Robert B. Parker's Legacy is, Sadly, Now Only Three for Four.....

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Robert B. Parker's Legacy is, Sadly, Now Only Three for Four.....


Post by JustSomeOldGuy » Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:32 pm

I first came across Robert B. Parker's novels in the late 70's or early 80's, and have been a fan ever since. For those not familiar with his catalog, and

I also enjoyed, without taking them too seriously, the television versions of Spenser (Spenser for Hire - Robert Urich, and the made for television movies with Joe Montegna). The later tv movies of the Jesse Stone novels (Tom Selleck) and the Cole & Hitch movies (Ed Harris, Viggo Mortensen, Renee Zellweger) I thought were more true to the source material, given that the Parker organization (and Michael Brandman) had greater control over writing and production.

When Parker passed in 2010, his active series (Spenser, Jesse Stone, Cole and Hitch) were each parceled out (by his agent? his publisher? his estate?) to replacement authors for continuation. The Spenser franchise was taken up by Ace Atkins, Cole & Hitch westerns by Robert Knott, and Jesse Stone was continued first by Michael Brandman and picked up after several titles by Reed Farrel Coleman. The Sunny Randall series, which had only six titles at Parker's death, lay fallow for eight years.

When it was announced a year or so ago that (the sports guy and author) Mike Lupica was authoring a new Sunny Randall title, my thoughts were
- glad to see Sunny back
- never read any of Lupica's stuff; don't know squat about him
- hope he's capable and does his Parker homework like the other replacement authors

Just finished 'Blood Feud', and the Parker organization has backed the wrong horse. And lost me as a purchaser/reader of the Randall series unless/until someone else takes it over.

Lupica is a capable writer, he did a pretty good job at recreating Parker's tone, pace, structure. He fails at reproducing Parker's apolitical milieu, and understanding his main character's root motivations. Apparently, Lupica is a typical liberal schmuck. ... f-lockout/

In Parker's own works, and the continuations by other writers, there is no reference to liberal/conservative, republican/democrat. No references to political events. Outside events are mostly limited to things that change the landscape, like the multi-year Boston 'Big Dig' project. The crooked politician characters are defined by their actions.

Lupica however, either doesn't understand what a Parker book doesn't do, or does but just couldn't resist the opportunity to fly his liberal flag on the new soapbox and
- bash the NRA
- bash Trump
- assign Sarah Brady-like motivations to the series main character

It's sad, because, to borrow another vintage sports reference, with Lupica's writing ability, "he could have been a contender".
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Re: Robert B. Parker's Legacy is, Sadly, Now Only Three for Four.....


Post by The Annoyed Man » Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:08 pm

You should send a link to this critique to the people who own the rights. Maybe they’ll fire his butt.
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Re: Robert B. Parker's Legacy is, Sadly, Now Only Three for Four.....


Post by OlBill » Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:55 pm

Parker was an American treasure. Gunman's Rhapsody is another good one.

Appaloosa is one of my favorite books. Harris and Mortensen were magnificent, I can't stand Zwellweger.

I don't care for Knott's follow ups.

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