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The Godwulf Manuscript | [Robert B. Parker]

The Godwulf Manuscript

Spenser earned his degree in the school of hard knocks, so he is ready when a Boston university hires him to recover a rare, stolen manuscript. He is hardly surprised that his only clue is a radical student with four bullets in his chest. The cops are ready to throw the book at the pretty blond coed whose prints are all over the murder weapon but Spenser knows there are no easy answers. He tackles some very heavy homework and knows that if he doesn't finish his assignment soon, he could end up dead.
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Publisher's Summary

Spenser earned his degree in the school of hard knocks, so he is ready when a Boston university hires him to recover a rare, stolen manuscript. He is hardly surprised that his only clue is a radical student with four bullets in his chest.

The cops are ready to throw the book at the pretty blond coed whose prints are all over the murder weapon but Spenser knows there are no easy answers. He tackles some very heavy homework and knows that if he doesn't finish his assignment soon, he could end up marked "D" -- for dead.

Crack another case with Spenser.

©1992 Robert B. Parker; (P)2009 Random House

What the Critics Say

>"Spenser is Boston's answer to James Bond - irreverent, witty, worldy. His first-person recital of his detective work makes for fast, amusing reading." (The Pittsburgh Press)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (324 )
5 star
 (72)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.8 (180 )
5 star
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3 star
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1 star
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Story
3.8 (178 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    William Columbia, Seychelles 03-31-10
    William Columbia, Seychelles 03-31-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
    ratings
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    84
    9
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    "Good start to a great series!"

    I've gone years without attempting the Spenser series. I decided to take up the task of trying to read all the books in the series in order. This book is a great start. Without spoiling anything, you get a sense of Spenser's humor while getting a great mini mystery. Yes the book is unabridged and great for a quick trip but the reader is wear it counts. At first his narration comes off as dull but you start to enjoy his interpretation of the character. The story is nothing revolutionary but the plus side is that you can tell Parker respects the likes of Chandler, Hammett etc...which adds to the feel of the novel.

    Overall the book is a solid 4 out of 5 stars. Not the best, not the worst. If you're a completest like me then read it, if not still read it because it's the introduction of Spenser who is one of the greats in detective fiction.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol Massachusetts 07-06-12
    Carol Massachusetts 07-06-12 Member Since 2010

    Good writing has ... a balance and a rhythm. You can feel that much better when it's read aloud. --Laura Hillenbrand, author of "Unbroken"

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Trip Down Memory Lane"

    Ahh, 1973. The good old days BC (before cell phones), when the left-wingers and not the right-wingers were the ones calling for the overthrow of the government, and ostentatious consumerism was still considered tacky. A college secretary wears a purple suede garment that Spenser notes is ???too short to be a skirt and too long to be a belt.??? She has paired it with a shiny red shirt with wide lapels. I think I may have owned both those items once upon a time, although if I ever wore them together I???ve repressed the occasion.

    In this First Chronicle of Spenser, the erudite but self-educated boxer-turned-cop-turned-tough-PI takes on effete academia at the height of the hell-no-we-won???t-go era. I enjoyed it, but it really is a period piece. I found it interesting to compare ???Godwulf??? with later Spenser books in which college administrations play a significant role??????Playmates,??? ???Hush Money,??? and ???Small Vices??? come immediately to mind, and I think there are others. Perhaps there???s a thesis there: ???The Evolution of the University in the Spenser Novels.???

    Ave atque Vale, Robert B. Parker!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane Chicago, IL, United States 07-20-13
    Jane Chicago, IL, United States 07-20-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very enjoyable. I like the author’s wit."

    This is the first book in the Spenser series: a private eye mystery. Nothing unusual about the plot or method of solving the mystery, and some of the motivations and events might be a little weak. But I’m really enjoying the series. He makes me laugh at unexpected times. It’s not a lot of laughs - maybe once every other chapter. But it’s rare for an author to get a laugh out of me. So it’s worth it.

    The narrator Michael Prichard was very good.

