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

4.4 out of 5 stars 186 customer reviews
Book 7 of 41 in the Spenser Series

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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.
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Product Details

  • Series: Spenser (Book 7)
  • 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 (186 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,272 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I read books as I get them. I have read many books about Spenser, I never counted the number before "Early Autumn" but I had encountered Paul Giacomin in several books and knew little about him. In fact I was often irritated by the way Spenser treated him, I thought it interrupted the flow of the book. Now I have read "Eaely Autumn" and my opinion has flip-flopped, I wish I had the time to reread the books in which Paul appears so I can use my new opinion of him and see what it does for the books.
As for the book itself, it portrays a new and different Spenser; he kills no one in this book and vents his feelings about killing, he does not want to do it unless his life or one of his loved ones is endangered and killing becomes necessary to him. Self-defense is a good reason, Harry Cotton is killed by Hawk to protect Spenser, Spenser can not do it himself. Spenser meets Paul's parents first, before meeting Paul himself, and is not impressed by them. He is hired by Paul's mother to find and return Paul to her, he has been kidnapped by his father. This job leads to further meetings with the mother, she throws herself at him and Spenser turns her down. Now his eyes are opened, he starts to have feelings for Paul and is concerned about him. As a result he takes Paul under his wing and tries to make a man of him, according to his own ideas. Fortunately for all us readers his idea of a man seems to be sound and he starts working it on Paul. To do so, he must break the family ties and supplant them with new ones. To do so he must find something in Patty Giacomin's life she wants hidden and similarly for Mel Giacomin. Spenser succeeds and he takes over the kid's education. The novel shows the change and Paul benefits greatly.
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