2 Minute Book Review

Lawrence Block's Tanner's Twelve Swingers

This was the first time I've read any of the Tanner books. This one was written in the 1960s and has Tanner slipping into Eastern Europe, going from Yugoslavia to Latvia, making border crossing after border crossing. He's a secret-agent type who has had a wound to the sleep center of his brain so he doesn't need or want sleep, and he rescues a bunch of defectors including the Latvian women's gymnastic team.

All of this sounds goofy and to some degree it is. This is a really early Block novel, and not my favorite. Still, I enjoyed the feel of it and the read. I enjoyed thinking about those days and the Eastern block. It was kind of fun and kind of interesting. I was in Yugoslavia for a week at the very end of the Cold War before the war happened there, and I found myself a little nostalgic while reading it. That might be the chief reason to read this book, Cold War nostalgia.