Monday, July 19, 2010
VALEDICTION by Robert B. Parker
This is a good story.
It still has the self-indulgent Spenser and, now, the absent Susan, but it has a strong story too.
I don't think I'd read this book before.
A friend of Paul's asks Spenser to rescue his girlfriend from what he thinks is a cult, and that leads Spenser to a larger crime.
There is real action and danger in this book, more so than in the last one. But Spenser and Susan come off as less than admirable, to put it kindly.
Spenser leads a wonderful young woman to fall in love with him and then dumps her when Susan hints that, somewhere along the way, she might come back. And Susan takes another lover too. They are both so self-involved that it is hard to get beyond that to the story.
At one point, Spenser says, "I was tired of Banks, and of his obsession, and of Sherry and Winston and the Reorganized Church. I was tired of me too."
At that point, I agreed. I was tired of Spenser, and I ended the story tired of him, thinking he was a heel. He had stiff-armed the best woman in the story.
So, I struggle on with mixed feelings about the Spenser saga.
This book makes me see Spenser in a different way. I will probably never read another Spenser book and see Spenser as so much of a hero as I saw him to be before. I will never forget what he did to Linda.
But I intend to finish the series. My wife and I decided it would be fun to look at the whole story, the major work of Robert B. Parker. The books are easy reading. They have many redeeming characteristics. And a few of the books are great.
When it comes to reading, what more could I ask?