Promised Land Mass Market Paperback – Dec 5 1992
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Top Customer Reviews
For me, this # 4 in Parker's Spenser series was a key novel, a turning point for honing purpose and direction for future offerings. With PROMISED LAND, the baseline ingredients were set. It almost seemed to me as if, in writing the early parts of this plot, Parker had scrambled to the top of a mountain and surveyed the territory he had acquired in his first three books. "I've clearly opened something successfully long-term here," he might have concluded. "What do I want to do with it. Where do I want to take it."
A third into the plot of PROMISED LAND, a short paragraph from Spenser's narrative soured a trumped-up deal, like flat beer worn down:
>> Living around Boston for a long time you tend to think of Cape Cod as promised land. Sea, sun, sky, health, ease, boisterous camaraderie, a kind of real-life beer commercial. Since I'd arrived no one had liked me, and several people had told me to go away. Two had assaulted me. You're sure to fall in love with old Cape Cod. <<
Of course Hawk's arrival to the series, as many reviews have eloquently heralded, was highly effective and welcome, though I had anticipated a "love at first sight" First Meeting between Spenser and Hawk. As I thought about it, though, I was impressed with the thematic effect of Hawk being introduced as someone not yet integrated, but long significant in Spenser's life. As Spenser explained more than once here:
"I've known him a long time."
Yet, it wasn't until "now" that the relationship between these two machismo (in the detoxified, good sense of the term) males seeded and began growing into ... a black-and-white-Knight ... chess set ...Read more ›
Turns out both the guy and his wife are in trouble; Spenser cooks up an elaborate plot to entrap the bad guys on each side and rescue the couple. He helps out Hawk, and Hawk helps out him, but they're very "adversarial" although friendly. The couple is very clueless and you have to wonder if they're worth saving -grin-.
My Notes: OK, so Spenser starts out talking deeply with Susan, but says he was on the Cape with "Brenda Loring" (what's with these full names?) a few months ago! He ogles the 16 yr old kid of his client. Hawk is a little too "jive" to be cool. But it's interesting to hear he fought along with Hawk 20 years ago and had met in gyms and such since them. They have "mutual respect". Note that if Spenser is therefore around 40 in this book, that makes him approaching 70 in current stories ... I suppose he has James Bond's immortal powers.
Spenser's growing towards suavehood, but isn't quite there yet. I mean, he talks about throwing the kid through the window for being surly! He's not exactly understanding of the women he meets. This is not the Spenser I love -grin-. He at LEAST is drinking Amstel Lights and Heinekens now.
Susan's more annoying than helpful; his comments about her are that she told him to sip his beer and such. She still guzzles food and drink. At the end he proposes marriage and she goes "Oh, jeez, I don't think so now. I just wanted you to ask".Read more ›
This is a novel of relationships: Spenser and Susan (just getting started in 1976), Spenser and Hawk (same), the woman Spenser is hired to find and her over-loving husband. The relationships are live, in constant action, and filled with risk. The characters think constantly. They talk about why they think the way they do. They explore each others' lives and try to come to terms with the kind of people they all are, or were, or might become. The wise-ass repartee is tremendously appealing; it's hilarious; it couldn't be better.
If you've never read one of Robert B. Parker's novels, this might be the best one to start with. If you've read them all, this is a great one to read again.
Most recent customer reviews
This is a classic Spenser book, introducing Hawk and the fascinating relationship he has with Spenser and by extent, Susan.Published 19 months ago by Michael Howie
This book is a turning point for Spenser. He is in love, the caring side of Spenser is really starting to show. In this book, Hawk is introduced. Read morePublished on July 19 2004 by Kel
We finally meet the delightful Hawk... and that's about all the fun there is to be had in this fourth outing in the series. Read morePublished on Nov. 19 2003 by Aaron Neptune
This book is more than 20 years old, and it hasn't aged well. Spenser is flip and condescending as he deals with women in search of themselves in the long-ago days of Phil Donahue,... Read morePublished on Nov. 5 2001
Robert B. Parker's THE PROMISED LAND lives up to its promise. In this novel, Spenser finally hits his bestselling stride. Read morePublished on Oct. 13 2001 by Dame Aggie
...detention when i was in high school.It was one of three books that i owned(the other two were Cujo and Brian Bosworth's autobiography)and my library privileges had been... Read morePublished on May 14 2000 by Jerimie