Early Autumn (Spenser Series #7)

( 43 )

Overview

A bitter divorce is only the beginning. First the father hires thugs to kidnap his son. Then the mother hires Spenser to get the boy back. But as soon as Spenser senses the lay of the land, he decides to do some kidnapping of his own.

With a contract out on his life, he heads for the Maine woods, determined to give a puny 15 year old a crash course in survival and to beat his dangerous opponents at their own brutal game.

"Parker is now the best writer of this kind of fiction in ...

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Early Autumn (Spenser Series #7)

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Overview

A bitter divorce is only the beginning. First the father hires thugs to kidnap his son. Then the mother hires Spenser to get the boy back. But as soon as Spenser senses the lay of the land, he decides to do some kidnapping of his own.

With a contract out on his life, he heads for the Maine woods, determined to give a puny 15 year old a crash course in survival and to beat his dangerous opponents at their own brutal game.

"Parker is now the best writer of this kind of fiction in business today." (The New York Republic)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780440122142
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/28/1992
  • Series: Spenser Series , #7
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 155,724
  • Lexile: 570L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 4.17 (w) x 6.86 (h) x 0.58 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert B. Parker
Featuring rapid-fire dialogue and spicy characters, Robert B. Parker's books are top-shelf reading for fans of detective crime novels. His Spenser series is several titles strong and an established classic; lately Parker has raised the stakes with two additional series (one featuring private eye Sunny Randle, the other featuring police chief Jesse Stone) that may eventually rival his beloved Boston P.I.

Biography

Robert B. Parker began as a student of hard-boiled crime writers such as Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, but when he became a crime writer himself, he was one of the rare contemporary authors to be considered on par with his predecessors. The Spenser series, featuring a Boston-based ex-boxer and ex-cop, is one of the genre's most respected and popular fixtures.

Noted for their sharp dialogue and fine character development, the Spenser books carry on a tradition while updating it, particularly in giving its hero two strong alter egos in Hawk, a black friend and right-hand man; and Susan Silverman, Spenser's psychologist love interest. Parker's inclusion of other races and sexual persuasions (several of his novels feature gay characters, a sensibility strengthened in Parker through his sons, both of whom are gay) give a more modern feel to the cases coming into Spenser's office.

The Spenser series, which began with 1973's The Godwulf Manuscript, has an element of toughness that suits its Boston milieu; but it delves just as often into the complex relationship between Silverman and Spenser, and the interplay between the P.I. and Hawk.

By the late ‘80s, Parker had acquired such a reputation that the agent for Raymond Chandler's estate tapped him to finish the legend's last book, Poodle Springs. It was a thankless mission bound to earn criticism, but Parker carried off the task well, thanks to his gift for to-the-point writing and deft plotting. "Parker isn't, even here, the writer Chandler was, but he's not a sentimentalist, and he darkens and deepens Marlowe," the Atlantic concluded. In 1991, Parker took a second crack at Chandler with the Big Sleep sequel Perchance to Dream.

Parker took other detours from Spenser over the years. In 1999, Family Honor introduced Sunny Randall, a female Boston private eye Parker created with actress Helen Hunt in mind. Two years earlier, he introduced L.A.-to-New England cop transplant Jesse Stone in Night Passage. He also authored four bestselling Westerns featuring Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch, a few young adult books, as well as several stand-alone novels that were well-received by his many fans.

Parker died suddenly in January 2010 while at home at his desk, working on a book. The cause was a heart attack. He was seventy-seven.

Good To Know

Parker's thesis in graduate school was a study of the private eye in literature that centered on Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett and Ross MacDonald. Critics would later put him in the same category as those authors.

Parker's main hero is named for Edmund Spenser, the 16th-century author of The Faerie Queene.

Parker had a hand in writing the scripts for some television adaptations of Spenser books starring Robert Urich, who also played Spenser in the ABC series from 1985-88. Urich suffered a battle with cancer and passed away in 2002, but adaptations continue to be made for A&E, starring Joe Mantegna. Parker approved of the new actor, telling the New York Times: ''I looked at Joe and I saw Spenser."

According to a profile in the New York Times, Parker met his wife Joan when the two were toddlers at a birthday party. The two reconnected as freshmen at Colby College and eventually had two sons. They credit the survival of their marriage to a house split into separate living spaces, so that the two can enjoy more independent lives than your average husband and wife.

Parker told fans in a 1999 Barnes & Noble.com chat that he thought his non-series historical novel All Our Yesterdays was "the best thing I've ever written."

Parker had a small speaking part in the 1997 A&E adaptation of Small Vices. How does he have time to write his Spenser books, plus the other series and the adaptation stuff? "Keep in mind, it takes me four or five months to write a novel, which leaves me a lot of time the rest of the year," he told Book magazine. "I don't like to hang around."

