Early Autumn by Robert B. Parker

Best known for his Spenser PI series, Robert B. Parker has been compared to Hammett, Chandler and Macdonald.

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Early Autumn by Robert B. Parker


  • Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.68 x 6.77 x 4.16
  • Publisher: Bantam Books; Reissue edition (May 1992)
  • ISBN: 0440122147

    Reader Reviews
    We've Reached the Spenser we Know and Love, July 11, 2003 Reviewer: Lisa - Gaming Host from Massachusetts Spenser gets involved with a child custody case between Patty and Mel Giacomin. Paul is the 15-year-old kid, and his parents are using him in an adolescent tug-of-war game. Neither really cares much about Paul, and Paul has retreated into apathetic shrugs. When Spenser brings Paul back from Mel's, Patty doesn't really care and makes Spenser babysit Paul for the night because she's "busy". Off goes Spenser to read "A Distant Mirror" by Barbara Tuchman. Spenser feels sorry for Paul and ends up a live-in bodyguard and fends off Buddy and another guy - at which point Paul starts to show some interest in life. Spenser tries to be a good role model for Paul. Becoming in essence a permanent babysitter while Patty "hides", Spenser teaches Paul how to build a cabin in Maine. Paul has a simple-fix-the-kid plan which involves teaching Paul to run, box and dress nicely and that suddenly the kid will gain control. Sure enough, it works, even though in real life the chance of success would have been nil. That's a pretty soap-opera solution to the difficult problems of adolescence. Spenser and Susan comment that "It's early autumn for Paul" - that he has to grow up quickly to escape from his difficult parents. Spenser pretty much explains his entire philosophy of life and means of living to both Paul and to the reading audience. He has numerous literary quotes. Hawk refuses a hit commission on Spenser for only 5K. Spenser and Susan, the "surrogate perfect parents", take Paul on trips to New York and Boston, and in the end Spenser blackmails Paul's parents so Paul can fulfill his secret dream to go off to Ballet school. This book is the first attempt by Parker to really lay out what Spenser is all about - and Spenser does so with endless quotes and rambling dialogues to Paul. He can't do it with Susan - Susan is in a snit from the very beginning and pretty much snaps at Spenser every time she sees him. On the other hand, Susan is buddy-buddy with Hawk, which is strange because the last time they were in the same story together, Susan barely knew him. Spenser has grown in many ways in this story. His moral code has been structured. His "readiness is all" attitude has been shaped. Where only a few stories ago he set men up to be killed, in this one he refuses to shoot a man even though he knows that man is a serious risk to him. He is, in essence, truly becoming "Spenser".

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