November 14, 2011

The Girl with the Long Green Heart ***

*** The Girl with the Long Green Heart, Lawrence Block, 1994

Amazon has a thing called the Kindle Daily Deal. If you have a Kindle or read Kindle books on a PC or smartphone and you aren't getting the emails, you should sign up now. I've bought more good Kindle books in the last two months the previous ten months that I've owned the thing, all at $1.99 and under. This book was one of those.

I've read a handful of Block novels, mostly in the Bernie Rhodenbarr series, all of which were very entertaining, so I knew this one was a sure thing.

The Girl with the Long Green Heart is a classic noir story, and a gem of the genre. The voice is perfect, the protagonist is perfect, the scheme is perfect. I didn't mind at all that because of the dictates of the genre I knew the twist way ahead of time. It was just such a joy to soak in the atmosphere of a brilliantly told noir story.

If you're a fan of noir, this is a must read.

Block was on the last segment of the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson last week.


Why it matters.

Nicely formatted. Fully function navigation and TOC. Proper paragraph formatting and scene breaks. There are two formatting artifacts that could have been resolved:

  1. Chapter headings lose their formatting when the left/right buttons are used to navigate. This happens when the anchor tag is inside the heading tag instead of before it. Easy for a publisher to fix.
  2. The last paragraph of ten of the sixteen chapters was centered, probably because it got wrapped in the tag for the heading of the following chapter, although I didn't verify the cause by looking at the code.

These are fairly minor formatting issues, although both should have been caught during proof-reading and the first is well-known and should always be tested during production.

No comments: