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Small Vices Format Kindle
|Neuf à partir de||Occasion à partir de|
|Longueur : 356 pages||Word Wise: Activé||Composition améliorée: Activé|
|Page Flip: Activé||Langue : Anglais|
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I have read a dozen of Parker's books, and enjoyed every one. However, I would say Small Vices is the most heroic, in that this book deals with grand themes. Academics may sneer at mystery novels, or come slumming, but these are our myths for the modern world.
If you haven't read the book, please stop reading this review here, because I wouldn't want to spoil anybody's enjoyment. The book has the classic Spenser scenes: the Threat, Displaying the Weapons, Pearl the Wonder Dog, great dialogue, vivid character sketches, and so forth. Spenser is careless, though. He shouldn't have been out running alone with the Grey Man on his trail.
Curious. In the end, everybody gets off. Spenser gets off with wounds, the Grey Man gets off without jail, the parents get off, the murderer gets off, the wronged prisoner gets off, and Hawk gets off with no pay for ten months' TLC. The only person who really loses is the victim, and she died happy.
Spenser is hired by the now successful, leggy Rita Fiore. There is the usual overt flirting ". . . too bad you didn't . . ." and "Boy, if you only had . . ." and "you had your chance . . " that we've come to chuckle at and with the honorable sleuth.
Here he's asked to track down 'the real murderer' which will free a man wrongfully doing life in the hard place.
It's hard to pity the imprisoned man Spenser is asked to free. It seems most feel he doesn't really deserve to be freed . . . even the loyal friend Hawk feels that Alves belongs in jail, "either for this crime or one he got away with."
But Spenser, who again tells someone his first name but not us, gets too close and takes three slugs to the shoulder, leg and chest.
It takes Susan, Hawk, Quirk, Belson, Lee Farrel and Vinnie nearly a year to rehab Spenser, who loses 40 pounds in the process, has a hard time making his limbs do what he wants them to, and basically can't walk. But they do and honor and heroism prevail, villains are suitably thrashed, and Susan and Spenser hook up. Again. And again.
There's a lot of vulnerability in Spenser this time. Like Joe Pike in The Last Detective, his body has betrayed him and he is lost. Sadness, even tears. The pages describing Spenser trying to get up the hill in Santa Barbara after again learning how to walk again are riveting. Good stuff.
If I had a disappointment, it was Spenser's laissez faire attitude towards Hawk who took a year off to mentor/train/help him. But maybe that's part of the mystique, he knew how he felt and so did Hawk.
Great stuff. Rachel Wallace is still #1 for me but Small Vices is a close second.
The production version is unquestionably the best. While I have loved Michael Pritchard's voice as Spenser in the past, Burt Reynolds does a remarkable job of portraying all of the Spenser cast. The hardest is always Hawk, and Reynolds brings it off beautifully. The music cues actually add to the novel, which is something I have never heard before in years of listening to books.
The story is one of the more imaginitive ones I have yet heard from Parker. A good adversary for Spenser is something I have been longing for, and the "Gray Man" fits the bill. The plot is engaging, we see sides of Spenser and his relationship with Susan previously unexplored, and deeper glimpses of Spenser's friendship with Hawk.
And this has got to be the only appearance of a rifle chambered in .458 Magnum in a novel. I gotta know where Parker gets his weapons information.
I'd give it 4.5 stars if I could, but I can't, and it's closer to 4.6, so I give it 5. Not perfect, but wonderful. I hated to hear the ending.
Now I don't know how others feel, but when I discover a new author who has created great characters I like to spend time with those characters. I read the books over and over. The best ones I never tire of. I love the physical settings, the relationships between the characters and many other attributes of the story. Hearing the story read adds another dimension and, particularly in the Parker novels, which are filled with humor, I sometimes pick up added bits of humor because the pace of the story is slower than when I zip through it myself. This presupposes that there is nothing in the voice of the reader to distract from the story. Joe Mantegna's voice is neutral enough so that it doesn't intrude on the story itself.
The reader in this story, however has such a deep, gravelly voice that it is a constant distraction from the story. The reader also moves his voice up and down an octave range that forces me to continually adjust the volume. Either he drops his voice so that I can barely hear him or his audio is so loud that the volume has to be turned down. I did not really appreciate Mantegna's presentations until I listened to Windom and Reynolds. With both of them the medium is indeed the message.
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