Re: RARA-AVIS: Spenser under Parker Part II

From: Doug Bassett (
Date: 15 Dec 2000

Hell, no harm in discussing him -- he just tends to provoke a lot of loud and angry opinions, is all.

Why I think a lot of serious fans have problems with Parker:

-- He's been spectacularly successful at a time when a lot of other, better writers (in my opinion, of course) in the genre like Stephen Greenleaf can't seem to find an audience.

-- Even his admirers admit his latest books aren't up to snuff, yet the decline in quality hasn't affected his sales.

-- I don't think he's really a hardboiled novelist anymore. The last time his name came up I posited the theory that you can have PI novels that aren't hardboiled novels. I think Parker is a prime example of this. That doesn't make them bad, necessarily, but if you come to his work expecting hardboiled attitudes I think you'll come away disappointed.

I was contempuous of Parker for a long time, until I started reading some of his imitators and realized that what Parker does, he does extremely well. I'm just not a big fan of what he does, is all. (I'd like to see Hawk get his own series, frankly.)

Each his/her own, though.


--- Jess Nevins <> wrote:
> And on what grounds do we exclude Parker, then?
> He's too successful? He's not good enough?
> If either or both of those are the case, then would
> someone
> send me a list of hard-boiled and noir authors who
> we're nonetheless not allowed to discuss?
> jess

===== Doug Bassett

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