FFB: THE SPECIALISTS by Lawrence Block
I picked up a copy of this one recently and finally got around to reading it this past week. As with many of the other Block books I have read I found it to be a fast paced, fun read. In my mind I have kinda thought of it as The A-Team '69. Here's the overview from Block's website--
Five former Green Berets and their one-legged colonel knock off a mob-run bank in the aid of truth, justice, and the American way---not to mention a lot of cash.
Originally published by Fawcett Gold Medal, in 1969-- it's exactly what it needed to be, filled with not only the bank job but about bit about the cover stories/ day to day lives of the five men who are going to carry out the mission. I like that day to day stuff, the idea that there are people out there in the world who look like they have the average life, but every so often they head off and do something adventurous. I know that isn't uncommon in the crime fiction of the time and those who have written in homage to that era. Westlake's Parker has some of the same allure and I recently read Max Allan Collin's Quarry in the Middle which also includes that fixture of having a criminal life and a normal life. Maybe it's that when that type of fiction came into the market it's audience was mainly men who had experienced WWII, Korea and Vietnam who were settled into lives much like the cover lives of our heroes and these stories were an escape to feed that adventure and action impulse in lives. I wonder if as we get more and more Iraq vets rotating back to the world if we are going to see another spike in the audience for adventure fictions. I'd also love to see Block revisit these guys, it's been a bit over 40 years where are they now? and how did they get there?
My copy is from Foul Play Press, and has a nice minimal cover that I could not find an image of on the web. I have a couple of other books from them by Block and I think they did reissue of the Richard Stark Grofield books, which I have the set of as well. Anyone out there know anything about Foul Play? Thoughts, Comments, ect?
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