What can I say that I haven’t said before? I complain on and on that Parker has only one note to play, but I keep buying the books. I think, though, that I’ve finally reached the end of my tether, at least on his short fiction. All the stories are clever and interesting – one at a time. Read en masse, though, they’re hard to tell apart. All the characters are very, very similar; in fact, most of them are the same character with a different name; sometimes not even that. A number of the stories felt long – appropriate if you just want to revel in the smooth prose, picaresque heroes, and sardonic tone, but not if you want something to happen.
There’s no denying that Parker is a good writer, and that he’s got this interesting character down to a T. I just wish he’d move on to U and V and W. Too often, here, he’s just hitting the same key over and over again. I had hoped that a collection of short stories would force him to focus and introduce some diversity of theme. I was dead wrong on that one. The stories are in different settings, sure, but looking back, I find them hard to tell apart. I’ve still got some unread Parker on my shelves, but after that? Maybe I’ll just re-read some old ones; I’m not sure there’s any difference between those and the new ones. Maybe not, though. Once I’ve decided an author is on the A list, I find it hard to take them off. Still, Parker is doing his best to convince me to cull.