5.0 out of 5 stars Culture Candy? Canines Cut Rap. Creme Brulee & an Apple a Day.
Who could wash clean in a savage place. Who decided Spenser was too perfect. Parker? A reader? An editor? Who would have the John Galt clarity to dictate Spenser's path through literary annals and genre pitfalls. Galt would have the clarity but, by character, couldn't dictate.
Whatever the concept or motivation, the result was another good story; I can go with...
Published on April 28 2007 by Linda G. Shelnutt
2.0 out of 5 stars Yuck
This one is necessary reading for die-hard Spenser fans like myself, but it's almost like taking bitter medicine. Candy Sloan is the most repulsive Parker female yet, a stereotype of a 'spunky girl reporter' who gets what she wants by batting her eyes and unzipping her pants. Yet for some reason Spenser finds her irresistable, and for many books to come he will agonize...
Published on Dec 20 2000
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5.0 out of 5 stars Culture Candy? Canines Cut Rap. Creme Brulee & an Apple a Day.,
Ce commentaire est de: A Savage Place (Mass Market Paperback)Who could wash clean in a savage place. Who decided Spenser was too perfect. Parker? A reader? An editor? Who would have the John Galt clarity to dictate Spenser's path through literary annals and genre pitfalls. Galt would have the clarity but, by character, couldn't dictate.
Whatever the concept or motivation, the result was another good story; I can go with perfect or imperfect. This one was a soul wash, and left me pensive long past the last lines.
Paul Giacomin's EARLY AUTUMN (# 7 in series) had blown away with crisp golden leaves. He wass off-stage developing his dance; the Shrug had Shuffled. New York was yesterday; today it was L. A., in THE SAVAGE PLACE, # 8 in series. Spenser's views of cultural geographics were, of course, always a gas. A kick. A fun farce of the first fizz water. Until the heavy rain drained the fizz, the fuzz did the dilemma, and Spenser flew. Yeah, there was symbolism in that, which came quietly when the read was done.
Candy Sloan was a good name for a California blond "bimbo" who slid out of the stereotype by not being broke in the brawny brains bailiwick. Would she escape her feminine fate? Since Spenser was again playing the bodyguard, this time to a News Anchor, SAVAGE gave an interesting contrast to LOOKING FOR RACHEL WALLACE (# 6 in series), especially since Rachel referred Spenser to the case (giving a small, scrumptious sample of their past repartee ripping along phone lines). How many different angles can the X Chromosome carry? Only Spenser knows? His Shadow is still sleuthing.
The relationship between Candy and Spenser developed with sensual starts, spurts, and a few "slim pickings," providing contrasts to his so far female connections, and expanding the underpinnings of his soul-mate code. I was intrigued by the way Parker played the Spenser ethics off "his and hers" choices, actions, and justifications. Candy was as different as "day-and-night," blond and brunette, etc., compared to Suze, and who could help comparing? Observing the differences I flashed to Brenda Loring and the previous novel's mention of Spenser's receipt of an invitation to her wedding, which he noted studying for a long time. Of course all that caused a care to contrast the three characters.
Given Parker's established subtle complexities of composition, I continued to wonder how much the name Candy would relate to cultural implications of the term. Was she a contrast to the salt developing with Susan? Was she a sweet to balance the sour of losing Brenda, even though Spenser realized that his life partnerships were evolving as they should and must?
And, of course you had the social-situational-tragicomedies, the thematic surety. Here was an ambitious news anchor lady working beyond her name to get a name. When she bagged her serious "mob bought" story would she change her name to Caramel? To Creme Brulee?
One of my favorite scenes which was worked toward a chapter's closing line, occurred in SAVAGE, about individuals with great differences in DNA, experiential dance, and dogma being able or not to comprehend each other's angst. You won't want to miss this (mid-book) chapter end, which Spenser wraps with, "You wouldn't understand." Having that line ahead won't spoil it. The prescience should enhance the pithy punch, and it's a punch which deserves this preface. Spenser has mastered his timing for slipping in zingers which rarely fail to get the out loud guffaw. The zap is best when he takes a few pages to work and tweak the preparation.
This plot seems more complicated than those which precede it, though the course of convolutions doesn't quite surface until the end, washing to a miasmatic surface with a heavy, hard rain.
Another contrast from a Master.
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorites in the series...,
Ce commentaire est de: A Savage Place (Mass Market Paperback)Are you tired of the typical formula novel or tv series? Parker isn't afraid to give Spenser, and his readers, a kick in the gut with this plot twist. As Spenser visits L.A. (a savage place) and experiences its cold indifference, he finds his own savage side. Spenser is such a poised but quick P.I. We see his (rarely shown) visceral reaction to brutality. Candy Sloan, his reporter/client, is a woman making her path (any way that she can) in a man's world.
5.0 out of 5 stars best of a disappointing series,
Ce commentaire est de: A Savage Place (Mass Market Paperback)Perhaps no other writer has had so pernicious an influence on modern detective fiction as Robert B. Parker. Paradoxically, having immersed himself in the writings of the genre while he was an academic, Parker proceeded to violate the conventions which made it great when he became an author. Now, I'm not saying that a writer has to slavishly follow the conventions of the genre, but if he's going to violate them, it should be for reasons that add something to his text. I believe that Parker, and his successors, have instead produced inferior work.
