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Publisher's Summary

A bitter divorce is only the beginning. First the father hires thugs to kidnap his son. Then the mother hires Spenser to get the boy back. But as soon as Spenser senses the lay of the land, he decides to do some kidnapping of his own.

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    118
  • 4 Stars
    63
  • 3 Stars
    19
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    2

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    98
  • 4 Stars
    44
  • 3 Stars
    12
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    3

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    98
  • 4 Stars
    47
  • 3 Stars
    12
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Probably the best Spenser book

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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

One of the Best

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

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • bebe
  • South Carolina
  • 04-19-10

a very good Spencer novel

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amy
  • Michigan
  • 05-06-18

My favorite Spenser book.

This isn't my favorite reader of the main character (Joe Montagna holds that place in my heart), but what I really like here is the way he manages to make Paul sound less and less whiny as the book proceeds. He does a good job of portraying the growing up that takes place over the course of the novel.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

better audio required

The audio was sketchy. I had to turn it up and down all the time

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

My favorite Spenser book to date.

Great story classic Spencer. Any one who struggled through their parents divorce will appreciate Spenser's relationship with Paul. Great reading, too.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

My favourite so far

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.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • JL
  • 08-08-16

worst so far

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.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Early Autumn. By R.B. Parker

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.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The narrator's style was wrong for the Spencer character

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.