Thursday, May 14, 2020

Review: The Darkling Halls of Ivy

The Darkling Halls of Ivy The Darkling Halls of Ivy by Lawrence Block
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received a free advance copy from NetGalley for review.

Lawrence Block has gone back to school. Just like Rodney Dangerfield only there is no Triple-Lindy.

Block’s introduction explains how despite him being a college dropout he somehow ended up as writer-in-residence teaching at a college which then led to him compiling this anthology of stories with an academic theme. Unfortunately, that’s the only LB writing we get in this collection, and while there are some good stories in it there aren’t really any great ones, and there a few I found to be outright duds.

Sticking with the positive side of things – The first story Requiem for a Homecoming by David Morrell has an interesting structure in which a screenwriter is a guest of honor at his old college, and he has an interest in an old murder that occurred when he was a student. Joe R. Lansdale provides a bit of futuristic sci-fi tale that takes a horrifically funny look at what the college experience could be in the future. Goon #4 by Tod Goldberg was my favorite story about a guy who retire from international security/thug work to go back to school and finds himself applying some of his skills and philosophy to college life. It’s got a great sense of deadpan black humor that takes a nice twist in the end.

There’s some skippable stories, but enough quality to make it worth a look.

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