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Early Autumn (Spenser) Mass Market Paperback – April 5, 1992
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About the Author
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I absolutely love all the spencer novels, so I love this one too.Published 1 day ago by Cheryl Hoffman
Spenser takes on the challenge of turning an unconnected boy into a man. Not your normal Spenser for Hire fare. I was a little disappointed in this one.Published 2 days ago by aikijujitsu2001
What a masterfully done mystery/thriller combined with a coming of age story. Simple, sweet, and fulfilling. What more could you want from a book?Published 19 days ago by Lucas Carlson
Can't beat the recurring characters and the authentic dialogue. Loved it.Published 3 months ago by Inshadeoftree
Well written as is typical with this authors amazing talent for knock down drag out mystery.Published 3 months ago by Grace Johnston
One of the best of the series. (Along with Catskill Eagle, I think) The core of the story is Spenser mentoring a teenager, Paul Giacomin, whose parents have given him very little... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Charles S. Fannin
One of Parker’s early (#7 of the original 39) Spenser novels is one of his best. Hired to retrieve teen Paul Giacomin, who was taken by his divorced father to spite his mom,... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Jerry Bull