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Early Autumn (Spenser) Mass Market Paperback – April 5, 1992

Book 7 of 42 in the Spenser Series

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Product Details

  • Series: Spenser
  • Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Dell; Reissue edition (April 5, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440122147
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440122142
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.6 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (155 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #55,273 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

5 1-hour cassettes --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Robert B. Parker is the author of more than fifty books. He lives in Boston.

Customer Reviews

Great dialogue and good story.
William P. Whitmire
In fact I was often irritated by the way Spenser treated him, I thought it interrupted the flow of the book.
Melvin Anderson
The seventh book in Robert B. Parker's Spenser series EARLY AUTUMN is definitely the best so far.
James L. Woolridge

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

93 of 97 people found the following review helpful By Janet Aldrich on April 18, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Most 'serious' reviewers of Robert Parker's Spenser books will argue that "A Catskill Eagle" is the best of the series. I won't disagree that it's very, very good, but I think Spenser (and by extension, Parker) is at his best in "Early Autumn".
Primarily, through the books, Spenser has deep relationships only with Susan, and to a lesser extent, Hawk. We really don't know much about him beyond the front he puts up for his clients and his opponents. "Autumn" is the exception to that; we see him treat Paul in much the same way he must have been treated as a child and the same way he would have treated a child of his own, if he'd had one -- with respect and decency. He drags the 'real' Paul out of the shell Paul had constructed to protect himself from his parents and the world and provides him with a sense of worth, teaching him, as Spenser says himself, "what [he] knows" -- boxing, running, carpentering and standing up for something.
The end of the book always gets me. I've always been glad, too, that Paul makes further appearances in other books: Widening Gyre and Playmates, among others. It's interesting to see the relationship between Spenser and Paul grow and develop. It deepens Spenser as a character and gives us one more reason to like him.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 24, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm an avid Robert B. Parker fan---Spenser lives in my mind, and I enjoying adventuring with him. "Early Autumn" strikes me as one of Parker's most touching stories, focusing on the the intereactions of Spenser and a troubled teen, Paul Giacomin. Besides Spenser's unfailing wit, he throws out some great comments and admonitions about growing up. What makes Spenser's remarks even more satisfying is that in the discourse between Paul and Spenser, things are not neat and tidy. Life is not always fair, nor do we always control the awful events that sometimes hit us like a solid left hook. But Spenser also assures Paul that individuals can control many things in their own lives, and that's where our focus needs to be.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Dana Stabenow on November 9, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The world can be divided into two kinds: Those who love Susan Silverman, and those who hate her. I'm among the former, although I agree that Susan ain't easy. But as Robert B. Parker's Early Autumn, the seventh novel in his Spenser series, amply demonstates, if Susan was easy Spenser wouldn't love her as much as he does.

But that's backstory. The front story is pitiful little Paul Giacomin, whose mother Patti has hired Spenser to protect Paul from his father, Mel. Both of Paul's parents are guilty of grand theft childhood in the first degree, and the book is less about detecting crime than it is about rescuing a life yet to be lived, but it makes for riveting reading nonetheless. I love how to books, and here Spenser shows us how to save a child.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Robert Beveridge HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on February 12, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Robert B. Parker, Early Autumn (Dell, 1981)

It may still be a little too early in the game to call the Spenser novels some of the great twentieth-century detective fiction. There cannot, however, be any doubt as to the continuing popularity of, and loyalty to, the line of novels written by Robert Parker about the combination renaissance man/gumshoe. Over the twenty-odd years since The Godwulf Manuscript hit the shelves, Spenser fans have accumulated like mosquitoes in a light fixture. We've watched the characters, consistent over the space of more than twenty novels, grow and change, not just reflecting the spirit of the times (go back and read about some of the godawful getups Spenser dressed in in the mid-seventies, and you can easily imagine Spenser himself looking back and saying, "what WAS I thinking?") but reflecting real changes in the characters themselves. Robert Parker has
achieved something remarkable; he has given us a quarter century in the lives of a select few people in real-time (for the most part) without the storyline ever degenerating into soap opera.

Like all types of evolution/natural selection, though, it doesn't all go at a steady stream. Sometimes the changes in characters come in short, uneven spurts. Early Autumn is one of those, and while I can't swear to it, I suspect that this book has probably garnered more fans for the venerable franchise than any other. If there is a definitive Spenser novel, it is Early Autumn.

Spenser is hired by beautiful divorced socialite Patty Giacomin to recover her son Paul, who's been kidnapped by her ex-husband. Spenser finds the job remarkably easy, at least until the ex-husband sends muscle to try and get the kid back again a few months later.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jim Davis (jimdavis@aone.com) on July 3, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've only recently discovered Robert Parker and I've been working my way thru his books, 15 of them so far. Early Autumn is the best yet. Very good reading.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 15, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Like so many others, I feel that this is about the best Spenser book of all. It is sensitive without being mawkish, the story moves well, and you get a wonderful sense of Spenser's values. This is a book to buy, read, and re-read every few years.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Brian on April 21, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Robert Parker has done a great job of depicting Spenser's tough but funny personality, a character who made brilliant decisions for his actions taken in the book. The book is about a divorce between two parents, and a fight for their 15 year old son. The father hires thugs to kidnap his son, while the mother responds by hiring detective Spenser to get him back. Bringing the son back to the mother, Spenser finds that neither mother nor father care about being with their son Paul. Spenser then decides to take Paul under his own arms and starts showing him how to become a man and survive against his opponents, while trying to find a way so Paul's parents won't try to take him back. I think this book was a very good read, and I recommand it to any reader who likes any kind of suspense, drama, or action, because this book has all.
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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.

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