Sunday, January 24, 2010

Speaking Ill of the Dead

So, Robert Parker dropped dead at his desk this week. Lots of writers are saying that's great, that's how they want to go, sitting at their desks working. Are they crazy? Jeez, TG can think of plenty of other ways to die that sound like a hell of a lot more fun than working at one's desk.

TG has been reading the obits about what a terrific guy he was and how great the novels, in particular the Spenser books were. Not being one to keep his yap shut, TG would like to pause for a moment to remember how terrible the Spenser books were in his middle period, when Parker's marriage foundered and he began writing the Susan Silverman character as a love letter to his wife. Or at least that's what everyone said had happened. In the obits there was mention of a memoir he had written about his marriage, a book that TG has not read nor does he intend to read, but the obits said was a pean to their 50 year marriage, which seems at odds with everything TG has heard over the years. Supposedly the guy lived downstairs and his wife lived upstairs in the same house, which doesn't sound like a happy situation to TG. But all this being pure speculation, let us leave the land of gossip and turn to the Spenser books themselves...

TG, along with plenty of other readers, loved the Spenser books. The PI was tough, smart, and at at the same time could turn out a pretty good gourmet meal (not unlike TG himself) and the sidekick, Hawk, was terrific. But then things went wrong with Susan, the girlfriend, and Spenser started kissing her ass in ways that were shamefully embarrassing and then they brought in that stupid dog Pearl, and it got even worse. All of TG's writer pals were mortified for the man, and the books became virtually unreadable. No one is mentioning this in the obit's are they? TG does not mind going where angels fear to tread.

Eventually, Spenser and Susan got back together and the series got better but, at least in TG's estimation, they never reached the heights that the earlier books inhabited before the breakup. The several new series, the Jesse Stone books, were good, but they weren't Spenser.

TG also heard stories that made it sound like Parker was kind of a jerk. So TG would like to extend a hand to the Parker community and ask that anyone with stories and reminiscences about what a great guy he was, send 'em in, TG will gladly put them all up. TG doesn't like to speak ill of anyone, alive or dead, but it does kind of get to him when just because a person dies everyone says good stuff about that person, even if it was undeserved.

So, Robert Parker stories, let's hear them. TG will put them up anonymously, so don't be afraid. Hey, the guy is dead, he won't care.

1 comment:

  1. I just started reading the Spenser novels, and your blog just made me fearfull for whats to come. Your honesty is refreshing. Well done.

    Dan (