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Early Autumn (Spenser #7)

4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  4,961 Ratings  ·  275 Reviews
Early Autumn
Paperback, 224 pages
Published April 5th 1992 by Dell (first published 1981)
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Dan Schwent
Feb 28, 2014 Dan Schwent rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
When Spenser is hired by a divorcee to bring back her kidnapped son from his father, he gets more than he bargained for. Paul's parents are using him as a pawn and neither really want him around. Spenser winds up taking the kid under his wing and soon has someone gunning for him...

Of the Spensers I've read so far, this one is in the top three. While it has all the Spenser hallmarks, like a long description of cooking a meal, wisecracks, discussions of Spenser's code, and Hawk being the baddest m
Bill  Kerwin
May 26, 2007 Bill Kerwin rated it it was amazing

This—along with Mortal Stakes, Looking for Rachel Wallace, and Ceremony—is one of the best of the first dozen Spenser books, written in Robert B. Parker's finest period. Like the others, it deals with America's shifting values, and how a macho but moral hero—our Spenser—must make ambiguous ethical choices in order to preserve and foster what little good he can.

Patty Giacomin hires Spenser to find her teenage son, who has been abducted by his father Mel. Son Paul is little more than a pawn in thi
Jul 02, 2008 Kemper rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Spenser gets another peach of a client in this one. Patty Giacomin hires him to get her son, Paul, back from her husband, Mel. Patty and Mel had a nasty divorce, and they’ve made a game out of trying to keep Paul away from each other.

Spenser doesn’t have much trouble finding the kid but is disturbed by the fifteen year old boy who is suffering from an odd form of neglect. He isn’t abused, but since both of the parents are pieces of shit, Paul has been ignored and never taught about much of anyt
John Arfwedson
Jun 27, 2010 John Arfwedson rated it it was amazing
This is the one to read if you're reading only one.

Spenser is an acquired taste. You have to like the formula and the archetype and not be overly concerned by the built-in limitations imposed by both. For me, when done well it's like listening to a great old song: you know what's coming but there's something irresistible about the melody. Like Ronnie "The Hawk" Hawkins might growl it out: "I put a spell on you."

At his best (not all the books), I love Spenser, the wisecracking gumshoe whose hear
Jan 14, 2009 Ikonopeiston rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: mystery fans, fiction fans
Shelves: mystery
This is, I think, the best of the Spenser mysteries. It presents the hero as a more fully rounded character with interests and talents outside the rote solving of crimes. His interaction with the boy who has been damaged by the actions of his divorced parents reveals not only the human behind the wise-cracking facade but important hints as to the past of Spenser himself. Susan is also shown to have both flaws and virtues here. I believe this was the point at which Parker committed himself to wri ...more
Elaine Tomasso
Apr 13, 2017 Elaine Tomasso rated it really liked it
Spenser is hired to keep Paul Giacomin safe from his father as he is a pawn between warring parents. This is a much more sedate, mature and reflective novel where we learn more about Spenser's motivations and values as he struggles to do right by Paul. I'm not sure that this would be a good introduction to the series for new readers as it's not typical of most of the series but it is an interesting addition for readers familiar with it. I thoroughly enjoyed the change of pace.
Feb 27, 2009 Joy rated it it was amazing
Another five-star rating. The Sunny Randall book
where Sunny mentors a young girl was written in
1999. This book in the Spenser series was written
in 1981, but Spenser is hired to find a 15-year-old
boy who has been kidnapped by his father, more as
revenge against the mother than love for son. Spenser
determines that the frail, disinterested boy needs to
learn to be autonomous, dependent on himself. Spenser
takes Paul to the Maine wood to build a cabin for a
friend, which is really a crash course in surv
Sep 12, 2009 Larry rated it really liked it
Parker's 7th Spenser book is one of the best in the series. It reveals a lot about Spenser and his code by watching him save a kid (Paul Giacomin) from his indifferent parents. Spenser is approached by the kid's mother. His task is to retrieve the boy from his noncustodial parent, but it soon becomes obvious that Paul is just a pawn in a game between his parents. They irritate each other by holding him, but neither cares for him. Spenser decides that the undeveloped boy needs a crash course in l ...more
Dec 04, 2016 K rated it liked it
My second Spenser series book and I liked it a bit more than the previous, but still found of somewhat lacking. Oh, it's entertaining in a general sense, and Spenser's wise-cracking ways are perhaps his best feature. But I grew weary of the repeated and overly detailed descriptions of what people were wearing as Spenser encountered them. Was this a fashion review or a mystery novel? I also thought the plot was a bit stretched. Spencer turns from a simple PI job involving retrieving a divorcee's ...more
Maureen DeLuca
Sep 19, 2016 Maureen DeLuca rated it really liked it
What can you say about Robert B Parkers books that haven't already been said? Especially the Spenser series. - this is about 2 parents, who cannot stand each other, and basically is using their 15 year old son as a 'pawn' .... I will never understand 2 people, that bring a child into this world, then discover that they cannot stand each other, hate each other and use their child/children to 'get back' at the other.

