Sunday, June 07, 2009

Edenville Owls -- Robert B. Parker

This YA book isn't billed as a "Young Spenser" novel, but it might as well be. It isn't billed as a semi-autobiographical novel, either, but it might as well be. I mean, the two main characters are "Bobby" and "Joanie," after all.

Bobby's the smartest kid in his class. He and four other guys make up a basketball team called the Edenville Owls. They don't have a coach, so Bobby takes the lead, and the Owls get to be pretty good.

Meanwhile, their favorite teacher's being stalked by a really creepy guy, and of course a boy's gotta do what a boy's gotta do.

Not without talking it over with Joanie, though. This book's just like a Spenser novel, with Bobby and Joanie talking about the situation and what it means to be a man and what should be done in certain situations. Nobody ever even mentions parents. As far as I can tell, none of the kids have any, so Bobby has to rely on Joanie and to figure things out for himself. In fact, irritatingly enough (at least to me), nearly every chapter in the book, and there are a lot of chapters, ends with Bobby saying, "I'll figure it out" or some variation thereof.

There's not much to the story, but Parker has a number of brief sections in which the adult Bobby reflects on the time when he grew up. Bobby recalls his favorite radio shows, movies, and such. For me, these sections were by far the best parts of the book, and the almost made it worth reading. Eden, indeed.


James Reasoner said...

I have a copy of this and was planning to read it (I've pretty much given up on Parker otherwise), but now I don't know.

Bill Crider said...

I'm sure you'll like the nostalgia chapters, even though you're a lot younger than Parker.

George said...

I'm impressed with Parker's prolific publishing lately. Every time I go to BORDERS or Barnes & Noble, a new Parker novel is on display.

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

Is Hawk in it? If so, does he say, "White boys can't dribble," or something like? A dog named Gem? Does the kid have a gourmet lemonade stand?