When Spenser is hired by a divorcee to bring back her kidnapped son from his father, he getsthan he bargained for Paul s parents are using him as a pawn and neither really want him around Spenser winds up taking the kid under his wing and soon has someone gunning for himOf the Spensers I ve read so far, this one is in the top three While it has all the Spenser hallmarks, like a long description of cooking a meal, wisecracks, discussions of Spenser s code, and Hawk being the baddest m When Spenser is hired by a divorcee to bring back her kidnapped son from his father, he getsthan he bargained for Paul s parents are using him as a pawn and neither really want him around Spenser winds up taking the kid under his wing and soon has someone gunning for himOf the Spensers I ve read so far, this one is in the top three While it has all the Spenser hallmarks, like a long description of cooking a meal, wisecracks, discussions of Spenser s code, and Hawk being the baddest mother since Shaft, it also has an offbeat plot When Spenser sees what a callow slacker Paul is and decides to mentor the kid, the book starts firing on all cylinders.Paul s parents are both human garbage and deserving of kicks to the crotch Paul and his attitude irritated the crap out of me and Spenser at the beginning but the kid grew on me toward the end Hawk was in fine form, although I could have used a littleof him I still can t decide if Parker includes Hawk as a mirror to hold Spenser up against or someone to do his dirty work Possibly a combination of both Susan Silverman wastolerable than usual but I found her jealousy and bitchiness toward Spenser spending time with Paul kind of juvenile.The book shows its age a little but not enough to cost it any stars It s clear the book was written in the early 80 s with its references to self actualization and disco Also, Paul would be on the internet or playing video games all the time if it were written today.This Parker guy might have a future in the book business I ll pick up the next one Four out of five stars This is the one to read if you re reading only one Spenser is an acquired taste You have to like the formula and the archetype and not be overly concerned by the built in limitations imposed by both For me, when done well it s like listening to a great old song you know what s coming but there s something irresistible about the melody Like Ronnie The Hawk Hawkins might growl it out I put a spell on you At his best not all the books , I love Spenser, the wisecracking gumshoe whose hear This is the one to read if you re reading only one Spenser is an acquired taste You have to like the formula and the archetype and not be overly concerned by the built in limitations imposed by both For me, when done well it s like listening to a great old song you know what s coming but there s something irresistible about the melody Like Ronnie The Hawk Hawkins might growl it out I put a spell on you At his best not all the books , I love Spenser, the wisecracking gumshoe whose heart beats pure and who will find a way to do right by the end He can be funny, tough, and effective, and he usually knows how to leave enough out in the telling to keep the suspense rolling Though I ve read the whole series, some were annoying and harder to finish than others My problems usually revolve around Hawk, Spenser s alter ego leg breaker partner in crime, and Susan, Spenser s main squeeze Spenser s white and Hawk s black and Hawk is the one who ends up doing the most hideous bloodwork because so Spenser can t won t doesn t have to There s something wrong with this formulation and the way it too often lets Spenser off the hooks he s been sharpening He would be afascinating, complex, and compelling character if Parker really made him face the consequences of his dilemmas, each time Susan is a psychologist and too often waxes pedantic about the whys and wherefores of the dark forces driving the wayward characters Spenser traffics in Their relationship s a nice touch, but her heaviness of hand is not But, for me, Early Autumn approaches art, about which I have a simple definition 1 a thing of beauty in itself, 2 which stays with you, 3 and makes you want to return to it All those elements are true here, and in deep ways In art, as in life, a subtle and apparent simplicity is often the best thing and this book is a beautiful expression of that transparent surface, roiling depths From Robert Parker we would expect nothing less, who might as well be the bastard son of Ernest Hemingway and Raymond Chandler, so completely has he absorbed the ethos, styles, and beating hearts of both men In the story Parker gets involved helping Paul, a sullen teenager being raised by selfish, rejecting, divorced parents whose only interest in him is to wound the other Spenser becomes the boy s surrogate father, trying to help him grow up fast and survive his hellish forebears The development of their relationship, the ways Spenser moves from wiseguy to wise man, and Paul s entirely believable growth are rendered with surpassing delicacy, subtlety, and richness of feeling Parker rides the high wire of earned, piercing emotion without sentimentality as only the best can do.Sometimes, when I want to feel again a certain way I reread the ending It never fails to move me, nor to remind me of how it s done That s art Private Investigator Spenser gets caught in the middle of a tug o war between two parents and their child Both want the kid, but for selfish reasons The only one looking out for the boy is Spenser This was a really good read All of Parker s Spencer books that I ve read so far have been decent, but Early Autumn is a notch higher in quality than most There s heart in this one Specifically I mean Spenser s heart Parker did a great job setting the stage for Spenser to show some real compassio Private Investigator Spenser gets caught in the middle of a tug o war between two parents and their child Both want the kid, but for selfish reasons The only one looking out for the boy is Spenser This was a really good read All of Parker s Spencer books that I ve read so far have been decent, but Early Autumn is a notch higher in quality than most There s heart in this one Specifically I mean Spenser s heart Parker did a great job setting the stage for Spenser to show some real compassion Spenser gets another peach of a client in this one Patty Giacomin hires him to get her son, Paul, back from her husband, Mel Patty and Mel had a nasty divorce, and they ve made a game out of trying to keep Paul away from each other Spenser doesn t have much trouble finding the kid but is disturbed by the fifteen year old boy who is suffering from an odd form of neglect He isn t abused, but since both of the parents are pieces of shit, Paul has been ignored and never taught about much of anyt Spenser gets another peach of a client in this one Patty Giacomin hires him to get her son, Paul, back from her husband, Mel Patty and Mel had a nasty divorce, and they ve made a game out of