• The Sins of the Fathers

  • By: Lawrence Block
  • Narrated by: Alan Sklar
  • Length: 5 hrs and 2 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (919 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The hooker was young, pretty...and dead, butchered in a Greenwich Village apartment. The prime suspect, a minister's son, was also dead, the victim of a jailhouse suicide. The case is closed, as far as the NYPD is concerned. Now the murdered prostitute's father wants it opened again--that's where Matthew Scudder comes in. But this assignment carries the unmistakable stench of sleaze and perversion, luring Scudder into a sordid world of phony religion and murderous lust where children must die for their parents' most unspeakable sins.

©1976 Lawrence Block (P)2011 AudioGo

What listeners say about The Sins of the Fathers

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Good introduction to a popular series

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I would recommend this book to my friends who enjoy mystery series. And, after reading it, I'll seek out more volumes in this series for myself.

What does Alan Sklar bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Good differentiation among voices without over-acting; a good portrayal of the meaning of words, phrases, and entire conversations.

Could you see The Sins of the Fathers being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

Perhaps a TV movie -- action could fit into a 90 minute window (plus commercials = 2 hours). The plot is straightforward enough to survive its necessary shortening to make the screen play. Good actors would convey the personalities and relationships among main characters effectively and efficiently, without relying on words alone.

9 people found this helpful

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Good Pulpish reading

About halfway through I know "who did it" but it was enjoyable anyway. Pulp to its utmost (I love pulp) a great hard-boiled detective story. But Matthew Scudder isn't all loveable, just fun to read about.

7 people found this helpful

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A listen you won't want to stop until the climax,

Where does The Sins of the Fathers rank among all the audiobooks you???ve listened to so far?

Certainly in the top 15.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Matt, because he somehow manages to stick with the initial goal and stay in character.

What about Alan Sklar???s performance did you like?

Very good but not at the top, but I would listen to something else by him.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

N/A

Any additional comments?

I would not hesitate to recommend this audible to others.

7 people found this helpful

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Very good Detective Book

I would recommend this to those enjoy the Detective type of books.
I was engaged but miss the "Blood Lust" for the good Thrillers and Covert Spec Ops.

5 people found this helpful

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Scudder's low point

I like Block's Scudder series a lot. This is one of two exceptions. You might want to avoid this book, unless you have a hankering for dime-store Freud and moral condescension. And I usually like Sklar's reading. But here he is a bit over ripe.

5 people found this helpful

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The Virtues of the Author

Of course, a mystery story needs more than a mystery to be a story. The characters have to be complex, the atmosphere three-dimensional. All this Lawrence Block does so well that at times it’s possible to forget about the mystery being investigated.

Take Matthew Scudder: a former cop who pursues vigilante justice, tithes at random churches (preferring Catholic ones, where he also lights votive candles), patronizes a prostitute and ponders classic questions such as, is it right to do the wrong thing for the right reasons? And as far as atmosphere, having myself lived in NYC in the early 80’s, Block’s depiction of the city’s 70’s vibe rings utterly true.

According to Wikipedia, Scudder’s character doesn’t “move forward” until the fifth installment of the series, which is fine by me. I like Scudder just the way he is. I also like—and was somewhat surprised by—Alan Sklar’s performance. This one struck me as far more nuanced, more energetic than previous efforts, contributing much to the overall satisfaction of this listen.

3 people found this helpful

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Bio of a Murder Victim

Like Columbo, you know the victim and the killer from the start. A P.I. is hired to find out about the victim by her estranged father. What he finds puts the death in a new light and the supposed killer as innocent.

3 people found this helpful

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Worth the listen

Pretty solid story and I liked Scudder, he seems like a good dude. Fun to hear a story like this set in the 70’s (they didn’t have cell phones or google).

Sklar’s narration was upper level, I’d take his participation into account favorably in picking my next book.

3 people found this helpful

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low sound

my only issue was that at times the narrator was so quiet...even turning the sound up seemed too low...but great story, and character

2 people found this helpful

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holds up very well

despite a 70s setting, the characters are well developed, the story draws you along, no real violence, a sense of things set right. amusing to hear the dimes for calls and other throwbacks!

one quibble: the recording level is wuite low, whether because of narrator choices or input settings, and I couldn’t listen out of the house at all!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-11-21

Excellent

Lawrence Block at his best and well read by Alan Sklar. I have read a good number of Matt Skudder novels before but this was this was the first time I’ve listen to one and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mr. J. R. Semple
  • 03-14-21

Dark themes

First time with a Lawrence Block story.Suprised by the mixture of Poetry and Hard boiled storytelling.Not for the faint hearted, this is dark themed stuff.No concession to the romanticism often associated with the private eye genre.Even to the extent of making the central protagonist a non legal investigator who receives presents for work taken on. There is no black or white here but multi faceted shades of grey and boy are there a lot of Shades.Top drawer.

1 person found this helpful

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  • jonathan paul ridd
  • 10-23-20

Atmospheric

Really enjoyed. I like Matthew Scudder and the seedy and colourful New York bar scene. Worked out who had done it midway through, though this did not distract from the my enjoyment of the book. Only criticism is the story seemed rushed in its conclusion.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-26-22

Slow & Predictable

I found the plot weak and identified the perpetrator less than half way through. I’m not a great sleuth, the information is in the summary and the title.
I found the almost monotone delivery reminiscent of WC Fields in places. I couldn’t get excited about a story that the reader wasn’t excited about. Increasing the speed helped.
I was a teenager in the 1970s and can remember the attitudes well, perhaps that’s why I found the long discussion passage with the clergyman so utterly boring.
Unlikely that I’ll read more in the series.

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  • Kevin
  • 08-21-22

Faultless in my opinion

Expertly paced, oozing with atmosphere and logical. There's no loose fat here but still finds its way to be a deep and intriguing P.I story, with a compelling lead character and an interesting cast around him. The conversations are deep and thought provoking while feeling real and justified. The mystery is unembellished, gritty and titillating. I hope the rest of the series remains as grounded and confident as The Sins of the Father's.

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  • C M Silver
  • 08-01-22

Keeping it in the family

Excellent narration of gripping grim noir tale. A fine drama investigation, so well staged and scripted. WELL WORTH THE TIME

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  • Elaine Brien
  • 12-18-21

Predicable but wonderfully written

Great start to a series with a well paced story but unfortunately half way through it becomes so obvious who the killer is way too obvious. Still a recommended listen nonetheless

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  • Chris E.
  • 09-21-21

Excellent story

A really well written story, fantastically read by Alan Sklar … not sure I’ve ever heard a better production

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  • R
  • 08-07-21

Alan Sklar captured the voice perfectly

I’ve read these books and loved them. The audio books give a new dimension. The narrator captures Scudder’s voice perfectly, cynical, calm but with a hint of anger and hopelessness.

Lawrence Block really captures New York of the late 70s and early 80s perfectly. The corruption the crimes.

I enjoyed reading this as a great detective book. But I also found it interesting at how the themes of being born outside marriage was seen as something bad. And homosexuality was seen as something to hide. Nowadays kids being born outside marriage is not even anything anyone blinks over and homosexuality is full of pride (as it should be, to the counterweight of the shame being gay used to be).