Shrink Rap by Robert B. Parker
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
It's Parker, not Dostoevsky!, September 28, 2003
from Maryland, USA
Robert B. Parker has to rank high among the demigods of Entertainment Fiction. 95% of his works are brilliant brain candy - so much fun to read that they can't be put down, and are read in a couple of hours (thus supporting Poe's claim that a work that can't be read in one sitting isn't worth reading). When you pick up a Parker book, that's all you have a right to expect. There will be no deep characterizations, no exploration of themes that stand the cold light of scrutiny, no meaningful insights into the human condition. Even the plots usually won't withstand much analysis. Oh, sure, Parker likes to pretend he's giving us all that, but we know, and he knows, that it's just a sham. All a Parker book is about is sharp dialogue and crack witticisms. And that's exactly what we get with Shrink Rap. As a novel, it is extremely flawed. As entertainment, it is incredible. Perhaps most entertaining of all is Sunny Randall herself. True, she often seems like Spenser in petticoats - the same wisecracking wit, the same moral code. Yet Sunny is more compelling than Spenser. Not only is she more introspective than Spenser (we find out about Spenser's inner psyche only by other people - Susan, mainly - talking about him as if he weren't there; we're given a direct link to Sunny's feelings), but she's better than Spenser because she cannot fall back on brawn to get her through situations. Spenser ticks people off because he knows he can beat the snot out of them if he has to. Sunny, like the vast majority of us, does not have that option. Which, all told, makes her more real than Spenser and in some ways more enjoyable. All the complaints about Shrink Rap are fair, but misguided. A Parker book is meant to be read quickly, enjoyed, and then put on the shelf for a slow afternoon at the beach. This is network television in print without the commercials; keep your expectations in line with reality and you will not be disappointed.
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition