Saturday, April 26, 2014

Pick Up A Pulp [5]: 69 BARROW STREET by Lawrence Block

Reminiscent of an OrrieHitt pulp, 69 BARROW STREET embodies all that is the Village in an age of sexual experimentation and provocation. The hipsters and free spirits mingle with the dominants and the dominated in an orgy of self-loving/loathing as the lead characters embark on a journey to self-discovery.

Be it bloody and/or beautiful, author Lawrence Block’s 69 BARROW STREET is much more than a smutty sleaze pulp but one of unexpected sins and sensibility.

For Ralph, a struggling painter and male gigolo (of sorts) living off of Stella (paid accommodation, food, love slave), his life is about to get a whole lot more complicated when he meets the new resident of 69 Barrow Street, the angelic Susan Rivers – the unattainable lesbian and soon-to-be painter’s muse.

The two hit it off and form a fast friendship. However, Stella, fully aware of Susan’s allure, casts her sticky sweet web of seduction luring in Susan with an aim to corrupt and dismantle the budding relationship.

I didn’t expect to enjoy 69 BARROW STREET as much as I did and found myself eagerly anticipating Stella’s every interaction. The ending was one I didn’t see coming and really packed a punch. Don’t be fooled, there’s a lot more to 69 BARROW STREET than what you’d expect.


  1. I have this on my shelf and am looking forward to reading it -- I enjoy the NYC-sploitation books from that period, like another of Block's books that was reprinted by Hard Case, A DIET OF TREACLE. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this one!

    1. I've liked most of Block's books reprinted by Hardcase Crime but this was right up there imo.