Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Robert B. Parker Dies

I first heard the news from Ali Karim on Twitter this morning. Then Sarah Weinman posted the news as relayed by Parker's U.K. publisher Quercus that he had died "just sitting at his desk." Having said many times he would keep writing novels until a) he died, or b) no one bought them, I think this is just how he'd want to go.

Parker's Spenser was the first P.I. series I read, over the summer of 1993. By summer's end I'd caught up to his current book. Six years later, I was known on many Parker discussion lists as one of his toughest critics, but this was only because his books had such an influence on me I hated to see him turn in less than his best. Looking back, I can think of no better writer with whom to fall in love with mystery, poetry, depth, the resonance of language, than Robert B. Parker.

If I hadn't begun to moderate my own Parker discussion list in 1999, I could very well have gone on reading him for sheer pleasure, forgiving him the foibles every writer has. Indeed, it's to Parker's credit that he kept me from seeing his flaws so long, that even as I hear he has passed, I don't believe it.

Further Reading:

1 comment:

Andi said...

I keep finding myself saying simply "it doesn't seem possible". I had issues with lots of his work, you and I talked about it I think, but he made his mark on the field - mostly good - and no one could write snappy great sparking spiffy dialogue like Robert Parker. This just feels so....off. It's reality but who the hell was ready for this news?