It took me a long time to get around to reading Chasing The Bear. A young adult look at Spenser’s past? Hmm. I wasn’t really interested. But I’d reached the point wherein all I had left to read were books written by other people under Parker’s name (or at least continuing his series, I forget if they say things like “Parker’s Spenser” or the like), some non-series books that include words like “love” in the title, and two or three young adult novels (plus one Spenser novel which either escaped my reading, or escaped my rating of it).
So . . . I read Chasing the Bear instead of any of those other options. Especially as I liked how the Jess Stone and Sunny Randall series ended (that’s two different series, what’s the plural of series? Series? Seriesss . . serii), and didn’t want to read what some other author thought of Jess Stone. Since he seemed have tossed Randall out of the series, despite how the last Parker written Stone book ended.
Ok, the premise. Spenser and Susan are walking and sitting in a park. There are pigeons and squirrels begging for food. Neither Spenser nor Susan has food to give them. Susan asks Spenser to tell more about his past. After some bantering Spenser actually travels back in time and begins telling some stories from when he lived with his father and his dead mother’s two brothers (though he describes it as his father and two uncles).
Stories from Spenser’s teen years are mentioned. Then back to the “present” wherein Susan and Spenser talk. Then back to teen year stories.
While I was reading the book I thought of the concept. The young adult concept. This book was sold as a young adult book. I pictured a young adult seeing the book and trying it. And being quite bored. At least with the present day bantering, which kept interrupting the teen years stories.
The book is quite interesting for a reader with deep knowledge with Spenser, and desirous of reading more about his past. It should not be, though, read by someone as a first Spenser book. No action, other than bantering, takes place with adult Spenser. All action with teen Spenser, while interesting, is a little too short to be a satisfying book. Hence my determination that this is a much better book for someone already familiar with and desirous of learning about Spenser’s past.
Which comes back to this book being labeled young adult. Seems to lead to the issue of who is the intended market? While nothing occurs that would remove the book from that category, the book itself doesn’t really appear to be complete enough as a stand-alone young adult book. Meanwhile, adults who read the Spenser series may not have a desire to read a young adult book about Spenser. An adult book about young Spenser maybe but not necessarily a young adult book.