(pb; 1961: short story anthology)
This excellent seventeen-story collection showcases Bloch’s trademark cleverness and dark humor, as well as his economic, effective use of words.
“The Show Must Go On” (a womanizing actor is confronted by the outraged father of one of his conquests);
“The Cure” (a trio of criminals, waiting for their heist money in the tropics, encounter macabre complications);
“The Masterpiece” (a painter gets revenge on his treacherous lover);
“Where the Buffalo Roam” (on post-atomic war Earth, buffalo herders are shaken out of their happy reverie when a burning light fills the night sky);
“Is Betsy Still Alive?” (suspenseful tale about a burnt-out writer, a shady Hollywood player and a dead movie star);
“Word of Honor” (darkly funny occurrences happen when a plague of truth-telling takes over a town);
“The Pin” (creepy tale about a painter who rents a loft in a supposedly abandoned building, and discovers he’s not alone);
“The Big Kick” (two beatnik con artists play a “creepnik square”);
“Sock Finish” (great work about an aging silent film-era star who’s used and dumped by his Hollywood “friends”).
Other stories include: “Daybroke”; “Showbiz”; “I Like Blondes”; “Dig That Crazy Grave!”; “Final Performance” (with its Dead Silence-like denouement); “All on a Golden Afternoon”; “The Gloating Place”; “I Do Not Love Thee, Dr. Fell”.
By all mean, check this out.