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Pastime (Spenser Series #18) [NOOK Book]

Overview

The most personal and revealing Spenser thriller of all, Pastime is Robert B. Parker's electrifying masterpeice of crime fiction--a startling game of memory, desire, and danger that forces Spenser to face his own past. Ten years ago, he saved a teenage boy from a father's rage. Now, on the brink of manhood, the boy seeks answers to his ...
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Pastime (Spenser Series #18)

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Overview

The most personal and revealing Spenser thriller of all, Pastime is Robert B. Parker's electrifying masterpeice of crime fiction--a startling game of memory, desire, and danger that forces Spenser to face his own past. Ten years ago, he saved a teenage boy from a father's rage. Now, on the brink of manhood, the boy seeks answers to his mother's sudden disapearance. Spenser is the only man he can turn to.
This time, it's more than a routine search for a missing person--Spenser must search his own soul...


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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Boston sleuth Spenser trails a woman to her gangster boyfriend's hideout in a mystery that spent eight weeks on PW 's bestseller list. (Apr.)
School Library Journal
YA-- Parker's latest mystery features his likable sleuth Spenser (spelled ``like the poet''); the shady, enigmatic Hawk; and Spenser's longtime love, Susan Silverman. In this sequel to Early Autumn (Dell, 1987), Paul Giacomin (now 25) asks Spenser to locate his missing mother, who has become involved with the mob and disappeared under mysterious circumstances. This is one of Parker's strongest novels of late, reminiscent of his earlier works. The emphasis is on character interaction and relationships as opposed to the visceral slasher novels glutting supermarket or newsstand racks. Reading a Spenser novel is like a family reunion--it makes one feel good. --John Lawson, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Kirkus Reviews
Parker continues his high rebound (begun with his Chandleresque Poodle Springs and last year's Spenser yarn, Stardust) with a sequel to Early Autumn (1980) that's even more vibrant than the original, which Spenser fans will remember as one of the Boston p.i.'s most personal, resonant cases. In Early Autumn, Spenser tutored lost-teen Paul Giacomin in the ways of manhood. Now 25, Paul's still not quite grown up and is again asking Spenser's help—to find Paul's weak-willed mom. Paul's need to confront his mom about why she left home without notice proves the crucible for his true coming of age—a transformation echoed in Spenser's revelations (unique to the series) about his own young adulthood, and mirrored in the parallel attempt by wild young hoodlum Gerry Broz to step into the shoes of his top-mobster dad, Joe Broz. After some low-key sleuthing (much in the company of a winsome dog), Spenser learns that Paul's man-crazy mom has run off with a lowlife who's stolen a million-plus from Gerry—and that Joe, determined that his son show himself man enough to one day take over the mob, is demanding that Gerry get it back. As usual, Spenser's girlfriend Susan hovers around the case, exchanging the usual pompous endearments with the p.i. ("there's a kind of purity about you," she says. "Everything is inner-directed"); and Spenser's shadow-side, Hawk, provides some minor support—but the emotionally tense focus here is on male passages, centering in a gripping test of Spenser's own manhood as he is shot and must escape through the woods with murderous Gerry and a pack of mobsters at his heels, and climaxing in a cathartic shootout as Gerry, backed by a distraught Joe, guns forSpenser—and for his own chance to be a man. Vintage hard-core Spenser—told in burnished prose, skimpy on the mystery-detection but rich in soul-satisfying macho action and in the mystique of the p.i.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101546529
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 4/1/1992
  • Series: Spenser Series , #18
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 46,359
  • File size: 262 KB

Meet the Author

Robert B. Parker was the author of more than fifty books. He died in January 2010.

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 4.5
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 10, 2010

    Hard to get into

    This is the first RP book I've had trouble reading. I can't seem to get interested. All of the others are quick and entertaining reads. I'm glad this isn't the first one I read or I might not have given the others a chance.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2002

    Spencer is a lot like Humphrey Bogart

    If you like P.I. stories you'll love this. It puts you in suspense and makes you feel like your there as a witness to the story.

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    Posted April 4, 2013

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    Posted November 19, 2011

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    Posted November 29, 2011

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    Posted May 7, 2009

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