DR's Reviews > Robert B. Parker's Lullaby

Robert B. Parker's Lullaby by Ace Atkins
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Aug 02, 12

Read from July 29 to August 02, 2012

My reaction to this novel is my own fault. I swore early on that I wouldn’t read any of the commissioned-by-Joan-Parker continuations of Robert B. Parker’s two main fiction series. True aficionados couldn’t possibly be satisfied by the puny vegan imitation of Mr. Steak A. Potatoes, right? Right. I have a new appreciation for the subtle stylistic elements of the originals that, toward the tail end of the “Spenser” series, had seemed easy to replicate. Not so easy, as it turns out.

LULLABY reads like a novelization of those dumb “Spenser: For Hire” episodes on TV in the Eighties, or the even lamer Joe Mantegna ones from the late Nineties. The beloved main characters – not to mention the always-welcome secondary ones like Vinnie Morris & Belson & Quirk – are ghosts of their original selves. Like people in video games – they look like people, but they don’t act like them.

I suspect that Ace Atkins, no matter how diligently he may have studied the Spenser opus, moved the portrayal of our favorite Boston p.i. closer to his own series hero. He gets too many little things wrong, which is to be expected – he’s not Robert B. Parker. (I’m trying to imagine the original Spenser telling an organized crime lord he looks “like an Oompa-Loompa” – nope, can’t!) The plot is okay, but the story needs the meat of the real Spenser & Hawk, the sexy smarts of Susan Silverman & Rita Fiore, to make it more than disposable. Like I said, it’s my own fault.
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Reading Progress

07/29/2012 "I swore up and down that I'd never read one of these!"
07/30/2012 page 77
24.0% "I swore up and down that I'd never read one of these!"
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by JSA (new)

JSA Lowe Sir, you have saved me from a terrible fate.


message 2: by Jefferson (new)

Jefferson Carter I stopped reading the Spenser books once the main characters' smug satisfaction at being superior people made me want to puke. I wanted Spenser, Susan, all of that coyly self-satisfied coterie, to stop analyzing their wonderfulness and fart or do something remotely human.


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