Sin Devil by Andrew Shaw aka Lawrence Block or William Coons (Nightstand, 1961)

 A curious one from Block where he experiments with style like he has in a few other of his later books for Hamling. This one begins in the third person with a reporter named Jules covering the death of an old multi-millionaire, Martin Trane, whose life was surrounded by secrets and perversity, such as his paying a sixteen-year-old girl for sex. Jules gets hsi hands on the manuscript of a confession/memoir Trane had written…

Here the book jumps to first person. The memoir takes up 80% of the book. Almost seems like Block wrote that first, realized it was too short word-wise, and added the beginning and end to reach the necessary 50,000 words for a Nightstand. Who knows. The technique is not smooth but the memoir is full of wonderful debauchery, starting from Trane’s early years in boarding school to middle age and to an old lecher who wallowed in what his money could buy.

For Block fans, or Coons, a good little read.

2 Responses to “Sin Devil by Andrew Shaw aka Lawrence Block or William Coons (Nightstand, 1961)”

  1. While I’d like to take credit for the “wonderful debauchery,” I believe this was ghosted by William Coons.

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