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What’s a AWATT – and what is Liam Neeson doing presenting it at the Zurich Film Festival?
AWATT is the film industry’s abbreviated form of A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES, a film based on Lawrence Block’s tenth Matthew Scudder novel. It is the brilliant work of writer/director Scott Frank, and stars Liam Neeson, with a terrific supporting cast. It opens worldwide Friday September 19.
To quote Block, “Unless you’ve spent the past month in one of those sensory-deprivation tanks, floating your troubles away, you’ve probably been blitzed . . . by lobby cards and trailers and bus-and-subway posters and TV commercials, all in aid of A Walk Among the Tombstones.”
Lawrence Block is without a doubt the most prolific American crime writer.
Named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America in 1994, Lawrence Block came to prominence in the 1970s when he introduced us to his most famous creation, the ever-evolving Matthew Scudder, an alcoholic ex-cop working as an unlicensed private investigator in Hell’s Kitchen. He has written 17 Scudder novels and a collection of short stories, the most recent being 2011’s A DROP OF THE HARD STUFF.
Block also created 11 Bernie Rhodenbarr novels, including THE BURGLAR WHO COUNTED SPOONS in 2013, 8 Evan Tanner novels, 4 Chip Harrison novels and a collection of eighty-four short stories, ENOUGH ROPE containing two Chip Harrison stories, and 5 Keller novels including 2013’s HIT ME.
Recently, Block began reissuing titles he wrote in the 50s, 60s and 70s under different pseudonyms.
With the release of a new Jill Emerson novel GETTING OFF in 2011, he wrote 8 books as Jill Emerson, 3 written as Paul Kavanagh, 8 written as Sheldon Lord with 69 BARROW STREET recently re-released with his Ben Christopher novel STRANGE EMBRACE, 5 as Andrew Shaw and numerous others.
Block also wrote over a dozen standalone titles, a half-dozen or so books of short stories, several books about writing and a memoir. Wow!
A Walk Among the Tombstones is the first movie from a Matthew Scudder novel. In 1987 Hollywood had plans to make a movie adapted from Block’s 1978 novel The Burglar in The Closet, starring Bruce Willis as Bernie Rhodenbarr, Block’s lovable burglar, with Whoopi Goldberg playing the next-door-neighbor. When Willis backed out of the production, they adapted the script to star Whoopi in the title role. It was released as Burglar.
New This Month! – DEFENDER OF THE INNOCENT: The Casebook of Martin Ehrengraf by Lawrence Block