'cuddly' would not have been viable.

This book was narrated by Theo Holland, who has read a number of Lawrence Block's earlier works. And he does it so well, fully assuming, in this case, the identity of Red as he tells his story. My copy of Cinderella Sims was a free download from FABC, offered to anyone interested without obligation. My thanks to the rights holder for making this possible. I really enjoy Lawrence Block's writing and recommend this story but with the warning that this reflects some attitudes not acceptable over a half century later as well as including several semi erotic sex scenes