Lawrence Block and Ethan Iverson In Conversation

Ethan Iverson (of The Bad Plus) gives Lawrence Block the "blindfold test" over at Ethan's blog, Do the Math.

What exactly is "the blindfold test"? It's a jazz tradition where one listens to a record and discusses the music without knowing who is performing. Later, the musicians are revealed. Iverson adapts it to crime fiction and gives Block a number of opening chapters of novels without indication as to their titles or who wrote them. Block is as astute a reader and commentator as he is a writer, and the resulting conversation is a must-read for any lover of classic crime fiction.

I had the pleasure of transcribing the conversation, and it was a delightful experience. Thanks Ethan (and Vince) for letting me be involved!

Check out the conversation here!


  1. The crime anthology "you're dead and I killed you", edited by Pablo D'Stair, did something similar which I thought was cool. There were introductions for each of the stories but the person doing the introduction didn't know who wrote it.

    We wanted to do something similar for Speedloader but ran out of time.

  2. Golly, I like THE BAD PLUS. Really innovative.

  3. As a fan of crime fiction, I love this idea. I only knew the first two books, but I guess it was better than nothing. I've been reading Agatha Christie for my whole life, so that one was easy for me.

  4. Thanks for the post. Ethan Iverson makes some great music with the Bad Plus, so it's interesting to read his conversation and see what he's got to say.


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