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All Our Yesterdays Mass Market Paperback – December 1, 1995

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Spenser doesn't appear in this overwrought, Boston-set saga of three generations of Irish-American cops, but the spirit of Parker's popular PI dominates these pages nonetheless, with each cop in turn obsessed with courage, codes of behavior and, especially, A Woman. These are the themes of Parker's other non-Spenser novels as well, particularly Love and Glory, but here they're explored in a tale whose scaffolding of parallels and coincidences suspends disbelief as poorly as do the characters' operatic passions. The Sheridan patriarch, Conn, for example, having been betrayed in Ireland during "the troubles" by the love of his life, one Hadley Winslow, moves to the U.S. with a heart of stone: "It was so hard to stop caring about her," he tells a fellow cop, "that I had to stop caring about everything." That is, until Conn catches the case of a young girl found slain and molested, discovers that Hadley's son is the culprit and uses that information to blackmail Hadley into a longterm sexual liaison in exchange for burying the proof against her son. If ever a set of characters needed Prozac it's these Sheridans, whose sullen, brutal, unlikely dance with the Winslow women continues until the third-generation Sheridan, with help from his father, breaks the spell after a paroxysm of violence. All this pained macho posturing is shaped by Parker's usual elegant and precise prose, perhaps the cleanest in crimedom; but, finally no turn of phrase is quick enough to keep his somber tale from sinking into fatal self-importance. BOMC and QPB selections; major ad/promo.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

With the spare, conversational style characteristic of his popular Spenser mysteries, Parker portrays the intertwined lives of two Boston families, the Sheridans and Winslows, who love and destroy each other through three generations. Conn Sheridan, betrayed by his lover in Dublin during the "troubles," comes to America and joins the Boston police force. Graft, protection, and other cover-ups are accepted as natural, and Conn has a dangerous affair with Hadley Winslow, a Boston tycoon's wife. Chris Sheridan, the grandson to Conn and now a special prosecutor, attempts to unravel the web of deceit begun by his grandfather decades before. In this rough world, the women are either promiscuous or incapable of love-making, except for Grace, whom young Chris hopes to marry. Like Spencer's Susan, Grace has wit and a charming reserve. Spenser fans as well as newcomers will enjoy Parker's brick-by-brick famil-iarity with Boston. For most popular collections.
--Elsa Pendleton, Boeing Computer Support Svcs., Ridgecrest, Cal.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Dell; First Edition edition (December 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440221463
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440221463
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #308,617 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robert B. Parker (1932-2010) has long been acknowledged as the dean of American crime fiction. His novel featuring the wise-cracking, street-smart Boston private-eye Spenser earned him a devoted following and reams of critical acclaim, typified by R.W.B. Lewis' comment, "We are witnessing one of the great series in the history of the American detective story" (The New York Times Book Review). In June and October of 2005, Parker had national bestsellers with APPALOOSA and SCHOOL DAYS, and continued his winning streak in February of 2006 with his latest Jesse Stone novel, SEA CHANGE.

Born and raised in Massachusetts, Parker attended Colby College in Maine, served with the Army in Korea, and then completed a Ph.D. in English at Boston University. He married his wife Joan in 1956; they raised two sons, David and Daniel. Together the Parkers founded Pearl Productions, a Boston-based independent film company named after their short-haired pointer, Pearl, who has also been featured in many of Parker's novels.

Parker began writing his Spenser novels in 1971 while teaching at Boston's Northeastern University. Little did he suspect then that his witty, literate prose and psychological insights would make him keeper-of-the-flame of America's rich tradition of detective fiction. Parker's fictional Spenser inspired the ABC-TV series Spenser: For Hire. In February 2005, CBS-TV broadcast its highly-rated adaptation of the Jesse Stone novel Stone Cold, which featured Tom Selleck in the lead role as Parker's small-town police chief. The second CBS movie, Night Passage, also scored high ratings, and the third, Death in Paradise, aired on April 30, 2006.

Parker was named Grand Master of the 2002 Edgar Awards by the Mystery Writers of America, an honor shared with earlier masters such as Alfred Hitchcock and Ellery Queen.

