In Pursuit of Spenser: Mystery Writers on Robert B. Parker and the Creation of an American Hero by Otto Penzler
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Otto Penzler and a slew of writers give their thoughts on Robert B. Parker and his ground-breaking detective, Spenser.
I grabbed this off of Netgalley. Thank you, Netgalley!
Penzler and the gang (Ace Atkins
Lawrence Block, Reed Farrel Coleman, Max Allan Collins, Matthew Clemens, Brendan DuBois, Loren D. Estleman, Lyndsay Faye, Ed Gorman, Parnell Hall, Jeremiah Healy, Dennis Lehane, Gary Phillips, and S.J. Rozan) tell stories about Robert B. Parker's and/or Spenser's influence on them and crime fiction in general.
I'm not as big of a fan of Spenser as some reviewers. In fact, I've only made it as far as Looking For Rachel Wallace and actually prefer Robert Crais's take on the wise-cracking detective and his deadly partner. Still, I do enjoy Spenser and gave this a try.
It's pretty interesting. It reads like a bunch of eulogies at times. Actually, Lawrence Block's reminds me of Bob Newhart's eulogy of Krusty the Klown in that classic Simpsons's episode where Krusty fakes his own death.
The individual entries range from okay to pretty good. My favorites were Dennis LeHane's story about a rude kid at a party he and Parker were attending and Ace Atkin's story about how reading Spenser taught him how to be a man.
Things got a little repetitive once I passed the halfway mark, however. It seems like everyone talked about Hawk, Spenser's cooking, westerns, and the same few Spenser books. A little more on how earlier detectives influenced Parker and Spenser would have been nice.
Still, it was an interesting read and any fan of Robert Parker and/or Spenser should read it.
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