Crack another case with Spenser.
©1988 Robert B. Parker; (P)2009 Random House
"Like Philip Marlowe, Spenser is a man of honor in a dishonorable world. When he says he will do something, it is done. The dialogues zings, and there is plenty of action... but it is the moral element that sets them above most detective fiction." (Newsweek)
Pale Kings and Princes, the 14th in the series, is a traditional Spencer" format (Hawk and Susan are present). The residents in the small town Spencer visits are not very likeable people -the bad guys are really BAD. Drugs are rampant. Spencer has a tough time finding anything to eat that pleases him. People try to kill him and Spencer has to take some pretty drastic measures (including highjacking)- all very entertaining. I like the state tooper Spencer meets and hope he appears in future books.
The very best of all Spencer readers, in my opinion, is David Dukes, but it appears he only read Spencer books for cassette tapes. However Joe Montegna and Michael Prichard are very good. I highly recommend Prichard's reading of Pale Kings and Princes.
Spencer fans will love this book. If you are unfamiliar with Spencer, I suggest that you dive in. I would not recommend that you start with the first audible book (Godwulf Manuscript), if Burt Reynolds is the reader because he is terible! Read that one yourself. I grew to love Spencer when I started with later books where Spencer's personality, and also the personalities of Susan, Hawk and Pearl, are fully developed. Then I backtracked to learn how they developed. Of the later books, Early Autumn is my favorite (even though Susan is not yet fully developed). Some other good later novels are Bad Business, Cold Service, Thin Air, and Paper Doll. A negative of starting with later books is that there are many repeat characters. If you start with the first book, you get introduced to them as they are "born".
Some listeners are turned off by the "he saids" which follow many sentences - but you get used to it - that is just the Robert Parker style. I don't even notice it.
With almost 800 books in my library, I am an experienced listener. I appreciate a well written good story. I am pretty critical of trash.
I just love his books. I love the humor, the tongue and cheek take me back to The Thin Man, forties black and white. I especially love Spencer's independent and somewhat radical but true morality. I like to be entertained and this does it all for me. Good writing within the context. His books are not pretentious, which really bores me. I can listen to his books while I am going to sleep and not be "disturbed" by exploitive violence, brutality, abuse etc. It reminds me of a really good cheeseburger. It would not be in keeping to present it on a china plate with Waterford crystal. The writing style, the story line, the narrator, and length all come together to form a complementary form. I guess what I am saying is that the writing style compliments the content. The writing style is the personality of Spencer. It doesn't get more integrated than that. I am not a particularly good writer, but I am a good reader, and I am very particular about what i read. I love these for easy fun listening. Like I said, it is like a great cheeseburger.
I would recommend the whole Spenser series by Robert Parker.
I like the dialogue, and Spenser's crisp humour in dealing with small town corrupted cops, drug dealers and his pal Hawks. Least interesting is all the love fluff with his girlfriend. This entry is not the best in the series, but the background quality of the writing is always there.
I simply adore his slightly metallic voice, whether he is reading the Spenser's novels by Robert Parker or the Nero Wolfe's novels by Rex Stout. He is perfect in both roles.
Not laugh otu loud, but it is witty
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