trying to keep Paul away from each other Spenser doesn t have much trouble finding the kid but is disturbed by the fifteen year old boy who is suffering from an odd form of neglect He isn t abused, but since both of the parents are pieces of shit, Paul has been ignored and never taught about much of anything He s a lump with no interests and his only skill is watching TV This was written in 1981 so if it d been published recently, I m sure Paul would have spent all day on X Box Live Spenser gets stuck in the middle of Patty and Mel s game of keep away with their kid, and ends up doing extended baby sitter duty Spenser starts to teach the kid how to work out, to read books instead of watching TV constantly and how to build a house, all in an effort to help the kid develop some self esteem and independence Just as Paul is starting to learn some things and get some confidence, Patty and Mel declare a cease fire and want the boy returned Spenser refuses to send Paul back to a life of being ignored and begins a risky plan to pry Paul free from his crappy parents forever.Parker was in his prime of delivering off beat plots for Spenser during this period, and this one walks a very fine line between Spenser going to extraordinary lengths to protect a kid versus Spenser just being an outright kidnapper Yes, they re terrible parents, but they aren t abusive or physically neglectful Once Spenser decides that they re unfit to care for Paul, he has no problem with taking him away from them While almost anyone would agree with what he does, Spenser would probably have a hard time justifying it in court.Another odd thing in this one is the way that Susan acts She instantly resents all the time that Spenser spends with Paul, thinks that Spenser is doing something very stupid, and she is just generally bitchtacular for the entire book This actually ends up being the early warning signs of the issues that are looming in future books for them, but Susan comes across as extraordinarily selfish in this.Next up Spenser FAIL in A Savage Place Loved this book but for different reasons than many of the other Spenser novels As much as i enjoy a badass team up between Spenser and Hawk, i enjoyed itfor the relationship between Spenser and Paul He forms a father son relationship with the kid He transforms a skinny prick of a kid into someone worthwhile and half the fun is the journey. 2013 90 Funny how men dote on these Perfect Men that shoot well, cook well, have the perfect thing to say at every moment, and charm the ladies What makes a man a Man Is it the span of his chest, the stomach muscles that are very well developed framework, his towering height, bold face, calm countenance, full beard, mustache, or deep croaky voice Spenser epitomizes all these traitsIs this a coming of age story or pulp noir fiction If genre is a type of cultural ritual, what does the 2013 90 Funny how men dote on these Perfect Men that shoot well, cook well, have the perfect thing to say at every moment, and charm the ladies What makes a man a Man Is it the span of his chest, the stomach muscles that are very well developed framework, his towering height, bold face, calm countenance, full beard, mustache, or deep croaky voice Spenser epitomizes all these traitsIs this a coming of age story or pulp noir fiction If genre is a type of cultural ritual, what does the combination of genres imply Does it imply that genres in their traditional form no longer fulfill the needs of the noir fiction culture The best examples of Noir Fiction are the ones that are able to merge several types of fiction modes, like this book here Genre works best by using a set of literary codes that are recognized and understood by the reader and the author via shared literary devices as the faux plot, which is clearly on display here The classical faux plot depicted here is the damsel in distress, who wants to protect her son from the father with ties to the bas fond This is a simple way for the damsel s son and Spenser to be introduced This device allows Parker to introduce a bit of standard private detective lore and a mini mystery for Spenser and Paul, the son, to pursue The mini mystery providesthan one benefit to the young man struggling to find an adult identity.It s not so much a detective novel as a story about a teenager s path to adulthood that utilizes pulp fiction devices eg, faux plot for story progression In that regard it works wonderfully.NB My last book of 2013 For 2014 I want to wish to myself that I won t care about weight gain, or be depressed about it I also want to grow taller, but due to the fact that height wise my genes tend to the short side, maybe that won t happen And even if I grow bigger horizontally and vertically, I think it s just a matter of personal perspective to accept myself or notEnough said smile This is, I think, the best of the Spenser mysteries It presents the hero as afully rounded character with interests and talents outside the rote solving of crimes His interaction with the boy who has been damaged by the actions of his divorced parents reveals not only the human behind the wise cracking facade but important hints as to the past of Spenser himself Susan is also shown to have both flaws and virtues here I believe this was the point at which Parker committed himself to wri This is, I think, the best of the Spenser mysteries It presents the hero as afully rounded character with interests and talents outside the rote solving of crimes His interaction with the boy who has been damaged by the actions of his divorced parents reveals not only the human behind the wise cracking facade but important hints as to the past of Spenser himself Susan is also shown to have both flaws and virtues here I believe this was the point at which Parker committed himself to writing as close as he could get to literature and moved beyond the formulaic mystery novel I really was wonder how the initial setup of this novel was going to bear out as a full story Not only did it, but definitely one of my favs of his so far. Robert B Parker s brilliance is in his simple dialogue, and in Spenser The Philadelphia InquirerA bitter divorce is only the beginning First the father hires thugs to kidnap his son Then the mother hires Spenser to get the boy back But as soon as Spenser senses the lay of the land, he decides to do some kidnapping of his ownWith a contract out on his life, he heads for the Maine woods, determined to give a punyyear old a crash course in survival and to beat his dangerous opponents at their own brutal game Spenser is hired to keep Paul Giacomin safe from his father as he is a pawn between warring parents This is a muchsedate, mature and reflective novel where we learnabout Spenser s motivations and values as he struggles to do right by Paul I m not sure that this would be a good introduction to the series for new readers as it s not typical of most of the series but it is an interesting addition for readers familiar with it I thoroughly enjoyed the change of pace.