Wednesday, January 20, 2010

R.I.P. ROBERT B PARKER




Monday I lost a frequent and enjoyable bed partner. This man has put me heavy eyed to sleep more times than any other writer has. He will be greatly missed. Robert B Parker, the author, passed as one report has it, writing at his desk. I would like to think that.

He was not much older that I am and still cranking out several books a year. Usually when a celebrity dies, unless they are Marilyn Monroe or James Dean, they seem to slip quietly from our lives as they age and retire. We remember their past volume of work but Robert was still productively working. There are two new books now waiting to hit the stores. I will own them.

His last book, The Professional, was my first Kindle purchase this year as it climbed to the top ten best seller list. In my opinion, it was not his best, but it was pure Parker. Robert has written about 60 books, 40 of those based on a private eye named Spencer.

I never watched the "Spencer for Hire" series he created for those were my party years. For me at that time, TV was mainly for weather reports and news. He also wrote a western series of books, one of which was made into the recent movie "Appaloosa". Got to admit, I loved the westerns.

What I liked best about his writing was his humor. His characters were tough but his fast paced, funny dialog made for quick and enjoyable reading. I know one shouldn't but I tended to think he was much like his characters. Tough, competent, fiercely loyal to his woman (singular) and friends, sharp of wit and a great cook. Yep, his former boxer main character was a man with educated taste buds. Parker was once asked to write a cook book. To me, one of the sexiest men in the world is one in an apron.

One of his soon to be released books this year is based on the Jesse Stone series. If you have seen that recent TV series with Tom Selleck, then you have seen his work. Jesse was one of my favorite characters he wrote about but he also wrote a series of books about a female private eye named Sunny Randall that was equally engaging.

Robert has also written young adult books which I haven't read yet. The only good thing for me is that I have only read about 20 of his 60 books so he has not left me with out much future enjoyment.

Robert had a blog that he occasionally wrote for. He was once asked how he could put out so many books and his reply was...."Several of you have asked how I can produce so many books a year. One answer would be: I am a creative giant. Another would be: I have no life. But the truth is probably more that Joan thinks I should. . . ." Joan being his wife that he was devoted to.

Will his writing cause you to ponder great thoughts and change your life?? No. Will it give you an delightful escape, a realization that decent guys do win, and a good chuckle... you bet! He was definitely on my list of people I would love to have lunch with (especially if he were cooking) and now I must sadly add him to my list of people "living or dead".

RIP Robert and sincerest condolences to your wife and sons. You will be missed big guy.


18 comments :

  1. I wouldn't have known of his passing but for your blog. I have read a few of the Spencer books and loved the cooking and the Boston ambiance.

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  2. I've never read him, but he sounds like quite a good guy.

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  3. Not reading fiction until recently I'm not familiar with this author. Losing a favorite author must be a lot like losing an old and dear friend.

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  4. Having just last night heard of his passing I too was saddened. Like you I have a number of his books that I haven't read yet. You gave him a beautiful eulogy.

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  5. I didn't know he'd died! I didn't take him to bed, but he certainly rode with me for many hundreds of miles--many of his books have been made into audio books and they kept me awake and entertained on long journeys.

    I loved Pearl, the wonder dog.

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  6. I used to watch Spencer for Hire, Patti... I can see where the humor came from... Sorry to hear that he is gone. We have lost a good author for sure.

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  7. Olga,
    He really made a meal sound good didn't he? I have read enough of his books that I probably could make it around Boston without help.

    robin,
    He was an easy read and I just really enjoyed his dialogs. Funny, succinct and entertaining.

    Linda,
    That pretty much describes it. I know you prefer non-fiction so I was pretty sure you hadn't met him. He is what you would describe as "brain candy"

    Brighid,
    I guess it was such a shock for he seemed such a vibrant man for his age, for any age that is. That he was so prolific means we will have many books to read yet.

    mml,
    I tried one of his books with the mechanical Kindle voice and that didn't work. His books are mostly dialog and Kindle lacks a lot there. Might have to try one of the audio books.

    Betsy,
    I am sorry I missed the series now for Robert Urich would have made a great Spencer. Selleck makes the perfect Jesse Stone.

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  8. I loved his books too Patti - especially the Jesse Stone series. I'll miss his books. blessings, marlene

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  9. I've read quite a few of his books. I particularly like his Jesse Stone character. He will be missed.

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  10. I don't think I've ever read any of his books, but I did watch Spenser and enjoyed it a lot.

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  11. Oh RIP :-( I have never read his books! Looks like I have been missing something. Am gonna get myself a copy.

    I'm reading Exorcist now.. *Shudder*

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  12. Sounds like a man that found what he was good at and then became a master.
    I don't think I have read any of his books. I will see if I can change that.
    Good post.

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  13. Nice tribute to your favorite author.

    I have not invested in the Kindle yet. I'm awaiting opinions on its competitor, NOOK.

    I'm really waiting to see if a reader will develop which will be display color illustrations should rhere be any. As I understand them, all currently available are black and white

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  14. Stithin,
    I preferred the Jesse Stone books also but also enjoyed his westerns.Fortunately, his yet to be released books are a new Jesse Stone and a western.

    SVB
    Think most of us agree on the Jesse Stone series. He has a new one coming out about Jesse--"Spilt Image".

    Grayquill,
    Think you will like him. You two have a similar sense of humor and writing style.

    Nitwit,
    Thanks. The bad things I have heard about color in an e-reader is that it is a real battery eater. So far I haven't missed color and really love the Kindle. I recently read a regular hard copy book and boy did I miss the Kindle. Right now I think Kindle has the best selection of reading material.
    Right now I have about 50 books loaded and 98% were free.

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  15. There's something for you on my blog today!

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  16. I love that you have honored the death of a writer...they are so often overlooked. I have never read any of his books but the fact that he was such a prolific author is enough to amaze me.
    Thanks for visiting my blog.

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  17. Spenser for Hire was ok, but I've always enjoyed the Jesse Stone movies more. Sorry you lost one of your favorite authors.

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  18. Well golly!! Thank you so much Judy. You always say the nicest things then I have to try to live up to them. Oh the pressure.
    I am so pleased you thought of me and I will do it when I can figure out how to just use one word. That is a toughie.

    Ginnie,
    Thank you for stopping by and welcome to TNS. Seems we both have the same good taste in blogs(kenju).
    Sixty books is aa bit mind boggling isn't it?

    Patty,
    Thank you and I am partial to Jesse also. He is delightfully flawed.

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