Re: RARA-AVIS: Sidekicks

From: George Upper (
Date: 13 Nov 2001

--- wrote:
> I think at times, it is a way of demonstrating
> how close "the good" is to
> "the evil," (Spenser and Hawk in the various Susan
> soliloquies on the
> subject)

I think Parker is also saying that you don't have to be just like Spenser to be a "good man" in a "fallen world," a theme he repeats numerous times in the series. For example, other "good men" living under different codes of behavior include Rachel Wallace, Meade Alexander, Susan Silverman, Vinnie Morris, the reporter from A SAVAGE PLACE whose name I can't think of off the top of my head, Martin Quick and Frank Belson, etc., etc. Hawk is probably the only sociopath in the bunch, but you get the point.

Part of what Parker writes about is how to be good in a bad world. His original answer (MORTAL STAKES) was, in essence, "be a real man." In PROMISED LAND and MORTAL STAKES he varied this a little, but not much. After LOOKING FOR RACHEL WALLACE and later novels, I think his answer can now be stated as "live by a code." It doesn't so much matter what the code is, as long as it's there. That's a lot of what Hawk is doing in the books, I think--reminding us of that.


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

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