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The Godwulf Manuscript (Spenser Series #1)

Average Rating 3.5
( 119 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(38)

4 Star

(31)

3 Star

(30)

2 Star

(8)

1 Star

(12)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

#1 of a Great Series

Parker's "Spencer" is one of my favorite series of all times. You must read this first book in order to fully enjoy how each character came to be throughout the series.

posted by Dazzle27 on February 16, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Classic Early Spenser

First in the Spenser series - funny how the genre has changed over the years. How often do we find 200 page novels these days? Mysteries/thrillers these days are much longer and involve all types of protagonists - cops, detectives, agents, ex-military cops, etc. Sp...
First in the Spenser series - funny how the genre has changed over the years. How often do we find 200 page novels these days? Mysteries/thrillers these days are much longer and involve all types of protagonists - cops, detectives, agents, ex-military cops, etc. Spenser? Stereo-typical private eye, but Parker does it right.

While short in length, this was a solid introduction to Spenser and a couple of the recurring characters. The rating is three stars, but it probably is more like 3.5 or 3.75. Just not enough there to get it to a four star level. I am doing more and more "series" reading from the beginning (Camel Club, Jack Reacher, Lucas Davenport, Harry Bosch, etc.) and I'm glad I started the Spenser series. This first outing leaves me wanting more - so I'm jumping right into book #2, God Save the Child.

posted by SlapShot62 on May 21, 2010

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  • Posted February 16, 2009

    #1 of a Great Series

    Parker's "Spencer" is one of my favorite series of all times. You must read this first book in order to fully enjoy how each character came to be throughout the series.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2001

    Off to a Good Start

    Most first attempts are a tad awkward and Robert Parker's GODWULF MANUSCRIPT is no exception. However, this book is actually quite excellent, our hero just isn't developed yet. There is no Hawk (his sometime sidekick) and we haven't met Susan yet. What makes the rest of the series so incredible is that we know Spenser already and now it's just a matter of seeing what happens next. Don't be skeptical. This is where it all began; a series that has so far produced about thirty novels, movies, and a TV series. These aren't 'whodunnits' in the classical sense where the guilty person could be one of several characters. The excitement of the books is finding out what Spenser will do next. The reader often knows who did it from the beginning. It's just a matter of watching Spenser do his job. Once you read one Spenser novel you'll be addicted, so you might as well start here and begin the journey. Not only are they quick reads, you'll never want to put them down. Trust me.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 24, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    The Best Mystery series ever!!

    I highly encourage you to start at the beginning and enjoy the SPENSER book series. The entire series can be read individually but I would start at the beginning. The late Robert Parker has such a feel for the Boston area and using that for great mysteries. Spenser is a private eye, that was a former police officer, and helping those who need the help the most is his thing. Book one does not have the main characters you will see later on in the series (Susan and Hawk) but I think that is why I started back at the beginning again after reading the entire series over the last decade.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 21, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Classic Early Spenser

    First in the Spenser series - funny how the genre has changed over the years. How often do we find 200 page novels these days? Mysteries/thrillers these days are much longer and involve all types of protagonists - cops, detectives, agents, ex-military cops, etc. Spenser? Stereo-typical private eye, but Parker does it right.

    While short in length, this was a solid introduction to Spenser and a couple of the recurring characters. The rating is three stars, but it probably is more like 3.5 or 3.75. Just not enough there to get it to a four star level. I am doing more and more "series" reading from the beginning (Camel Club, Jack Reacher, Lucas Davenport, Harry Bosch, etc.) and I'm glad I started the Spenser series. This first outing leaves me wanting more - so I'm jumping right into book #2, God Save the Child.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2006

