God Save the Child Mass Market Paperback – May 1 1987
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Top Customer Reviews
Parker opens ths second Spenser novel with the P.I. droning in liquid narration, turning fool's gold into the functional lead of realism. Spenser artfully exposes his disgust for the husband/wife clients in his office. His descriptions of the outfits and arguments adorning these two seersucker, suburban bozos become a classic caricature setting for the husband/father's comment that his son took his guinea pig with him when he left home and disappeared.
That single observation, made by Roger Bartlett, that his son came home to get his pet before taking off, lifted him from the miasma his self-absorbed wife had immersed him into, beginning under his skin, continuing outward through the awkward, classless, tasteless clothing she had him don for the interview with Spenser. The only comment which cleared through the putrid artifice of that interview was Bartlett's mention of the guinea pig, which, of course, the wife, "mother" hated.
So, okay, Spenser, you were telling me that the only thing in that home which may have given warmth to this kid was that pet. And, the fact that the father noticed his child's attachment to it without rancor, began to paint the man out of the seersucker and into the quiet, subtle honesty of a man who cared about his son, but had probably not been able to demonstrate it.
The first two chapters were so impregnated with 70's ambiance (hey, yeah, this classic mystery was written then, and is still around to be bought and sold!), so packed with clues and character enrichment, I'm surprised this book didn't birth a horde of ...
Well ...Read more ›
God Save the Child was published in 1974. The descriptions of the clothing the characters wear are so photographic I was transported back to a time when I thought fashion had finally reached its highest peak. Revisiting the styles as captured on these pages was a shock and a giggle. We were ridiculous a good deal of the time in our pretensions, language, hair styles, drink and certainly in our clothes.
Even Susan Silverman, who always is perfection in these books, buzzes in for a romantic dinner wearing a yellow top, black slacks, black and yellow platform shoes and black and yellow pendant earrings. Spencer is wearing a black sweater, black shoes and white slacks. And they all drink like fish. Several vodka gimlets, a couple of bottles of wine and a brandy nightcap are polished off with a porc tenderloin au croute. And this is on a weeknight.
And yet the characters are fresh, the story is relevant to any age, and the humour is as crisp and delightful today as it must have been forty years ago. I have read several of the later books and this one holds its own with the rest. I am really sad to now know we have seen the last of Spencer. Fortunately this book is just the beginning of a long lifetime of good stories.
One thing is new - Susan Silverman, the High School Guidance Counsellor. She's feisty and beautiful. Their meeting-scene is rather overdone, though. She drinks a lot, which is MUCH different from later stories. He tells of his nose-breaking and she likes his carving of the "Indian on the Horse" (in front of the MFA) which he did in the first book. She's sad that she's only a guidance counselor and can't really help people. I have a feeling that many guidance counselors out there would have some objection to her point of view. You can make a difference anywhere you are - if only you do your best.
Susan becomes a staple to the series, the love-partner of Spenser throughout the books, the one that brings sense to his sometimes frayed world. Unfortunately, at least in this book, she doesn't seem to be helping much. The story is extremely simplistic in dealing with the causes of child unhappiness and the ways in which it can be "fixed".
The story has a good dose of homosexual behavior, drugs and fetishes - all soon to be part of the Spenser trademark plotline. What is EXTREMELY interesting to me is that while the "later" Spenser is very much a hip guy with gay friends and easily defending gay rights, he most definitely did not start out that way. Some of the stereotypes shown here border on insulting.
There are other trends forming here.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I can actually visualize these books on TV. Smart-ass detective, predictable plots. So far, it's true. Read morePublished on June 25 2004 by Kel
In this second Spenser novel, Parker finally gets off running. The first one was a bit sketchy, with Spenser being drawn with large strokes, but not yet as solid a character as he... Read morePublished on April 11 2004 by Kirk McElhearn
I'm a newbie and feeling good about getting started in the Spenser series. Spenser is a great human character, with nicely developed strengths and weaknesses, and a beautiful... Read morePublished on Dec 3 2003 by djbrkns
After a very auspicious start, Spenser stumbles badly in this, the second of the series. Other than meeting Susan Silverman, who is not that much more than Brenda Loring with... Read morePublished on Oct. 5 2003 by Samuel Louis
Robert B. Parker, God Save the Child (Berkeley, 1974)
One of the great enduring mysteries in the literary world-and it says quite a bit that a piece of genre writing has... Read more
I have read Robert B. Parker since I was 13 and devour his Spenser books instantly, as he is one of only three authors that I will buy in hardback (Grafton and Evanovich are the... Read morePublished on May 19 2001