This is the first book in the Spenser stories. It was written in the 1970s. The story outline is not so complicated as those in later Spenser books. It is much more simpler. The good thing is that after reading, it makes me think about several things.
1. Drugs in the university
The story is more about students getting drugs in university. Professor Hayden even gets involved to be a middleman to sell drugs to the students.
It makes me see things differently – I didn’t know way back in the 70s, the speech and behavior of students is so jarring. As a whole, the kids are pretty obnoxious, with their imitation jive talk and anti-establishment . They drink, smoke and take drugs.
It shows that it is not in 2000, or 2011 that students have been behaving this manner. In 1970s, the kids are already behaving in such a manner. So history does not change much. It is because of new media, we are more aware of some of the more distasteful student’s behaviors.
2. Love of a woman
Professor Hayden is really a creep. He is unfaithful and is too cowardly. When a killer Phil appears to kill him, Hayden even ask him to kill Spenser and his own wife Judy Hayden. “I’m not your enemy. Shoot them. He’s your enemy and she is too, she betrayed me. She led him here. She led you here. Kill her. Don’t kill me. Please don’t. Please don’t.”
Despite that, the wife loves him a lot and even protects him from the killer.She bravely hold on to the killer’s gun and get shot, even continued her bite at the killer’s arm till death. However, at the end, when the police arrived, he was so happy to explain to the police what had happened. He does not seem to be affected by the wife’s death at all. It is quite sad to read such a part, that the husband is such a unkind and cowardly man.
Spenser said,” I have killed three people to save your miserable goddamn ass. Your wife took about six slugs in the stomach and bled to death in great agony to save your miserable goddamn ass. I wil call up Martin Quirk in a minute, and he will come here to arrest you. You will tell him everything that you know and everything that I want you to tell him and everything that he asks you.”
Although it is now year 2011, this book written in the 1970s still hold up. A good story invokes thinking and reflection after reading. In this book, I do not have a very good impression of Spenser. It seems that he welcomes anyone who can offer sex to him. The part about him having sex with both mother and subsequently the daughter is distasteful.
This book is titled “The Godwulf Manuscript”, but the focus is not on it. It is more like of a petty theft which leads to Spenser discovering about the drugs supplier and drugs middlemen to the students in the unviersity.