This book starts out where the father hires thugs to kidnap his son, then the mot
Jeff Yoak
This was a little of a slow starter, but ended up my favorite of the Spenser novels so far. True, Hawk's appearance in a novel makes it better than it would be otherwise and he appears fairly late in this one, but there is another, more direct, reason.

The first part of the novel has Spenser solving a rather typical case... tracking down a kid who has been taken by his father from his mother who has custody. He tracks him down and brings him back. That's sort of ho-hum. Spenser then comes to disl
Brian Poole
Oct 14, 2015 Brian Poole rated it really liked it
Robert B. Parker’s Early Autumn was a compelling early Spenser novel that helped move the series smoothly into the ‘80s.

The plot was fairly straightforward. Spenser was hired to look after neglected teen Paul Giacomin who had become nothing more than a bargaining chip in his terrible parents’ divorce war. Spenser found a way to extricate Paul from his dead end life and put him on the path to becoming an actual person.

The way that Parker embroidered that basic premise was one of the keys to Early
Text Addict
I'm always amazed by how subtle Parker could be via writing that appears to be very simple and transparent. As with poetry, there's a lot going on in the spaces between the words.

But this is an awfully austere story. Hired to protect a mother and son from their ex-husband/father, Spenser decides to save the kid from both of them. The kid literally does nothing with himself but go to school and watch TV: neither of his parents, it seems, have taken the slightest interest in him except as a posse
Spenser becomes a pseudo dad for a 15 year old boy, Paul Giacomin, who is caught in an ugly custody battle. At first Spenser is hired by the boy's mother Patty to get the boy back from her ex-husband, Mel. Turns out Mel didn't really want him. But after the boy returns to his mother, the ex-husband sends in thugs with guns to bring the boy back. Thus Spenser ends up being hired by Patty as full-time body guard - during which time, of course, she attempt to seduce Spenser. But Patty is really jus ...more
Phillip Thurlby
Nov 03, 2013 Phillip Thurlby rated it really liked it
Shelves: pulp, own-a-copy
Robert B. Parker to me is the Tony Scott (R.I.P.) to Raymond Chandler's Ridley Scott. From Raymond we got medium changing masterpieces that will live on forever. We don't get that from Parker, but what we do get is a steady stream of more-than-adequate books, with plenty verging towards brilliant.

But I just can't make my mind up about this one, and I think it can't make its own mind up either. The story (very, very mild spoilers) is really in three parts.

The first sets the scene and contains a f
Brent Soderstrum
Aug 19, 2016 Brent Soderstrum rated it liked it
This is the 7th book from Parker's Spenser series and in this one we are given a glimpse of what Spenser would be like as a parent. He is certainly a mixed bag in that department. Spenser gets involved in the life of Paul, a 15 year old boy, who is unwanted by either divorced parent. Oh, they pretend they want Paul but only so the other can't have him. Paul isn't happy with either.

Spenser takes Paul away from both parents for an extended time in Maine where he helps Spenser build a cabin, works
Jane Stewart
4 stars. One of my favorites in the series - partly because this has a neat relationship developing and changing.

A teenage boy is neglected and mistreated by his parents. (They don’t deserve to have a kid.) I loved Spenser’s relationship with the boy and the changes that happened. I enjoyed the way Spenser got the parents to do something. And there is a neat ending.

The narrator Michael Prichard was very good.

