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The Godwulf Manuscript Mass Market Paperback – Dec 5 1992


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Dell; Reissue edition (Dec 5 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440129613
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440129615
  • Product Dimensions: 1.4 x 10.4 x 17.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 113 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #84,456 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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The office of the university president looked like the front parlor of a successful Victorian whorehouse. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I enjoyed Parker's first novel. Despite the fashion being from the early 70s, this book could have been written yesterday. Somewhat timeless.
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By L. J. Roberts TOP 100 REVIEWER on March 24 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
First Sentence: The office of the university president looked like the front parlor of a successful Victorian whorehouse.

Boston PI Spenser (with an 's' like the poet) has been hired by a university president to recover a 14th century illuminated manuscript. He is directed to a SCARE, the Student committee Against Capitalist Exploitation and Terry Orchard, one of the members, whom he finds along with her aggressive boyfriend, Dennis. Spenser receives a 2 a.m. call and finds Terry drugged. Dennis dead and the evidence of a professional hit.

I've not read this book since the 1970s and it is an interesting cultural look back. I am very happy fashions have changed away from white vinyl boots and leisure suits and that technology has advanced from mimeographs and typewriters. As silly as some of the slang sounds today, at least it wasn't as profane as today's speech.

It is also interesting looking at Spenser in his later 30s. He still thought he was funnier than anyone else did. This is a pre-Hawk, pre-Susan Spencer. As annoying as Susan can be, the one thing she did bring to the series was Spenser's monogamy.

What hasn't changed is Spenser's doggedness, determination to see the case through, dedication to the innocent and his cooking. I am always amazed that he has just the right ingredients in his kitchen to make a wonderful meal.

What Parker did extremely well was description, dialogue and plot. With a very few words, you knew where you were and the other characters in the scene. He often employed analogies''The wet wool smelled like a grammar room coatroom.''which put you right into his scene. His dialogue, even with the slang of the period, was always tight, crisp and real. As to plot, the story started a bit light and annoying.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've read about a half-dozen Spenser novels, not in order, and finally decided to go through them chronolgically. This is the first, and it marks the birth of the original wiseass, Spenser.
Reading these books, one realizes that the plot itself doesn't count as much as the character of Spenser. Wiseass, smart-aleck, and sometimes efficient detective, he is fun and it's always a pleasure to read these novels.
But this one doesn't deserve 5 stars, if only because the nascent character hasn't yet ripened. Read on for more stories about Spenser, as Parker develops him and creates a real character.
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By A Customer on Feb. 14 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is the novel that introduced the character of Spenser.
The dialogue is witty. The scences where Spenser is on a college campus are nicely structured. The Boston backdrop is well done. The book flows - a great read.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Ah, Spenser. Edmund Spenser wrote "The Faerie Queen." And this Spenser is anything but. Former boxer, Korean vet, and armed to the teeth with moxie and sass. And a little hiphugger pistol for those moments when a Dennis-Miller-esque zinger goes right over the thug's head. This intro to Spenser is hilarious in its descriptions of early 70's apparel and attitudes, not the least of which is Spenser's bedding of a mother and daughter within a 24-hour period. Paging James Bond. Anyway, it's all for fun. The plot's kind of 1-2-3 but it's nice to see where Elvis Cole and Fletch (at least the movie Fletch) came from.
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By Felicia Jordan on July 15 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The first Spenser novel has some flaws. Do we really need to know the exact route Spenser takes every time he drives somewhere? And what is the Ceremony of Moloch doing in the story? Weird.
However, Robert B. Parker kept me turning pages with his witty dialogue and portrayal of Spenser, the brash, smart-mouthed private eye with poetry in his soul.
Much of the fun of this novel comes from seeing Spenser stumble into some strange goings-on while trying desperately to stay one step ahead of the crooks.
I love how Spenser always parks illegally! That was a nice touch.
Overall, an enjoyable read.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This was the first book in the Spenser series. Robert Parker had obviously done his homework well - he wrote his doctoral thesis on the Private Eye genre of writing! An English Professor living in the Boston area, Parker was sure to write a story near and dear to his heart.
The plot: an illuminated manuscript is stolen. A student is killed, his girlfriend framed, and a tie to left-wing politics, drugs, and all the rest is involved. The story brings our first look at Joe Broz, but Spenser kills off his only two "muscle men" we meet. We also meet Spenser's two favorite cops - Lt. Quirk and Frank Belson.
The story is in "a university" which is studiously unnamed, in Boston by Roxbury. We get the girl's parents on the hill in West Newton, the English Professor on the beach at Marblehead. Lots of talk about the drives between these places. A double murder at Jamaica Pond, a stay at the Boston City Hospital. The final scene takes place at the Copley Plaza hotel.
Wow, what a different "Spenser" from the most recent books! Spenser has gone through a DRAMATIC transformation since this first rough-and-dirty portrayal. In many ways, Spenser is just beginning to develop his personality in this story. There's no Susan, no Hawk, no self-assured steadfastness. Spenser drinks a lot, puts himself down, wisecracks a bit too much, and (this is the best part) sleeps with a mother AND her daughter within 24 hours. It was just too much! Oh, quite enjoyable, of course. All the basic Spenser components are there, in a sort of rough form. The plot was good, the people excellent, the descriptive scenery as always lovely.
Those who follow Spenser through the series will note that Parker introduced a few ideas here which he later abandoned.
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