Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Robert B. Parker


Robert B. Parker, the creator of Spenser, Hawk, Jesse Stone, and Sunny Randall, has apparently died today. He was 77.

His novels were mostly dialog, fast reads -- I could zip through one in an hour -- and Spenser was more Sam Spade than Sherlock Holmes. He would get a client, stick himself in harm's way, and eventually take down the bad guy, often with the help of the coolest bad-ass in fiction, Hawk, and with aid and comfort from the smartest and loveliest shrink, Susan Silverman. And some couch-hogging from Pearl, the wonder-dog.

Jesse Stone was essentially Spenser as a drunk, and Sunny Randall, Spenser in a skirt, but they were fun reads. Fans of Bobby Crais will see the west coast versions of Parker's characters -- Elvis Cole and Joe Pike.

Seldom anything deep in these mystery novels, but fun, and while you knew you were gonna get a hamburger and not filet mignon, they were pretty good burgers. Even if he did get the gun stuff wrong now and again.

Adios, Mr. Parker.

6 comments:

Mark Jones said...

I just got the news in the Publishers Marketplace letter. I'm seriously bummed. I really, really enjoyed all of his work. Spenser, Sunny, Stone, the Appaloosa novels. I'm going to miss reading new stuff from him, though I'm sure there's some still in the pipeline (at least one more Jesse Stone novel for sure).

Parker definitely and always passed your "buy the six-pack or buy this novel?" test for me.

Dan Moran said...

Sorry to hear it. My 14 year old is working his way through Parker's stuff right now. (Hell, I'm reading one of the Jesse Stone novels.)

Ximena Cearley said...

The man could cook.

Aaron said...

I'm pretty bummed out about this. I've been a fan for 20 years, and I just finished "The Professional" a couple of days ago. Sure, he was very much writing by the book the last 10 or so years, but man, what a book. I loved his characters, from Spenser to Jesse to Sunny, from Hawk to Vinnie to Spike.

RIP Bob...

J.D. Ray said...

I haven't read any of his novels, but enjoyed one or two of the Jesse Stone movies starring Tom Selleck. I obviously don't know how well they stuck to the novels, but I liked the stories and the character.

Steve Perry said...

I think Selleck's Stone character is pretty close, as are the secondary characters in that TV movie series. Selleck would have made a good Spenser, since the two characters are very much alike.