Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Review of Chasing the Bear, a Young Spenser Novel by Robert B. Parker

chasing If you haven’t read any of Robert Parker’s Spenser novels, you might be confused by the chapters of this book that are set in the present day, where Spenser is talking to his girlfriend Susan, and being prodded by her to recall episodes from his childhood.  But you certainly don’t have to have read the Spenser books to appreciate the great stories that he tells.  Spenser grew up in a completely male household.  When his mother died, his father’s two brothers moved in to share the parenting duties, so Spenser grows up being taught to think for himself, to cook, and how to throw a mean right hook.  When Spenser’s best friend, Jeannie, drives by in a car driven by her mean, drunken father, and mouths “Help” at him out the window, he knows he has to go after her.  He’s scared, but he knows that if he goes to get help he’ll lose them, so he follows them to the jetty, and then out onto the river in a rowboat, with only his dog Pearl for help.  It’s an exciting story, and my favorite one.  Throughout the book, Spenser tells Susan that he spent his life looking for his one and only love, and she is it.  The book is truly an adventure book for boys, but it doesn’t hurt to hear such a heartfelt message from so tough a guy.  Review by Stacy Church