    Genre: PI mystery

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cathleen Chicago, IL, United States 06-07-11
    Cathleen Chicago, IL, United States 06-07-11 Member Since 2007

    Late middle-aged constant reader who greatly prefers Audible "reads" to radio. I love all books -- Audible, eReader and print editions.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
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    "Totally Retro Read"

    Honestly, this is NOT great literature, and the setting is SO burned into the late sixties (pre-women's lib, post sexual revolution, mid-hippies) that I felt like I was in a time machine. But it is entertaining and archetypical private eye mystery material. Spenser is sensitive but macho, sexy but uninvolved, Scotch-drinking but health-conscious -- how can you not love this little bite of a book? Readers under 30 may not know what the heck is going on, but I enjoyed it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Wadsworth, OH, United States 04-21-11
    Michael Wadsworth, OH, United States 04-21-11 Member Since 2010
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    "Not a bad start to a series"

    I'm a big fan of Parker's "Jesse Stone" series, but I'd never listened to any of the Spenser books, so when I saw this one in the $4.95 sale I decided to give it a try. It was ok, I didn't struggle through it or anything, but it was a very basic detective story. I didn't like the reader, and it took me awhile to get used to him, but I eventually did. Can't really recommend this book, as I didn't like it that much, but I can't really knock it either as it was an ok listen. If you like basic detective stories, or you want to start the Spenser books from the beginning then this book isn't too bad a choice.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Harry Virginia Beach, VA, United States 02-04-11
    Harry Virginia Beach, VA, United States 02-04-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Godwulf Manuscript"

    A very entertaining and amusing book. The detective is a nice but tough guy who gives as much punishment as he gets. He suffers no fools and has no patience with "put offs." Once started I could not turn the book off until the end. The action is continuous.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rick United States 10-10-14
    Rick United States 10-10-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Slow"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Change the narrator.


    If you’ve listened to books by Robert B. Parker before, how does this one compare?

    Never have before.


    Did Michael Prichard do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    No. To bland.


    Do you think The Godwulf Manuscript needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Hope the next would be better.


    Any additional comments?

    This was hard to get into. Didn't like the narrator and the whole story was slow and from the 60's I think. Enjoyed the Spenser movies and TV show but this was a hard listen. I hope the next one is better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    rick 07-27-14
    rick 07-27-14 Member Since 2011

    Audible has been a lifesaver as I continue to go through the process of physical recovery.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    103
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    "The First Spenser Novel: Still One of the Best."

    Spenser's on campus in 1973 when one investigation leads to his being involved in a bogus murder charge against a coed as her only advocate and protector. The introductory novel of the series was a breath of fresh air at the time, and this one stands up as an excellent example of Spenser's best. It's also the one pre Susan Spenser novel and that alone would elevate it. This one however stands on it's own; the portrait of Terri's wealthy parents is the snapshot of the era. As are the professor and Terri's wannabe badass boyfriend. It's not a Spenser that's recognizable to those more familiar with his later works socially as he has sex with a mother and daughter in less than 24 hours. Iris Milford is another great character and it's interesting to watch Spenser and Quirk stand toe-to-toe ready to go. Even with a subpar narrator this one is a five star listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K N 09-03-12
    K N 09-03-12 Listener Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    4
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    "Good Story - Good Stage Setting"

    I'm a Spenser and I thought it would be good to go back to the beginning and see how all this started. I enjoyed the first time perspective of this novel and it was fun to see Spenser stretch his legs. However, I'm not too much of a fan of the "Grandfather reads a book" style of narration. I much prefer the story telling actor narration of, say, Scott Brick or Simon Vance. I think I will avoid the rest of the Michael Prichard Spensers and put them on my Kindle instead.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bookbums 07-17-12
    Bookbums 07-17-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
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    "First Spenser"
    Would you listen to The Godwulf Manuscript again? Why?

    I have and will again. This is the first Spenser, and all that comes after has this as the foundation.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    NO! NO! NO! The television show was awful, and I can not imagine that a movie would be better.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 21 results PREVIOUS123NEXT
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  • Maxine
    Maidenhead, United Kingdom
    6/17/10
    Overall
    "A no-nonsense read."

    Fast paced, no nonsense, tightly written and witty. More gritty than the series Spenser for Hire which was based on this character and which I can remember watching when I was young. The TV series, with Robert Urich, was as much for the gals as for the guys but I would say this book would appeal more to the male reader.

    I enjoyed it though and if you do, there are so many more in the series to chose from...

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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