Friday, July 09, 2004

Yesterday I read Robert B. Parker's latest Spenser novel, BAD BUSINESS. It's got all the usual elements. Spenser is hired, and someone gets killed. Bad guys come to Spenser's office to threaten him, and Spenser says, "Eeek!" Women melt when Spenser unleashes his killer smile. Spencer and Hawk shuck and jive. Spenser cooks. Spenser drinks beer. Spenser and Susan talk about sex. Spenser and Susan have sex (but not in front of Pearl the Wonderdog). Spenser is insolent to people in positions of power. Spenser cracks wise. Women come on to Spenser, but he rebuffs them because of his love for Susan. Spenser proves he's tougher than anybody (except Hawk, of course).

I've seen it all before, but, God help me, I enjoyed the heck out of it. I know that most people seem to think that Parker long ago achieved the alchemical miracle of turning his gold into lead, after which he sank below their notice. I, on the other hand, still look for every book of his as it appears. Which no doubt proves that I have poor, or to put the best face possible on it, indiscriminate taste.

I read an interview once in which Parker was asked what made his books so popular. He said, "I think people like the sound of the words on the page." Works for me.

1 comment:

Vince said...

I agree with you about Parker. It's fashionable in some circles to run down his later books. I'll admit that I don't stay on top of them like I used to. But every once in a while I'll get an urge to hang out with Spenser, the way I'll suddenly be moved to call an old friend.