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
>"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)
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.
Special thanks to Sasha, Stacy and Stef for sharing the Audible experience with me and being the best of company during my recovery.
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.
Late middle-aged constant reader who greatly prefers Audible "reads" to radio. I love all books -- Audible, eReader and print editions.
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.
Genre fiction, trashy to literary--mystery, action, sci fi, fantasy, and, yes, even romance. Also history. Listener reviews help a lot!
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!
Favorite books: Mysteries Amelia Peabody & Inspector Gamache, supernatural novels by Laurel K. Hamilton, Ilona Andrews and many more!
This book was recommended to me as one of the best in its genre, unfortunately I disagree. The protagonist was a hard core drinker, smoker and solve everything himself type, who handled serious situations with humor.
First of all, he smoked, drank and splurged on junk food to the point of excess, yet he was described as having a powerfully built body that was all muscle... how, by magic? His wit was sort of amusing for the first half of the book, but then it was overplayed and became obnoxious. His bravery was underscored by how unrealistically easy he overcame every difficult situation he got into.
The characters in the book were less than one dimensional. One African American woman in the book referred to herself and her race as "colored," and "darkies." This book takes place in the 60's or 70's, whichever decade it was either during or right on the back of the civil rights movement. I'm sure no African American would have used such derogatory words to describe themselves or their race to a white male.
Women's rights were not commonplace during the time this book took place, but that doesn't mean there were no intelligent and positive women with values. As a woman, I don't enjoy a book where every female is unethical, stupid or needing a mans strong arms around them to make them feel better... what rubbish!
I didn't care about the fate of Spenser or any of the characters in this book, which was cliché and backwards, even given the time period. Don't get me wrong, I know this is fictional, but there is only so much you can overlook for the sake of entertainment.
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.
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
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.
Favorite authors, Elizabeth George, Robert B. Parker, Agatha Christie, PD James
I love the Spenser series and have read all of them. Perhaps someone who has not read any of the series and has no preconceived idea of Spenser might enjoy this narration. The story is fine, the narrator is not.
The narration was so off character. I couldn't even listen to the book. Spenser was not a formal person and the narrator was wrong for this part.
I love this series and have read the hard covers of all of them. The only issue I had with this purchase was the narration. The narrator was totally wrong for the role of Spenser.
Retired Political Science professor from a community college. Especially like Legal Thrillers.
Robert B. Parker is sometimes known as the Dean of American Crime fiction. This is the first book in his voluminous Spencer private detective series. This is not a great mystery, but it unfolds through the eyes of private detective Spencer and his sarcastic humor. Although the reader can be assured that Spencer will ultimately prevail, still the journey to the end is very entertaining and worth a listen.
"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...
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