With a contract out on his life, he heads for the Maine woods, determined to give a puny 15 year old a crash course in survival and to beat his dangerous opponents at their own brutal game.
©1992 Robert B Parker; (P)2009 Random House
Spenser is hired by Patty Giacomin to find and retrieve her son, Paul, who has been abducted by her ex-husband. Spenser soon realizes that 15-year-old Paul is being used as a weapon in a fierce and unrelenting battle between the Giacomins, neither of whom actually care much about him. Spenser decides to take care of the boy himself, and to attempt to teach him to become autonomous. This creates a certain amount of tension between Spenser and Susan, and a certain amount of danger for Spenser, who discovers that Mel Giacomin has mob connections.
Most of book contains two story lines: Spenser's efforts to find a way to get Paul out of the battle between his parents, and his teaching of Paul to become an independent person at a very young age.
In my opinion, the best part of the story is the work of Spenser to teach young Paul how to deal with the disasters of his family life and prevent them from consuming him.
If you like Spenser, you should find this book very enjoyable; swiftly paced, well-written, and full of telling and enjoyable details.
Attorney - love to listen to audio books
If you like Spencer, you will like Early Autumn. This book has all the "Spencer" elements I like, Spencer is his usual sexy wise cracking self and Hawk is involved. Susan is not quite as suppotive of Spencer as she is in other novels, but she is there, and in love with Spencer. Eary Autumn gives good insight into Spencers values for making a young man a "man". It was fun to watch the growth of the young man he befriends. This was a very good prchase for me.
The wisdom is reaching far beyond what we see. Delight in the journey
Spencer is his typical wisecracking, head cracking self in this one. Unlike his usual cases in this one Spencer takes on a neglected child. The time and interaction between the two of them are what the kid needs most after a lifetime of being ignored by both parents. Thankfully the amount of time devoted to Susan Silverman in this book is limited. The over the top affection everyone feels for her for no apparent reason; particularly Spencer, gets tiring. Hawk appears in his similarly one dimensional role that seems to be perfect for the genre; he's the perfect weapon. the climatic showdown scene in which he does what Spencer can't; do what has to be done is prototypical Hawk. If you like Spencer this is one of the best choices
Blogger of accidental discoveries through books
I've enjoyed every one of the Spenser stories so far. This one was particularly good. There's so much moral philosophy through it, about right and wrong. It's my favourite so far. Michael Prichard's narration is perfect.
Perhaps Parker was building a house or taking charge of a boyscout troop given the inane detail with which he tries the reader/listener's patience. The narrator is fine as usual. In fact he should have been awarded hazard pay or mental health benefits for this drudgery.
I love all of the Spenser stories.
However, this is easily my favorite (I have read and re-read several times).
All the previous reviews I have read describe the storylines very well.
Parker does a great job at writing about what matters when faced with making various decisions in life.
He does this through Spenser when the PI takes a young man under his wing and saves him from his parents neglect!
Spenser teaches Paul (who shows up many times later in future Spenser stories) how to "man up".
Their relationship start roughly since the young man has a lot of trust issues, but tenacious Spenser gets through finally and helps the boy to a much better path of life.
GET THIS ONE!! You will like it.
Loved this story - one of my favorites.
However, I really missed someone similar to Chazz Palminteri or Joe Pantolano (actors, if I've misspelled their names). This narrator didn't have a Boston / New England accent, and was distracting vs. complimentary to the storyline.
partly because this has a neat relationship developing and changing.
A teenage boy is neglected and mistreated by his parents. (They don’t deserve to have a kid.) I loved Spenser’s relationship with the boy and the changes that happened. I enjoyed the way Spenser got the parents to do something. And there is a neat ending.
The narrator Michael Prichard was very good.
This is book #7 in the Spenser series.
Genre: PI mystery
Yes. It has a good message. Laid out well. Spenser's remarks are typical of Parker and very enjoyable.
This is one of my favorite Robert Parker books and Robert Parker is one of my favorite audio book authors. This plot is different, because there isn't a murder mystery to be solved, but a complicated issue of seeing to it that a neglected, young boy is prepared to lead life as an adult---and, then, unraveling the sordid pasts of his parents so that he can live as he wishes with no interference from his miserable, self-absorbed mother and father. I loved this book.
The moment when Spenser admonishes Susan and tells her not to be "ordinary: because she's jealous of the time he has spent away from her. I enjoyed the fact that her reaction to Spenser's absorbing attempt to care for Paul (who appears in later books) was selfish and self-absorbed. I enjoyed the fact that Paul understands that she resents him. And I enjoyed the fact that she does "come around" but only with limitations. Parker does not go for the stereotypical "feel good" solutions.
My favorite scene occurred when Spenser tells Paul that he was right about his plan for the boy's future and Paul asks, "What..do you want a Nobel Prize?" The "smart" response showed his increase in self-confidence and his adaptation of Spenser's repartee for his own personality.
Jog a mile, punch the bag, expand your mind...grow up!
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