Robert B. Parker - Double Play (Burke, #1)

Double Play (Burke, #1) ePUB download
Two things I love: Baseball and Robert Parker.Doubly so when mixed together.Robert Parker, famous for creating the loveable and sarcastic Spenser, has taken a pivotal event in baseball (and America’s) history—the moment Jackie Robinson breached the color barrier—and blended it into a noir/memoir/historical novel.Now this sounds pretty cheesy.Okay, I admit.This was creamy Velveeta spread over a brick of Colby jack.But, for me, this story works.Basically, this story is about redemption.Sometimes this redemption comes in the form of humanity; sometimes in the form of self.Joseph Burke is a man looking for redemption; he is a wounded WWII vet, who was given a Dear John letter after having recovered from serious chest wounds sustained on Bloody Ridge.No problem.This type of emotional impact bothers him not at all.He decides to become a boxer, but he was a better punching bag so he decides to change careers and becomes a bodyguard after having worked for a bookie.The details are easy: first there was a rich, prissy gal by the name of Lauren.She’s into bad men and the bad things that they do to her.Eventually, Burke and Lauren begin a relationship.Now all of this is fine and dandy.Parker doesn’t really show any new moves within this section of the story.

Where Parker does impress is in the elements of the novel surrounding Jackie Robinson, who just happens to be the second person Burke is assigned to protect.Parker does a great job painting Robinson’s world, even though Parker still approaches these events with his characteristic minimalistic approach.I was able to feel the tense situations, the hatred of both blacks and whites, and the ugliness that permeated through all walks-of-life.And even though Parker admits, in the opening of the book, that this story is completely fabricated, there are moments when I could really imagine Jackie Robinson saying or doing something, and the nuances of everyday life of the 1950s.These parts are spectacular.

Then there is the memoir aspect of this novel.These chapters are narrated by someone named Bobby, and recount what it was like to be alive during the 50s.Moral lessons are expounded upon during these sections, which, ironically enough never seem to be patronizing or proselytizing.“Bobby” calls it as he sees it.If this is Parker writing as Bobby, it is a very interesting perspective into the early life of one of the living-legends of mystery/noir writing.

So, I said something about redemption earlier.Redemption.Burke needs it after having lost whatever it was that was taken from him on Bloody Ridge.America needs redemption from the way she treated some of her citizens.Baseball needs redemption after calling itself America’s pastime.Ultimately, all are given redemption in one form or another.(I’ll let you find these out for yourself.)

Finally, I have to be honest and say I have no idea how to rate this novel.On one level, Parker creates an interesting character in Burke, but not a character that I would be willing to invest numerous books to.On another level, Parker dazzles with his ability to convey a world rather soon forgotten in the glimmer and glitz of nostalgia and Hollywood and facades of poodle skirts and muscle cars and Leave it to Beaver-like attitudes with the skill of a sharpshooter.And I even enjoyed the semi-(auto)biographical sections provided by Bobby.

Bottom line: Parker purists will want to read this to complete their journey through all of his books.Everyone else, this is a great guilty pleasure type of read.

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Author
Title
eBook formatAudio CD, (torrent)En
PublisherPhoenix Books, Incorporated
File size1.5 Mb
GanreMystery
Release date 02.03.2006
ISBN9780641987311
Book rating3.71 (1332 votes)
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