The most important convention of the genre that Parker has tampered with is, "the hero as loner". Bad enough that Spenser has his ongoing relationship with the profoundly annoying Susan Silverman (supposedly their relationship is modeled on Parker's with his own wife; God help him), he also has a virtual child in Paul and his relationships with Hawk, Belsen, Quirk, etc. are so close, that people who hire Spenser, essentially get a whole team.
One result is that Spenser ends up maintaining an emotional distance from his cases, at a couple points he has even told clients that he would protect Susan before them. Compare this with the quintessential private eye series, Ross MacDonald's Lew Archer novels. Archer was continually getting over involved with clients, their wives & children, as each case became the emotional focus of his otherwise empty life. This emotional vulnerability is a key element of the best novels of the genre.
Likewise, Parker has eliminated the physical and legal risks that the hero faces. Spenser's friends are all so powerful that there's never a sense that Spenser is vulnerable. Of course, we know that he won't ever lose a fist fight or be beaten up. But we, and his opponents, also know that even if he gets in trouble, his cronies will bail him out--Hawk will shoot them, Quirk will arrest them or, at least, not arrest Spenser & even the Mob will come after them.
The result of this genre busting is that the Spenser tales are largely devoid of dramatic tension. His emotional distance from cases and physical invulnerability have combined to make for stories that are rather flat and formulaic; an ironic result considering the attempt to escape the classic p.i. formula.
A Savage Place demonstrates all of these points by removing Spenser from his familiar background and transplanting him to Southern California. Candy Sloan is an ambitious TV reporter who has stumbled onto a story about union corruption in the movie industry. When her life is threatened, the TV station hires Spenser to guard her.
With Susan back home in Boston, Spenser is free to focus on the case and become involved with Candy. And, removed from the protection of Hawk and Quirk, he finds himself vulnerable to hoodlums and lawmen alike. These factors combine to provide us with the most satisfactory entry in the long running Spenser series and provide a bittersweet peak at what this series could have been.
2.0 out of 5 stars Yuck,
By A Customer
Ce commentaire est de: A Savage Place (Mass Market Paperback)This one is necessary reading for die-hard Spenser fans like myself, but it's almost like taking bitter medicine. Candy Sloan is the most repulsive Parker female yet, a stereotype of a 'spunky girl reporter' who gets what she wants by batting her eyes and unzipping her pants. Yet for some reason Spenser finds her irresistable, and for many books to come he will agonize over her death. If only the reader could be convinced that this turn of events was a deliberate attempt to humble Spenser the Superhero.... But I think it wasn't. I think Parker actually liked Candy, dim, short-sighted and manipulative as she was, and expected the reader to like her too. Yuck!
4.0 out of 5 stars the journey is more significant than the destination,
Ce commentaire est de: A Savage Place (Mass Market Paperback)i disagree with the above reviews in that i believe that this was a very important book in the spencer series. i believe the entire premise behind the spencer character is not that different from the characters in "the bodyguard", "the last boyscout", "die hard", and "ronin" - they are all derivations of a solo samurai theme the characters travel through life alone with not much more than their convictions. how life tests these principles and how these characters choose and ultimately end up is the basic heart of the stories. spencer has proved himself in his comfortable settings in boston. a ronin (or samurai without a master) constantly wanders around searching...(for direction or a new master). see how spencer arrives with just a bag at the airport. this shows his lack of a settled lifestyle and such. this la trip was important in that it tests his relationship with friends he has left at home and people he has known there. the constant way in which he interacts with other ex-boxers and ex-strongmen displays a system of honor (or samurai, whatever) which is generally hard to grasp unless you see or read a lot of these stories. i admit that these stories are more male gender inclined but to see it in just that perspective, you lose what mr. parker is trying to convey about spencer and his world.
4.0 out of 5 stars Average for Parker,
By A Customer
Ce commentaire est de: A Savage Place (Mass Market Paperback)This book is set mainly in California. Spenser is strongest when he stays in the Boston area, but this book is very good and should be read by all Spenser fans.
1.0 out of 5 stars Spenser is tarnished,
By A Customer
Ce commentaire est de: A Savage Place (Mass Market Paperback)This could have been a good story. Instead, it was a conglomeration of events and choices that made no sense and was horribly mired by Spenser's plummet from hero status. The image of Spenser dancing, slow and tight, with his client was disturbing enough. (This story comes after his commitment to Susan Silverman. A _slow_ dance with another woman on the balcony of her hotel room should be against Spenser's honorable "system" for living.) But it doesn't end there. He strips her and himself, carries her to bed, and spends the night. The next morning he explains that, since he doesn't have a relationship with this woman, having sex with her was alright and wouldn't bother Susan _much_. Bothering Susan _at all_ by sleeping with another woman should be against his system. He later reveals his stunning logic that sleeping with this woman a second time _would_ be cheating on Susan. Spenser's shining armor is bashed to bits in this story.
Also, the client (her name is "Candy" for heaven's sake) is an investigative reporter for a television station who is trying to prove that she is more than a pretty face and a swaying backside: she is good at her job. How does she go about proving this? By sleeping with men for information! She enhances this image of intelligence by zombe-like chanting of "I want it all, I want it all." As a result, instead of going to the police with information regarding very dangerous people, she meets dire consequences. Quite an intelligent lady.
Spenser dreams of Susan on his flight home to Boston. How wonderful of him.
This is the eighth entry in the Spenser series and is very disappointing. The 10th, 11th and 12th stories (_The Widening Gyre_, _Valediction_, and _A Catskill Eagle_) help restore some of Spenser's honor.
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A Savage Place by Robert B. Parker (Mass Market Paperback - Oct 3 1992)
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