    Boston-baked-beans. No Torn Halves of Claim Checks. Searing the Social Brine

    Different from the style Parker has perfected in his later Spenser novels, this pilot is richer and meatier in setting and action, with the dialogue taking a back seat to the narrative drama. I like the mood of the pilot, as well as the evolution of it as Parker geometrically-progressed Spenser into a phenomenon. The opening scene of an interview with the university principal captured instantly. I cheered Spenser as he identified and put down a classic, pompous azz. Couldn¿t resist the soul honesty of a P.I. who wasn¿t vulnerable to or taken in by sheer snootiness. Spenser continued reinforcing my be-glued-ability by being brutishly unimpressed by any type of status, prestige, power, or pomp. He breezed aloofly and artfully through the first half of the book, sloughing off every character¿s attempt to control or intimidate him, including clients (who gave him retainers) with oodles of prestige and/or money and class-stature, including a heady collection of various levels and types of police presence (who gave him grief, which he returned in Sam Spade finesse). I gleefully began to get a picture of what Spenser didn¿t respect (me neither), a clear idea of what he observed with crisply designed disgust. As I applauded with high entertainment, I was egged on to know the type of person he would respect. The first simple, ¿I liked her¿ didn¿t show up until I could measure well over a third the total page thickness. Note the ending passage of a murder scene in which Parker exposed his rich history of having wallowed in the marrow of detective fiction: ¿There were no telltale cigar butts, no torn halves of claim checks, no traces of lint from an imported cashmere cloth sold only by J. Press. No footprints, no thumb prints, no clues. Just a drowned kid swelling with death in a shabby bathroom in a crummy apartment in a lousy building run by a grumpy janitor. And me.¿ It¿s not the way a detective novelist describes Death which tells the tale of his seasoning. It¿s the way he sets the murder scene, describes dead bodies, and picks at clues around them. To see this, read chapter 15 from its opening, through the murder scene, through the above quoted passage, to the point of the building super saying, ¿Yes sir.¿ I slipped effortlessly from tearing to cheering. Loved the way Quirk and Spenser did their first male bonding scene in which Spencer answers each of Quirk¿s litany of nagging concerns with ¿me either.¿ Also enjoyed the earlier hostile scenes between these two justice juggling guys as they took their time taking measure of each other, yet seemed to sense kindred-ness ¿at first sight.¿ This is a pure and polished gem upon which a pulchritude of a collection has grown, written by an author who had already primed his seasoning as a novelist. That he continued writing from that level and plateau-ed higher has earned him every sparkle of limelight. I¿m thankful when what I get for my dime allows me to wine and dine in my mind, as the author sears the social brine.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 14, 2014

    The first Spenser

    Before Hawk, when Susan Silverman was new on the scene, set in 1970's Boston -- A great read of the beginning of the Spenser series.

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  • Posted February 14, 2014

    Highly Recommend

    Early Parker was the best. If you've never read the early stuff start here you won't go wrong.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2013

    not Jesse stone

    I had read all of the Jesse Stone novels, even the newer ones not by Parker (they're missing the master's touch), so I thought I'd try the Spenser ones. I didn't care for the main character, as sacrilegious as that sounds, so I didn't enjoy the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2013

    Not a bad entry into detective stories for someone that hasn't had much experience with them.

    Not a bad entry into detective stories for someone that hasn't had much experience with them. I went in blind, so I was a bit unprepaired for how heavily dated the book feels. It wasn't too distracting. There were just moments where I wasn't catching the reference or I had to look up what a term I was unfamiliar with meant. What I really liked the bits of business that helped develop the main character. I'm not a huge fan of stories where the action gets paused for several pages to give descriptions I think it works here because it helps to establish the character's attention to detail. Like someone taking stock of all the important notes they would want to remember if they needed to provide that information to a police officer later. Also there was some nice showing and not telling of the main character's off hours hobbies.

    I'm undecided on if I'll come back to this series. There wasn't anything here that really put me off of it. It's just that it's not in my usual wheelhouse

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  • Posted September 13, 2012

    Classic

    Read this book many years ago, like revisiting an old friend.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2012

    Very, very Good Read.

    I was a fan of the " Spencer " tv show, and the books are even better. The pace of the story does slow once or twice but didn'y hurt the book overall. Very enjoyable read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2011

    Love the Spenser Series

    Another great read by Robert B. Parker.

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    Posted January 2, 2011

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    Posted December 26, 2009

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    Posted July 19, 2011

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    Posted July 9, 2011

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    Posted June 28, 2010

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    Posted November 19, 2011

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    Posted January 26, 2010

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    Posted January 25, 2009

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