Re: RARA-AVIS: Nobody Runs Forever

Date: 20 Dec 2004

Bill wrote:

"[Parker] shouldn't take business calls at home."

I had the same thought. Okay, Parker no longer has the cut out he had at the beginning of the series, so no one communicated with him directly, but he should have put something in place other than his home phone, even if it is in Claire's name. For all of the time he spent calculating how much info every stranger had on him, how directly he could be tied to the job at hand, it was ridiculously easy for him to be tracked home earlier in the book. Granted these are mostly older criminals, but I'm amazed none uses the internet in any way, if just going to internet cafes so it won't be on their own phone line. I also found it odd no one used pre-paid cell phones.

"It's a great ending. For a bank robber, Parker seems to have a Buddhist sense of non-attachment and calm. If he needs to leave a building, he'll go out the front door. . . . And stealing and killing when he must."

See, that's the crux of the problem here. I never got the feeling here that he "must." There have been times in the series where Parker really needed a job. He had run through his reserves and had to take a slightly iffy job to replenish them, a job he would not take if he weren't a bit desperate. I did not get a hint here that he was desperate. It even pointed out that he had a number of reserves to draw on. So why would he continue on this job as the complication grew? I might have believed it if he had been forced to leave the house (as he should have) and leave his nearby reserves behind.

Or the issue of age and complacency could have been dealt with. That could take the Parker series into an interesting new direction, deal with the question of whether or not his Buddhistic detachment still applies to his non-job life. I don't think it does. He has attachments, mostly through Claire, but if he is attached to Claire, then those attachments become his own. In recent books, they have led to little fires, which Parker has been able to put out, but he has steadfastly ignored that those little fires are the smoldering coals of a much bigger fire. That could be an interesting turning point in the series, where Parker's attachments bring him to a crisis point.

I know I'm asking for character development in someone who is essentially a non-character, someone who is defined almost completely by what he does and very little by who he is outside of his function. However, that character has been creeping in and led to some contradictions that need to be dealt with, if just by building a better firewall between the two lives. Or Stark could deal with Parker's non-monetary need to do crime. Through the brief character Briggs, he brought up that the heisters live at a heightened existence while pulling jobs, although they probably don't recognize it themselves. Why not have Parker recognize it, see if it changes anything?


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 20 Dec 2004 EST