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Publisher's Summary

This is a city that seduces dreamers - then eats their dreams.

Matthew Scudder understands the futility of his search for a longtime missing Midwestern innocent who wanted to be an actress in the vast meat-grinder called New York City. But her frantic father heard that Scudder is the best, and now the ex-cop turned private investigator is scouring the hell called Hell's Kitchen looking for anything that might resemble a lead. And in this neighborhood of the lost, he's finding love - and death - in the worst possible places.

©1989 Lawrence Block (P)2014 Blackstone Audio

What listeners say about Out on the Cutting Edge

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    4 out of 5 stars

A great thriller

I believe Lawrence Block “at his best” is among the three top thriller writers of the past 20 (30?) years. A great writer, but also very inconsistent: he reaches his best in the Matt Scudder books where the affinity with the main character, the need to deliver complex and consistently new plots, the familiar New York ambiance (where Scudder stories are taking place) truly inspire him and contribute to deliver excellent results. While the Rodenbarr’s series are pleasant, but lightweight, the Keller books were surprising and stunning at first, but get repetitive and almost boring as new episodes come out, Matt Scudder continue to grip the reader with wit, dark dramas and the finely described characters and the environment of New York.
Scudder is following two cases at once: one involving a girl, a would-be
actress, who has been missing for several months. The second is more personal and involves the dead of an AA friend. In both the situations the police has given up and the leads few and scants. Suddenly both cases fortuitously intertwine and …..

By the way, Dan Butler is superb !

9 people found this helpful

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Moving Scudder-- surprisingly strong ending

I had low expectations coming in, because this audiobook's rating wasn't super high. But I left it very satisfied. It's a pretty good story with surprising nuance. Dan Butler as narrator is a mixed bag. He is a bad choice to voice Matt Scudder, through no fault of his own but just because his voice doesn't match what Scudder fans have come to expect.
However, he is so good at at least one other character that on balance it comes off pretty well. It's hard for those of us spoiled by Alan Sklar, whose voice and manner fit Scudder so well. I wish that he had done all of these books. But Butler earns his keep in the end. I for one would love to spend an evening with his version of The Butcher. Recommended.

4 people found this helpful

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A gem. I didn't want this one to end.

As good as it gets. This was a delight. Block is at the top of his game and Butler's narration was perfect.

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Amazing Experience

Beautifully written, with realistic dialogue, gritty setting, vivid characters. The reading performance was beyond belief, with New York and Irish accents delivered to a T.

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Dan Butler saves this book

Too much AA and alcoholics and related. Interesting twist at the end. Dan Butler makes the book interesting.

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Matt and AA

Considering how long it took Matt to take the ultimate step, and accept what he has done, it is nice to see him fully ensconced and engaged in the program.

Above and beyond that superior testimonial, the mystery is quite intriguing. I, for one, never saw the end coming. As always all of the pieces come together with no dangling ends.

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It takes a whole

The style overall is reminiscent of an act of prestidigitation.
It seems slow and often unending to read. A no-hoper of a case.
And yet somehow, Lawrence Block is working something else with his other hand.
This is my first Matthew Scudder. I don't know yet his style but if this is anything to go by, he is a good read for those who enjoy a long read.

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Great Narration

The story is good but Dan Butler (the narrator) makes it so much better! His performance easily makes this the best of all the Matthew Scudder novels for me so far.

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Intriguing

Love the storyline! Always something interesting to be pondering about. The narration was pretty good, but I always like it better when Laurence black narrates them himself.

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The Sober Life

Scudder is hired to find a woman, a not very memorable actress, by her parents. His inquiries take him into the middle of multiple murders and rumors of murder. A few AA meetings and a little romance round out the story.

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  • Mr. J. R. Semple
  • 10-19-21

An emotive novel

This is the novel which describes the first meeting between Matthew Scudder and Mick Ballou.It is also one of the most realistic descriptions in a novel of a recovering Alcoholic. A novel which invests true emotional commitment to the ongoing struggle between an alcoholic and continued sobriety. All contained within a crime novel. It movingly reveals the strength of character and the importance of a supportive community needed to live well with one self after an alcoholic fall.
Mick Ballou's reaction to the AA community at the end of the novel demonstrates a non stereotypical and truly positive and realistic sense of hope.Bravo

1 person found this helpful

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  • Klyn
  • 08-26-21

Just not as good as others

Two stories that through a twist have links. Stii going to Aa but it just didn't hold my attention as 8 million ways to day. If not reading in order and read this and was disappointed don't give up on Scudder. 8 million ways to dai was just great.