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Discussion in 'The Book Rack' started by sink156, Aug 17, 2004.
Anyone on here a Robert B. Parker or John Sandford fan?
I really like both authors. They have their highs and lows.
Parker's Spenser - I love him but I have some quibbles. Hawk as Superman like sidekick is getting old. Spenser is getting old. He needs a retcon as he must be about 68 now. Also, his mooning over Susan is sickening sometimes. However, these are minor and I always read him. I do like his two new characters - Sonny and Stone, IIRC.
Sanford - He's great when at his best. I don't think he ever topped the first two books, Rules of Prey and Shadow Prey. The ones with the eyeball crazed doc just stunk. I did really like the books with Clara the assassin, the militia dudes - Seed types who cost Lucas Weather for awhile, the book with Letty. The rest were OK.
I do wonder if Lucas' sociopath darkside will come out again. He is a cold killer when need be and I can't believe that he will continue to be faithful to Weather.
Sanford does talk guns but his books have a mild dose of disdain for the armed citizen. Usually portrayed as a nut. However, some citizens do use guns effectively. So go figure.
I enjoy Robert B. Parker, but his later Spencer works have gotten a bit ... how do you say in English? Sensitive. One can tell that his wife is a psychologist. As Glenn mentioned, if Spenser were in the Korean War (1950 - 1953) and assuming he was eighteen years old at the time the man is very near seventy years old.
I like the Sunny Randall series and the Jesse Stone series less, but again, as Glenn remarked, a Parker novel is going to have copious relationship angst.
I tell my students to study Parker. He does first-person major point of view as well as anyone and better than most and he is one of the best at moving the story ahead.
That said, when it comes to film adaptations of Parker's works ...
Urich or Montegna?
I love Parker and the way he injects the wry humor -- his timing is perfect. He also has the dialect down for Hawk. I am about finished with "Double Play," his latest. Its OK, but as someone said earlier he is sensitive with his subject matter.
Joseph Burke, the protagonist who is a battled hardened shell, gutted by war and and a wife who betrayed him,is a combo of John Wayne and Clint Eastwood characters, tough and intent but emotionless and bent. Parker's manuevering of a character who can also be thought of as "Mr. Right" around a legend like Jackie Robinson, his toils, his triumphs, is a tribute to his fertile crativity.;c
I agree that the early Spensers are much better than the most recent few. I enjoyed "Double Play" alot but then again it combined baseball and Parker two of my faves.
As for the Randell series it seems to much like Spenser rehashed with a female lead.
I have met Dr. Parker before on a couple of occassions. He use to teach at the university I attended but that was long before I got there.
Okay enough name dropping. I like his work ALOT! However I think his first eight novels were his best. Most of the ones through the 80's were good. Honestly the last one I truly enjoyed was "Double Deuce" I now read mostly out of loyalty. Spenser is an awesome character as is Hawk. Sadly the books seem to be more formulaic over the past dozen years, and even probably before then, but I think before then the writing was better. His Sunny Randall books are "Spenser in drag." Both she and Spenser overuse the overused quote "we'd be fools not to." Secondly Sunny Randall is in her mid thirties, as Parker's character Jesse Stone. Being in my mid thirties my musical tastes are mostly 80's and 90's. I'm likely to listen to music of those eras. Dr. Parker has Randall and Stone listening to big band music from the 40's. I'm not saying it's not possible, far from it, It's just unlikely. The whole point is that Dr. Parker has developed a formula that works and he is sticking to it. Blame it on his skills as a carpenter as the latter was one of his vocations. Unfortunately if he built us all houses we would be inspired by his earlier work but as he progressed and built more of them they would all start to look alike. He would contend they look different but only because they use a different coat of paint. They might also actually be smaller.
I hope I don't come across as critical because Spenser is my all time favorite character. I wanted to be him. Perhaps one of my personal favorites of the series is Early Autumn. Those of you who have read it will understand.
As far as Urich or Montegna, I'll go with Robert Urich. He probably could have used about 10-15 lbs of muscle but I think he did a great job. Avery Brooks completely NAILED the part of Hawk dead on! Loved Spenser: For Hire, especially since it was filmed on location mostly where I grew up.
I have never read any of John Sanford so I can't comment. I have read Dennis Lehane (met him also), another Boston based author of detective fiction. He is the author of the book "Mystic River" that Clint Eastwood turned into a movie. I think Mr. Lehane's best book is his first " A Drink Before The War." If you like Parker you will like this guy, especially this book. Be forewarned his books are usually dark, violent and deal heavily with abuse at all levels.
If you want to see an original character doing for LA what Spenser and Hawk do for Boston, check out Robert Crais (met him). His main character is an LA PI named Elvis Cole making the rounds with his lethal partner named Joe Pike. Great stuff.
Okay enough literary criticism and name dropping for one day.
aka Glock: For Hire
Glock: For Hire, I agree with you on several of your points. Lehane and Crais are two of my faves also. EARLY AUTUMN is one of his best. I also like the Stone series much better than the Randall series.
Yeah, I like name dropping too. Here I am with Clancy at a book signing in San Antonio last year.;c