RIP Robert B. Parker
Posted: 19 January 2010 11:46 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Total Posts:  427
Joined  2006-11-12

Author of the Spenser novels passed away today.

I remember seeing him and Elmore Leonard and a few other authors on an episode of the Oprah show back in the 80’s. A class guy who wrote some very good books.

Here is an appreciation by Jim Fusilli (also a good crime novelist as well as the rock critic for the Wall Street Journal).

Posted: 19 January 2010 07:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Total Posts:  36
Joined  2008-04-18

I met Robert B. Parker twice. The first was at Bouchercon in San Fran then in Michigan when he was promoting POODLE SPRINGS. I went
to the “Oprah” web site to find info on the episode that John mentioned, but nothing came up. I would like to see it. To me RBP’s Spenser
novels are the literary equivalent of a bag of chips, once you start one it’s hard to put aside. I read that he died at his desk which seems
fitting. The two books he has coming out this year are non-Spenser novels. THE PROFESSIONAL was the last one. Hard to fathom.

Posted: 20 January 2010 04:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Total Posts:  97
Joined  2008-03-18

When I hit your website, saw the news, “Oh no!”

I discovered Spenser at the Camp Casey, Korea, library in 1980. Godwulf Manuscript, I think, and began backtracking his work. Parker’s work inspired me to create my own P.I. and admittedly my sanity during a tough year’s duty.

And turned my interest to crime novels. Willeford, Ross, Chandler. Then Leonard in California, 1983.

Parker’s skill and talent went beyond Spenser.

All will be missed.

Goddamn tears…

Posted: 08 November 2010 06:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Joined  2010-10-23

I was a 15 year old boy living in rural southern Indiana and an avid fan of hard-boiled PI novels. Particularly Chandler; The Long Goodbye is one of those seminal works
that changed my life. The possibilities of mystery/crime fiction seemed endless. Chandler sparked a logical progression. Through him, I discovered Ross Macdonald and,
somehow, found their presumptive heir, Parker. Novels like Mortal Stakes, Promised Land, Looking For Rachel Wallace and Early Autumn clearly show how Parker
steered Chandler’s tarnished knight into new, uncharted waters. His contribution is real and will last.

I left him behind in 1991. The Spenser novels started to seem rote and uninspired. Suspense had been replaced by a virtual situation comedy between Spenser and
Susan interspersed with obligatory Hawk scenes attempting to lend “credibility” to the action. Poodle Springs was the last Parker novel I enjoyed without reservation.
I had been writing Parker letters during that period and exchanged a brief, rewarding correspondence with him. Unfortunately, our exchange came to an end after
I obviously offended him by calling Jeremiah Healy an imitator in one particular letter. He wrote back a somewhat scathing reply defending writers who initially begin
their careers imitating writers they admire. I hadn’t meant to anger him with my remarks. I wrote back and apologized for pissing him off, but I never heard back
from him again.

Maybe his letter helped turn me away from him. I honestly feel like it was due to happen anyway and that my observations about his writing were valid. But who
knows? Regardless, I felt no anger then, only disappointment. Today, what I feel what I look back on him is that he helped shaped my love for fiction and
writing at an important time for me and that what he gave to a form I love is important as hell. He gave me a lot of good advice before he told me to go to
hell. I thank him for taking time out to write a very young kid in the middle of the great Midwestern nowhere, even if in the end he told me to get lost. smile

Posted: 08 November 2010 09:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Total Posts:  36
Joined  2008-04-18

Last January I submitted a post regarding RBP’s Spenser series.  At the time I was under the impression the THE PROFESSIONAL would be the last in the series, but I was pleased to see this new title, PAINTED LADIES.  Parker did a nice job on this.  Spenser is on his own investigating the murder of a client. Hawk and the other tough guys that have popped up regularly are nowhere to be seen.  I felt PAINTED LADIES was a throwback to the earlier novels that have influenced so many authors.  It would be nice to know how many more books are “in the can”, so to speak.

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