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Chance: A Spenser Novel | [Robert B. Parker]

Chance: A Spenser Novel

Big-time Boston hoodlum Julius Ventura wants to find his only daughter's missing husband - at least that's how he puts it to Spenser and Hawk, even though its pretty clear that Julius isn't telling the whole truth. Or maybe not any part of the truth. Something about the case appeals to Spenser's passion for justice, and he launches an odyssey that takes the tough-but-tender duo with their penchant for literary allusions into the netherworld of organized crime.
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Publisher's Summary

Big-time Boston hoodlum Julius Ventura wants to find his only daughter's missing husband - at least that's how he puts it to Spenser and Hawk, even though its pretty clear that Julius isn't telling the whole truth. Or maybe not any part of the truth. Something about the case appeals to Spenser's passion for justice, and he launches an odyssey that takes the tough-but-tender duo with their penchant for literary allusions into the netherworld of organized crime.

From the throne room of crime lords to the Vegas strip, from two-bit wiseguys with a genius for dangerous liasions to gangster's molls in jeopardy, from larceny to homicide, Spenser and Hawk soon discover that what's at stake in this game is not an ardent groom and her blushing bride, but control of gangland Boston. Against the bright lights and seamy side streets of Las Vegas, they find themselves dead center in a circus of violence whose shadowy ringmaster is all too familiar.

Crack another case with Spenser.

©1997 Robert B. Parker; (P)2009 Phoenix

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (60 )
5 star
 (22)
4 star
 (17)
3 star
 (14)
2 star
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1 star
 (2)
Overall
4.2 (36 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
3.8 (36 )
5 star
 (16)
4 star
 (9)
3 star
 (4)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (4)
Performance
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  •  
    bebe South Carolina 04-29-10
    bebe South Carolina 04-29-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    402
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    460
    87
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    42
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "story good - reader bad"

    This is a good story with a lot of action and mystery. Hawk and Susan are in the story, and that is alway a plus for me; however, the presentation is not at all good. Burt Reynolds does NOT do a good Spencer voice and the accents he uses for his other characters are just over the top. He also does NOT to a good Hawk. I really had a hard time listening to this audiobook - it was a chore to listen all the way through. The only reason it got a "2" instead of a "1" from me is because Robert Parker did his usual good writing job. Too bad Burt Reynolds ruined it.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chablis from Seattle Seattle, WA USA 11-16-12
    Chablis from Seattle Seattle, WA USA 11-16-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    17
    16
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Parker as always, Narration a horror!"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Hire a different narrator. I read the hardback version of this book and was looking forward to listening to the audio version. I did not expect to be chronically irritated and distracted by Reynolds' phlegmy, gutteral, whiny versions of the voices...to the point that I removed my earplugs every time Jesse Ventura began to speak. Also, he mispronounced simple words in the text. What a shame. This is a terrific story that was ruined by a totally inept narrator.


    What other book might you compare Chance to and why?

    None.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Burt Reynolds was a charming actor, and I've heard him read one other Parker book. In the other novel, his voice didn't flummox me with its grating, unrealistic tone. In CHANCE the narration was so distracting that it was impossible to ignore its poor quality to listen to the story. It sounded as though he needed to clear his throat or nose. In addition, I resent the mispronunciation of words over and over again. Very unprofessional.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Chance?

    I would edit every scene in which Shirley Ventura appears. The scene between Spenser and Shirley in a restaurant was overly long and painful to read, and her drunken, loutish behavior didn't contribute to the story.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rolly Sellersville, PA, United States 09-23-10
    Rolly Sellersville, PA, United States 09-23-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    1
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    "Good book, laughable performance..."

    I STILL enjoyed the book...Parker is a master at this sort of thing, and, like all Spenser novels, the book itself is a pleasure.
    Burt Reynolds? That's more complicated. On the plus side, his voice has the sort of gravitas required to make a crime novel into a successful audiobook. Then there's the minus side; Reynolds continually, destroys the meaning of sentences by not understanding the syntax. He pronounces "moot", as in "it's a moot point", as "mute". All of this sort of stuff is annoying, especially in someone who is ostensibly an actor....but the voices are the worst...any blue collar character is invested with an accent that sounds straight from Alabama or Mississippi, which would be fine, except for the fact that the book is set in Boston. Occasionally, a character WILL start out with a Boston accent, but it always becomes a southern accent within 30 seconds or so. White collar characters all sound like the worst parody of an effete ivy leaguer. Hawk comes off okay, and Spenser, most erudite of PIs, is okay aside from often mispronouncing words.
    In short, the reading is almost bad enough to destroy the enjoyment of the book, but not quite...still, given a choice, I'd much prefer listening to Joe Mantegna or Michael Pritchard, both of whom do Spenser justice.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen sparta, NJ, United States 10-09-09
    Karen sparta, NJ, United States 10-09-09 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    63
    ratings
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    16
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    "Good story, bad narration"

