Re: RARA-AVIS: sidekicks

From: Gerald So (
Date: 13 Nov 2001

Jim Doherty wrote:

<< ...That's what courage is all about. Making difficult choices and weathering the consequences.

The "bad-ass sidekick" is a deus ex mahina whose main function seems to be removing the necessity for making those hard decisions from the hero.

Well said. This may seem reductive, but IMO, Parker was at the apex of his form in PROMISED LAND. We can't draw a clear moral line between Spenser and Hawk, and we can't be sure where Hawk's allegiances lie, even as the book ends. The best Parker books are the ones where Spenser and Hawk are too complex and distinct to be called sidekicks. Parker's mistake was showing Hawk as trusted ally too soon.

Imagine how great the Spenser books would be if there were still that tension between Spenser and Hawk: two men of equal stature who respect each other, but from a mire of complications, remain opposed. The series might not be as long--Spenser and Hawk probably couldn't stay opposed for thirty years--but the psychological depth that was Parker's trademark would be in every book.


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