Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Review: April North

April North April North by Sheldon Lord
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Another early Lawrence Block book, writing here as Sheldon Lord. The setting is small town Ohio in 1960. Good girls don't do IT. But this is a coming-of-age morality tale so April goes all the way in the backseat of her boyfriend's car and suffers the consequences. She loves him and is already planning marriage, babies, and white picket fences. Next day he dumps her, spreads the word around school that she put out, and other boys start calling her because they want to do IT and April does IT. Her reputation ruined, April's life spirals downward . . . Ok, this is Lawrence Block ,so it is readable, but that's about the best I can say. Shallow psychology, cardboard characters, plot-driven actions. The sex scenes are a bit better than his earlier books. Not graphic, but well-described with fewer euphemisms, except for the climactic moments, which are usually described as "and then it got better and better and better." No crime in this one. Just vintage-sleaze filtered through 1950s morality. Block's description of how he came up with the character name and the title is pretty funny: A friend created a character named June East as a play on Mae West; Block liked that, hence, April North.

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