    AS soon as Burt Reynolds mispronounced the first word early in the listening, I knew it was going to be rough. And his rendition of Hawkis terrible. Joe Mantegna is the best narrator for this series.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonthan C. Cons Porter, ME USA 02-10-13
    Jonthan C. Cons Porter, ME USA 02-10-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "How to wreck a good story"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Chance to be better than the print version?

    No


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Chance?

    Any of Spencer's wisecracking.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    "Bernard J. FORTUNO"?"LiBERRY"?Makes Hawk sound like an idiot.Narration is so bad, it is difficult to listen to.


    Any additional comments?

    Won't listen to this one again.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frances Los Osos, CA, United States 09-23-14
    Frances Los Osos, CA, United States 09-23-14 Member Since 2009

    I am a business owner, but don't much like books on business. Like English mysteries, cozies that aren't very cozy. I really want to like fantasy and science fiction but everything I try like that seems disappointing. I like some spy novels. I am a grandmother and I am in a book club.

    ratings
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    105
    6
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    Performance
    Story
    "The best reading ever of a Spenser novel."
    What made the experience of listening to Chance the most enjoyable?

    I dissed Burt Reynolds for his other readings, and this one makes me sorry.The ones I heard before sounded as if he were severely medicated, but this is Burt on his game, and it makes me wish he'd do more. You know, he never was just a pretty face.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Not a very intricate story, but for me character is what I like best about Parkers' work.


    Have you listened to any of Burt Reynolds’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This is the best one I've heard.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Val Merrill, WI, United States 03-27-13
    Val Merrill, WI, United States 03-27-13
    ratings
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    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Enjoyed Very Much!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    A Spencer Novel is always a welcome read. If you remember the TV program you can just see Robert Ulrich as Spencer. Miss those programs, but try to read all Spencer books.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Hawk is always my favorite, cool, no-nonsense character.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Denise Walnut Creek, CA, United States 11-11-12
    Denise Walnut Creek, CA, United States 11-11-12 Member Since 2009

    I buy audio books to listen to during my commute and for taking long walks.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Burt Reynolds did a pretty good job as narrator"
    What made the experience of listening to Chance the most enjoyable?

    Burt Reynolds was very good at the character voices. I was not expecting much, but was pleasantly surprised.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Good plot. I am currently addicted to listening to my pal Spenser when i go walking. This kept me entertained.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Did not have a favorite


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    These books are 'mind candy' for me. Fun, good writing, some suspense, entertaining. I laughed out loud at some of Spenser's cracks, but 'moved'?


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ilene New York, New York United States 08-27-12
    Ilene New York, New York United States 08-27-12 Member Since 2010
    ratings
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    9
    1
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    Story
    "Burt Reynolds should narrate every Spenser novel."
    Would you listen to Chance again? Why?

    Perhaps someday. Rarely listen twice.


    Any additional comments?

    I felt that the narrator made the book real for me - all the voices perfect. I could see the entire story unfold in my mind's eye.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew Kelley NORTHPORT, ALABAMA, United States 04-20-12
    Matthew Kelley NORTHPORT, ALABAMA, United States 04-20-12 Member Since 2010

    I teach American Literature and am the proud daddy of a 2 year old.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    10
    9
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    0
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    "A pleasure from start to finish"
    Would you listen to Chance again? Why?

    Burt Reynolds performance. He seems to understand the cadence of Parker's writing in a way other audiobook readers don't.


    Which character ??? as performed by Burt Reynolds ??? was your favorite?

    Spenser.


    Any additional comments?

    What a pity the publisher decided to go with Joe M. as the reader on the majority of the series. Reynolds reading Parker is a true treat.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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