Re: RARA-AVIS: Boston in (and out of) Spenser

From: George Upper (
Date: 08 Nov 2001

--- Gerald So <> wrote: Spenser's
> traveling trend began
> with WALKING SHADOW, set in fictional Port City, and
> has continued with
> CHANCE (Las Vegas), HUGGER MUGGER (Atlanta), and
> POTSHOT (Various).

Spenser's travelling trend started a lot earlier than that. He spends GOD SAVE THE CHILD (#2) in Smithfield--not exactly a different time zone than Boston, but certainly not Boston, either. He spends time in New York City in MORTAL STAKES (#3). He spends most of his time on Cape Cod in PROMISED LAND
(#4). He spends almost all of JUDAS GOAT (#5) in Europe and Canada, and half of EARLY AUTUMN (#7) in Maine. A SAVAGE PLACE (#8) takes place in L.A. He travels to D.C. in THE WIDENING GYRE (#10). He travels all over the country in A CATSKILL EAGLE
(#12). TAMING A SEA-HORSE (#13) takes place largely in NYC. PALES KINGS AND PRINCES (#14) is set near Worchester, MA--I can't remember the town name off the top of my head (Wheaton, maybe?). He's in L.A. again for part of STARDUST (#17). All of these take place before WALKING SHADOW (#21).

I would argue the opposite--that Spenser doesn't really need Boston, much less that he somehow derives his power from the city as Superman does from the sun.
 All of the above list is from memory, so some of the details--especially the book #'s--may be a little off, but it's clear that Spenser spends alot of his crime-busting time elsewhere. In fact, I wonder if he doesn't actually spend more time elsewhere than he does in Boston. It would be an interesting study, except that it would require re-reading the entire series. I could never make it past VALEDICTION (#11).


===== George C. Upper III, Editor The Lightning Bell Poetry Journal

__________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Find a job, post your resume.

# To unsubscribe from the regular list, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to
#  This will not work for the digest version.
# The web pages for the list are at .

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 08 Nov 2001 EST