This is book #7 in the Spenser series.
Narrative mode: 1st person Spenser. Unabrid
Diane Challenor
This "Spenser" story, book seven, is one of the best so far. They are all good. I just love the way the author Robert B. Parker embeds moral philosophy into the story. Similar to the moral philosophy embedded in Alexander McCall Smith's Isabel Dalhousie series, The Sunday Philosophy Club, the Spenser stories are full of wisdom and insights into right-and-wrong. I love both series.
Jul 19, 2013 Jay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
My first Spencer book, and I kinda liked it. I found my self laughing in the places I should have, and there were quite a few of those - quite humorous. The mystery, well, it wasn't much. The side story, about Spencer taking a fatherly interest in a teen boy that needed help, that was quite well done. I read there are more books with the teen as a character, and I'd be interested in how Parker plays it. At the least this was a nice intro to a new character. If I recall, I chose this book based o ...more
Feb 20, 2016 Berit☀️✨ rated it liked it
What I really did like about this book was the relationship between Spencer and Paul, I like how he mentor the boy, for no other reason, but just to be a good person. HOK was also a fun and interesting character, a lot of this book brought back memories of the television show. I actually think I would have enjoyed this a lot better had I read it rather than listen to it. The production Quality was not all that great. It just really reminded me how far audiobooks have come since the late 1980s. S ...more
Dec 30, 2009 Lee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spenser
The snooping around, looking for clues and beating on the bad guys, takes a backseat in Spenser's seventh case. Until toward the end, to wrap it all up. As Susan would say, "Spenser you big sap", in him befriending a 15 year old kid. With parents that don't give a crap about him/his health/growing up into a young man. Spenser steps in to help him out of his shell. He's the ultimate big brother. Sad and touching storyline, for the big lug. 4.5 stars.
Nov 16, 2013 Joyce rated it really liked it
Finding an old Spenser that I hadn't read is like finding gold. The story is about Spenser and a young boy with the parents from hell. They are divorcing and using him as a weapon against each other and neither gives a care about the boy. Without giving spoilers, Spenser takes on the boy and goes from there. Hawk and Susan are part of the story (before Susan became a bit oppressive) and no more needs to be said!
Oct 25, 2010 Allison rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2010
The book where "Spenser takes that boy to Maine and teaches him what he knows" (to quote my mom) which is cooking, fighting and building. It was pretty cool to read about the boy going from a passive wimp to a more confident adolescent.
Another favorite. Spenser steps on to assist a boy in a dysfunctional family. How he does this -- and how Susan responds -- make for a satisfying read.
James Fearn
Nov 17, 2016 James Fearn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a classic. The Spenser character is such a delight. It is worth it if you have never read one of these books to pick one up and enjoy the sarcasm of Mr. Spenser. Nice quick easy read.
Jul 25, 2014 Shuriu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Betsy Barnes
Mar 19, 2017 Betsy Barnes rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Skip this book

No mystery in these pages. No morale to a story. No lessons learned. Might be able to say a good deed was done but ...not in the best of ways....

Giving up on good ole' Spenser.....need more of a mental challenge!
Mar 15, 2017 Carrie rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Entertaining quick read. I would read more in this series.
Steven Werber
Mar 05, 2017 Steven Werber rated it liked it
I love these books. I prefer when there's an actual mystery to solve but still great characters, witty banter and HAWK!!
Robert Beveridge
Jan 24, 2008 Robert Beveridge rated it it was amazing
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 watch
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Early Autumn by Robert B. Parker 8 37 Nov 30, 2014 05:10PM  
Mansfield Public ...: The"Early Autumn" review by Suzanne Dowling 1 2 Aug 05, 2014 11:49AM  
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database named Robert B. Parker.
Robert Brown Parker was an American crime writer. His most famous works were the novels about the private detective Spenser. ABC television network developed the television series Spenser: For Hire based on the character in the late 1980s; a series of TV movies based on the character were also produced.
More about Robert B. Parker...

Other Books in the Series

Spenser (1 - 10 of 45 books)
  • The Godwulf Manuscript (Spenser, #1)
  • God Save The Child (Spenser, #2)
  • Mortal Stakes (Spenser, #3)
  • Promised Land (Spenser, #4)
  • The Judas Goat (Spenser, #5)
  • Looking For Rachel Wallace (Spenser, #6)
  • A Savage Place (Spenser, #8)
  • Ceremony (Spenser, #9)
  • The Widening Gyre (Spenser, #10)
  • Valediction (Spenser, #11)

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