Sunday, September 17, 2006

Happy Birthday, Robert B. Parker

I see on Gerald So's blog that Robert B. Parker is 74 today. Gerald finds Parker's voice engaging even in novels with thin plots. So do I, though Jeff Meyerson obviously doesn't, at least if you believe his comment on the "10 Greatest Detective Novels" post below. I've been reading Parker ever since his first book (I wish I'd gotten the first edition instead of the book club edition that I still own), and I'm not likely to stop any time soon.


Patrick Shawn Bagley said...

I've been known to complain about Parker "phoning in" his more recent books, but I've read every one of Spenser novels and most of the others. There are many worse ways to while away a couple of hours than whipping through the latest Spenser.

Bill said...

I agree. Jeff, however, wouldn't.

Gerald So said...

Slight correction - I blogged: "Spenser's voice is engaging even with the thinnest plot..."

I think Parker's delivery is smoothest and most believable when writing Spenser. When he gives the same (or very similar) attitudes and jokes to Jesse Stone, Sunny Randall, Hawk, Healy, Quirk, and Belson, it's difficult to believe they are distinct characters; it becomes obvious that one man is behind them all.

For example, in THIN AIR (1995) Spenser says, "Woody, you call me 'Spense' again I will kick your ass around Westwood like a beach ball." In HUSH MONEY (1999) Hawk says, "Amir, you call me 'Tom' again I will slap your ass around this office like a handball."