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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Promised Land by Robert B. Parker

A pivotal moment in the history of the series and an artifact of the 1970s

Over the years I've read all of the Spenser novels, but since I do not have a photographic memory I'm going back and listening to them as audiobooks during my commute.

Promised Land is a pivotal moment in the series because this is the moment in which we meet Hawk - Spenser's erstwhile partner in anti-crime in so many books in the series. Hawk is in his full glory here - a bad man who kills, roughs people up and intimidates, but still lives by his own code that Spenser somehow senses and respects.


It is also a pivotal moment because there is an incredible amount of conversational psychoanalysis throughout the book, a trait that most Spenser books feature (often to their detriment, in my opinion). Spenser's personality is discussed, male/female retlationships, what it means to be a man or a woman, responsibility and more. Out of these discussions come the foundation for the ongoing relationship between Spenser and Susan Silverman that continues throughout the series. Sometimes this is interesting but towards the end I wearied of it and it hurt the flow of the book and my enjoyment of it.

Robert B. Parker
Promised Land is a wonderful artifact of the truly revolutionary nature of the 1970s (For years I've contended that the 1970s were more of a decade of change than the 1960s were). We meet revolutionaries who arm themselves to overthrow "phallic power", we see the changing nature of husband/wife relationships. We also see the reality that many women in the 1970s were interested in becoming more independent but were ill-equipped to take the steps necessary.

The audiobook edition I heard lasted about 6 hours and was unabridged.

I rate this audiobook 3 stars out of 5.

Reviewed on August 26, 2009.

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