Hunting Buffalo with Bent Nails

Hunting Buffalo with Bent Nails

Illustration By Ken Laager

Dust jacket illustration by Ken Laager.

Acclaimed worldwide for his extraordinary crime novels, Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Lawrence Block is also a beloved author of nonfiction. In this brand new collection—his first in 5 years—Block demonstrates why, illustrating how a master storyteller can hold an audience spellbound on any topic at all.

Whether recounting his exotic travels (“After two weeks of long rides and low rations, we left our wretched Jeeps and mounted Bactrian camels, striking out across the sand in search of a lost city”) or expressing his love for his adopted hometown (“I was ten and a half when I fell in love with New York”), whether penning an in-depth appreciation of the work of his friend and fellow Grand Master Donald E. Westlake or an account of his tour of a modeling-clay factory in Indiana—or his brief stay in a Mexican jail—Block proves himself once again to be one of our wittiest and most engaging raconteurs. Fans of his seven books on the craft of writing will appreciate his insights on the subject (“Writing is magic, and I say this not boastfully but in wonder. I’m not the magician, waving his wand, pulling a rabbit out of a hat. I’m not sure what I am. The wand, maybe. Or the rabbit, or even the hat.”). And what reader could resist a guided tour of Manhattan’s eccentricities? (“My favorite intersection is that of Waverly Place and Waverly Place. That street, the most resolutely pious in New York, insists upon crossing itself.”)

No one writes like Lawrence Block. If you only know him from his crime stories, you owe it to yourself to discover his many other sides. And if you do already know about his wide-ranging and colorful interests and his unforgettable way of sharing them, well, then—you know just what a wonderful treat Hunting Buffalo with Bent Nails has in store for you. 

Limited: 500 signed numbered hardcover copies

Table of Contents:

  • Foreword
  • Abridge This!
  • All My Best Eyes Are Private
  • Alone Too Long
  • Apocalypse in a Small Town
  • Back in the Day with DVR
  • The Ballad of the Pound
  • The Bumpy Road to Inspiration
  • Cheers for the Much-Maligned Motel
  • Collecting Old Subway Cars
  • Donald E. Westlake
  • East Side, West Side
  • Follow the Serendipity Road
  • Gangsters, Swindlers, Killers and Thieves
  • Getting Busted
  • Greenwich Village Through the Years
  • Ham for Breakfast
  • How to Be a Writer Without Writing Anything
  • How We’ve Changed
  • Hunting Buffalo
  • Introducing Manhattan: a Dark Duet
  • Listowel, a Special Place
  • The Magic of Minneapolis
  • The Mean Streets of Gotham
  • No Slings, No Arrows
  • A Pen Name? Really? After All These Years???
  • A Rare and Radiant Mother
  • Raymond Chandler and the Brasher Doubloon
  • Travel by Number
  • The Whole World Is Listening
  • Writing My Name


Ken Laager
Lawrence Block
264 pages
United States
Subterranean Press
In Print