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    1. Date of Birth:
      September 17, 1932
    2. Place of Birth:
      Springfield, Massachusetts
    1. Date of Death:
      January 18, 2010
    2. Place of Death:
      Cambridge, Massachusetts
    1. Education:
      B.A. in English, Colby College, 1954; M.A., Ph. D. in English, Boston University, 1957, 1971
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 43 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 44 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2005

    THE OVERNIGHT SON

    'EARLY AUTUMN', THE 7TH NOVEL IN THE SPENSER DETECTIVE SERIES, IS UNDOUBTEDLY ONE OF PARKER'S BEST. IT INTRODUCES PAUL GIACOMIN, SPENSER'S 'ADOPTED' SON. SPENCER IS ASKED BY PAUL'S MOTHER, PATTY, TO GET PAUL, THEN A 15-YEAR-OLD BOY, BACK FROM HER DIVORCED HUSBAND, MEL, WHO HAS 'KIDNAPPED' HIM. SPENSER DOES THIS, ONLY TO FIND OUT THAT NEITHER PARENT WANTS THE BOY; THEY MERELY USE HIM TO GET BACK AT EACH OTHER, OFTEN IN UGLY WAYS. HE FURTHER DISCOVERS THAT 'MEL' HAS MOB CONNECTIONS & IS WILLING TO RESORT TO VIOLENCE TO GET HIS WAY. PATTY, EVENTUALLY RUNNING OUT OF MONEY TO HAVE SPENSER 'BODYGUARD' HER & HER SON, BEGS SPENCER (IN FRONT OF PAUL) TO 'ADOPT' THE BOY & KEEP HIM, SO THAT SHE CAN RUN OFF INTO THE SUNSET WITH HER CURRENT FLAME, A NARCISSISTIC MAN WHO HAS MADE IT CLEAR HE DOES NOT WANT THE BOY. SPENCER, FEELING TRUE EMPATHY FOR THIS LONELY, SORELY NEGLECTED YOUNG MAN, WHO HAS NEVER BEEN TAKEN CARE OF, NEVER BEEN TAUGHT HOW TO DRESS, HOW TO ACT IN SIMPLE SOCIAL SITUATIONS, HOW TO ORDER IN A RESTAURANT. SPENCER MOVES THE BOY INTO A COUNTRY CABIN OWNED BY SUSAN SILVERMAN, WHERE HE AND THE BOY BEGIN TO BUILD A NEW CABIN TOGETHER. SPENCER ALSO BUYS THE BOY CLOTHES & BEGINS HIS SOCIAL EDUCATION. HE TELLS PAUL THAT SINCE HE HAS USELESS PARENTS WHO WILL ALWAYS DO HIM MORE HARM THAN GOOD, HE WILL HAVE TO GROW UP BEFORE HIS TIME. HE TELLS HIM THAT BEFORE HIS PARENTS TAKE HIM BACK, HE MUST BECOME SELF-SUFFICIENT, AUTONOMOUS; ONE DAY PATTY COMES BACK TO GET PAUL, HAVING MADE A 'DEAL' WITH MEL. PAUL OBVIOUSLY HAS NO DESIRE TO RETURN TO HIS PARENTS, WHO HAVE MADE IT OBVIOUS THEY HAVE NO TRUE FEELING FOR HIM. SPENCER REFUSES TO LET THE BOY RETURN WITH PATTY. KNOWING A BATTLE IS FORTHCOMING, SPENCER 'GETS THE DIRT' ON BOTH PARENTS TO PREVENT THEM FROM FORCING THE ISSUE. AS WITH ALL SPENCER STORIES, NOTHING IS SETTLED WITHOUT SOME VIOLENCE; & 'EARLY AUTUMN' IS NO EXCEPTION.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2002

    Parker's greatest

    Forget all the latest Parker books of late, this is the one Spenser book you need to read. Don't forget the book's sequel. Pasttime.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2014

    Great read!

    The best Spenser novel so far!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2014

    Excellent read - Spenser fans will love it.

    This is easily one of Mr. Parker's best books. If you like Spenser, you will really enjoy this book. The action is there, the humor is there, but most especially Spenser's decency and compassion are there. You will be very glad you read this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2013

    Ashflower

    "You can choose that." She blinked.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2013

    Darkfrost

    He purred "should we go bac?"

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2013

    Elder Wolf Den

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2013

    Very good book !! Spenser at his best.

    Early Autumn is action packed, plus it has so much softer appeal as Spenser mentors and cares for the boy and gets him on the right path. Hawk and Susan are featured more, which makes the book even richer.

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  • Posted April 22, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    One of my all time favorites

    I must say at the beginning of this book I thought it was going to be just a B- or B book but, once it gets to the part where Spenser starts taking care of Paul it speeds up and I couldn't put it down.

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

    Posted November 15, 2011

    The best book in the Spenser series!

    This book highlights what makes Parker, and Spenser, great. It's a fun story written in a spare style and loaded with pragmatic wisdom.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 3, 2011

    Another unproofread book full of errors

    Spenser is great. I am reading all the books from the start but it is hard when punctuation is omitted. Periods at the ends of sentences are useful but this ebook makes you guess that a sentence has ended because you see a capital letter.

    There must be people who would edit Parker books for free. Scanners used on this book turned the word "clean" into "dean" and "she" into "die." Annoying! And so easy to fix.

    I guess for seven bucks you can expect a crappy presentation from the publishers and copyright owners. I guess they don't respect the author that damn much.

    Bob Russell

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  • Posted April 14, 2010

    Great book

    This was the first Spenser novel that I ever read, and I really enjoyed it. Parker's older books reminded me of Raymond Chandler's novels and I was eating it up! This was a really engrossing story, and very poignant. I liked some of Parker's later books but just not as much as this one. This is just a personal preference: I tend to really like novels set in the seventies, eighties, and early nineties. I also really liked Wilderness by this author. If you love the Spenser series, you should also try: The Philip Marlowe series by Raymond Chandler; the Lew Archer series by Ross MacDonald; and the Travis McGee series by John D. MacDonald.

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    Posted January 22, 2013

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    Posted December 9, 2009

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    Posted May 17, 2011

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    Posted December 12, 2010

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    Posted May 20, 2011

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    Posted January 9, 2011

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    Posted October 27, 2011

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    Posted July 12, 2010

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 44 Customer Reviews

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