Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Book review

Good Morning All:

I thought, just for the fun of it, I would write a review of the latest book I have read, before I start on the next one.

The book in question is; "The Professional", by Robert B. Parker.

I should start by stating my qualifications to write a Book Review. They are pretty simple............almost none....., I do however read so much that I tend to recognize when an Author, for reasons of his own, begins to write in a "Cookie Cutter" fashion.
(my Wife's spot-on description)
I should also hastily say that a lot of people like this sort of writing, because they know what to expect from Author X, Y or Z, and they like to read what they are comfortable with. Myself, I like surprises and unpredictable plots.

I have been reading Robert B. Parker for almost as long as he has been writing, and have for the most part enjoyed his effort (s).

However, his latest in his "Spenser" series continues the free fall of his last few books in this series. "The Professional" is once again more of an Ode to his wife, Joan, and Spensers "True Love" Susan than a "Whodunnit" Now I absolutely applaud anyone who dearly loves his wife (or in the distaff case, her husband) and think it should be ever so.

But enough is enough. Gone is the tough, wisecracking, bad guy shooting Spenser and in his stead we are met with the "New" Spenser. Thoughtful, Introspective, casually tossing out little known literary quotes, analyzing his characters as though he were a Psychiatrist, rather than a Private Eye, in short, deflating the identity of the Hero that made me want ro read his books in the first place.

Mr. Parker has written so many Bestsellers, that it appears that he can toss out just about any effort now, and be assured of fat Royalty Checks.. Shame on you Parker. If it ain't broke don't fix it . I want to read about a Private Eye not a lovesick Swain.

And in the final literary injustice of this tome, Mr. Parker copies shamelessly from John Steinbeck ( of mice and men) in his final chapter, and then to compound the plagarism, he "borrows" a character name from "To Kill a Mockingbird"....The Character? .....Boo, as in Radley.

As I have said, Mr. Parker is far more qualified to Write Books, than I am to review them, but in this case, I think my criticism is overdue and not over done. However in the unlikely event of Mr. Parker reading this review, he is probably giving a derisive snort, thinking "What have you written Ace'? And the answer is.........nothing, but I've read one hell of a lot of books and who knows?, perhaps other readers are a little tired of simplified, somewhat boring plots ? Who Knows?

Enough of the swooning, Parker, get back to the Shootin'.

In breaking a long habit, I read a library copy of this book instead of purchasing a copy hot off the presses, and I'm glad I did. I do however own copies of almost all of Mr. Parkers previous books, and enjoyed reading them.

Parker has also written two or three Western Novels, which I thought were uniformly good, and refreshing in that the principal Proponent was not constantly rhapsodizing over his "True Love" or "lost Love" and is not casually throwing in a obscure quote from one Poet or other.

He also, in the past few years gave me reason to hope, when he began a new series, with a Protagonist by the name of Jesse Stone. But alas, I soon found that Stone was a cop who had been fired by the LAPD for a drinking problem, and been subsequently hired as the Police Chief of a small New England Town, and (sigh) was soon mooning over his ex wife, who apparently would hop into bed with, say, Broccoli, if she thought it would help her career. Just when I thought that this was a series I could skip, Parker surprises me by having said Chief Stone tell his ex to "Hit the Road", having finally, apparently, tired of wearing more Horns than a herd of Elk.

So, hope remains burning brightly in this tired, wrinkled old Breast.

So, take this for what it's worth, in that Robert B. Parker is clearly more capable of writing books than am I to critique them.

So..........what the Hey , I've had my say (Rhyming unintentional)

Keep on readin' them good books. We bookworms are fortunate that there is no Dearth of good books out there.

Give your local Librarian a "Thumbs Up"

Stay Well


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