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Robert Parker and the Spenser series


(This was first written on Oct 16, 2005 on our Proboards site.)

Robert Parker and the Spenser series
? Thread Started on Oct 16, 2005, 6:24pm ?   

Ok, let's start this with one of my favorite characters...Spenser, "with an 's' like the author", or so Spenser always tries to explain when he tells people his name.

This series, by Rober Parker, is truly one of the great reads. It is more than a mystery as Mr. Parker weaves psychology, epicurean hints, inter-racial hi-jinx, physical fitness and good "smart-ass" humor. I think every book somebody tells Spenser, I heard you were ok but that you are a "smart-ass", or "or you think you're funny".

I read these books over a few years as I found them and then rearranged them in copywrite order and reread them in order. They are written serially and even though Spenser, Susan and Hawk do not age at the same rate as the books, they do progress through life.

He broaches a lot of issues including values, which Spenser praises as the only possession we have worth calling an asset, homophobia, racism, women's rights, and much more.

I suggest you pick up any of his books and then look out. You just may get bit by the need to read bug. 



Well, i used to like parker's books but they are pretty far fetched. I grew up in Boston and
while i like the familiar surroundings, the fact is Spenser would have been killed or imprisoned
in the real world.  Lipping off at a organized crime head and nothing happens?
Sitting on evidence? pissing off the mafia and walking around?
  Give me a break!

   I prefer the old Travis McGee books by the late John d McDonald,.  In fact I became
a Florida 'boat bum' because of him.  Better philosophy and knows how to run for cover
and vanish afterwards.

Travis McGee was the first character I really identified with.  I read them all many times and still own a few.  I loved the idea he had a value system, skewed maybe, but well defined.  I liked the idea that he had found to take his retirement in pieces.  In fact, as you, he influenced me enough that I walked away from Corporate in 1994 at 47 years old and have been taking my retirement  in pieces ever since.  I average about 75-80 work days a year and a ton of travel and it is all legal.  The other character I liked back then was Matt Helm by Don Hamilton.  He was the toughest G-man ever.  Maybe a little over the wall, but it is fiction.  Well, then there is Sam Durell, by Edward S. Aarons.  He was a CIA agent from the Louisiana Bayou that not only was tough, but Mr. Aarons used situations all over the world and that in itself was interesting. 

I surely wouldn't disagree with you about your thoughts concerning Spenser, but oh how I liked his sarcasm.  A scene in one of his books after beating up a body guard, the boss of the body guard said Spenser may have sucker punched him and then the body guard went into a series of kicks in demonstration and punches and finished with a round house kick to a big bag, as if to let Spenser know just what he was capable of doing.  The boss asked Spenser if he would like to respond to the demonstration and Spenser said, "Sure," pulled out his gun and shot the big bag.  When he left, he was chuckling.  You got to love it.

Anyway, welcome to the forum.



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