Robert B. Parker died in January 2010, a little over two and a half years ago. He was a prolific author, writing a book a year for his longest running and most literate private eye, Spenser. A Chandler-esque character (Parker was the author who completed the unfinished Marlowe novel Poodle Springs) Parker gave his creation his own modern spin. Some of the series are among my all-time favourite books (notably The Widening Gyre), and I’ve been saving up the very last three he ever wrote for a while. Read the rest of this entry »
Prior to buying the Kindle, I’d read a few novels using the Kindle App on my iPad and iPhone. These have some of the advantages of the Kindle – in particular the clever bookmark syncing, where if you read the same book on both devices, when you finish reading on one and pick it up on the other, it remembers where you got to. However, there are some drawbacks. The iPad (version 1 at least) is a little too heavy to read comfortably. The iPhone is better, and mine with a retina screen, so the text is much sharper, but the screen was too small and I had to turn the page too often. A backlit screen is still much more like reading a computer than reading a book. Read the rest of this entry »
Like his, my intimate relationships are abiding, loyal, deep and passionate. Like him, I think that what one does, one should do well. If we like eating we should eat well, we should cultivate our senses, we should dress well and learn what suits us, we should play at things that matter and not be idle or trivial. We should travel and know something of the world, we should learn another language. We should view all things, except romantic love, skeptically. We should puncture piety, challenge orthodoxy, we should be secular. We should be cultured without being effete, erudite without being pompous, smart without being glib. We should follow our own law consistently. People we love should know that we won’t let them down. We should be funny.
Again, thanks to archel for the link.
One of my favourite authors died last month. Â I didn’t hear about it at the time, partly because he is strangely unknown over here, partly because I was moving and partly because my Dad withheld the news from me. Â It took two weeks for this obit in the Indy to appear (by which time Dad had finally remembered to mention it); thanks to archel for the link.
Sad to think I will only have the pleasure of reading a brand new Spenser book three more times.
Robert B. Parker is still one of my favourite authors, although his earlier books are the ones I enjoy the most: the twelve novels that introduce Spenser and chart his relationship with Susan Silverman from The Godwulf Manuscript (1973) to A Catskill Eagle (1985) are sublime. Â Whilst the character of Spenser, like the novels, has lost some of his edge in recent years, Parker’s books are hugely more entertaining than almost all the contemporary crime writers I’ve sampled.Â
Now I’ve just spotted on AmazonÂ Chasing the Bear: A Young Spenser Novel. When I’m rereading an early Spenser, it rarely bothers me thatÂ I now know howÂ (like the writing)Â he softens in the later books. But filling out his youth (the details of which Parker has retconned already) is something that is best left to the reader. Â I’ve never wanted to read Young Bond or Young Holmes books, but at least they aren’t by the original creator. Â And can you imagine wanting to read what Philip Marlowe got up to at school?Â Like Spenser, his character may have juvenile traits, but for us to believe in him he has to live entirely in the adult world.
Spenser is an almost entirely self-made person; he’s often stated how much better being an adult is than being a kid. Â He wouldn’t want to go back. Â Nor do I. Â I wonder why Parker does?