Tuesday, January 19, 2010
End of an era
I'm sorry to have to report some very sad news. It's been reported today that prolific and prolifically entertaining crime writer Robert B. Parker died yesterday at 77. Speaking for myself, but I'm sure for many others, too, he will be greatly missed. Among about dozen other things I could say about his work, Mr. Parker could always say more in a page and a half than other writers could impart in twenty pages. And he'd do that without seeming clipped or abbreviated or self-consciously uncommunicative. The same satisfying richness of character and plot would routinely come through in that brief page or two that other authors would need multiple pages to accomplish.
In other words, although Robert B. Parker's books were always 290 or 300 pages long, there were always, perhaps magically, around 500 or 600 pages of story and character and plot comfortably living in those fast-moving pages of economical count. I'm now going to have to get my quality crime writing and in-depth character sketches in much less economical fashion, because no one does it like Robert B. Parker did (and I hate having to write that past tense did).
Here's to you, Mr. Parker. I'm going to break out the excellent scotch this evening, and have at least two in your memory. Somehow I think you would appreciate that.