Parker died on January 19, 2010, at the age of 77.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By John W. Bates on January 4, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Surprise! Surprise! This Robert B. Parker novel is not only not about Spenser and Hawk foiling the bad guys by playing the game just a little close (or even just over) to the line of legal behavior. It isn't even about a private detective. Parker's All Our Yesterdays (as in Macbeth's "have lighted fools their way to dusty death." is a generational saga reminiscent of Jeffrey Archer--and at least as good. The setting is still the Boston of Spenser, Hawk, and Susan, but not the trendy, yuppie Boston they frequent. Instead we are in Charlestown, the lace-curtain Irish district, and following the lives of three Boston cops. The first, Conn Sheridan, was a sixteen year old sniper during the Easter Rebellion in Dublin. Later, after breaking out of a British jail just before his hanging, he immigrated to Boston where he joined the police. Conn was involved with the young wife of an American industrialist, a Boston Brahmin, in Dublin. Conn's son, Gus, inherits his father's secrets and rises to power in Boston Homicide, while connections to the underworld enable him to send his son, Chris, to Harvard Law. Eventually Chris, who is unknowingly involved with the granddaughter of his grandfather's lover, is appointed special investigator to stop a gang war and catch a serial killer of teenaged girls. Gus, however, already knows about the killer--his father caught him and let him go years before. After everything comes apart, Chris goes to Dublin to find his roots and understand the story his father has finally told him. The book is Chris telling the story in flashbacks to Grace as they try to reconcile their life together. It is a well-told story, with love, hate, war, revolution, cops and robbers, and some interesting twists and turns. It is much more complex than Spenser and Hawk shooting down the bad guys while Susan worries and supports. All Our Yesterdays is a good read.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By D Byrd on February 18, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
OK, here's the deal. Robert B Parker wants to write something different, and he's just cranked out about 6 Spenser novels in a row. So, he sits down and writes this, All Our Yesterdays, a very good thriller, but often trashed novel. Why? Its easy... Robert B Parker is a simpistic writer, often taking for granted that you have read all the earlier novels,and you want no background material and no filler. Well, this isnt a Spenser novel, so background material is needed, you just met these guys. That for one agrivates Spenser fans, they like there novels to start on page one and never drag, but you do need a little background here. Heres the catcher, Robert B Parker also hates background material and explanitory writing. So he writes a vast, sprawling novel existing on three generations, with as little writing as possible.He does it in about 460 pages, (about the lengh of 2 Spenser novels). Does it work? Yes, its a gritty, fun yarn that is fast pased and slightly dark at times. Its also a little sterotypical towards the Irish, but Robert B Parker is Irish, so let that be. Its a welcome change of pace, more filling than most of his Spenser novels. Not a steak dinner filling, but more filling than say a Snickers.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bookstore Willie on February 19, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm not going to go into a blow by blow description of this Brilliant Novel. Simply put, who am I to comment on writing of this quality. I have long felt that Robert Parker is if not the most underrated writer of the 20th Century then certainly one of the ones at the head of the list. And the quality of writing and thinking encountered in this novel clearly represents some of the best of his impressive body of work! What other writer alive today could sum up an entire year (or more) of a character's life with a chapter consisting of only one or two pages? And get away with it!

Sadly, I fear that many who read this guy fail utterly to grasp the depth of his writing, the breadth of his wisdom, the grasp of his mind. Like a great actor who makes the mistake of playing the same sort of character one too many times, Parker let himself be sucked into the detective genre to the extent that many of those reading him got into the bad habit of speed reading their way through his books with only a chuckle here and there at the many witty moments that were the hallmark of the dialog between his well drawn characters.

Big mistake!

Robert Parker was a man of incredible depth, with an understanding of the human condition that many of today's novelists so sadly lack. The kind of guy Steinbeck would have loved, and Hemmingway would have feared. Reading him I am often put in mind of Raymond Carver one of the greatest short story writers of all time. Like Carver, Parker misses nothing as life unfolds before him and his command of seemingly unimportant detail brings his sentences, paragraphs, chapters and books alive in a way seldom encountered today.

When I heard Robert Parker had died I felt a huge empty hole instantly develop within my life.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Kay Melton on April 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I received this book and glanced through it, I thought I would seriously not like it!! It seemed to be so different from Mr. Parker's usual writing. However, it turned out to be one of the "couldn't put it down" books for me!! It was different, but wonderful. We have lost a great "story teller" with the passing of Mr.Robert B. Parker. So sad. kdm
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