Iím new to Mobileread and Iím not sure of proper discussion etiquette. It may not be cool to revive a dead thread or to double dip. But Ivanhoe has stayed with me because I didnít understand why I liked it so much. I expected to just wade through it.
The answer came to me while reading ĎIn Pursuit of Spenser: Mystery Writers on Robert B. Parker and the Creation of an American Heroí edited by Otto Penzler. Parker described himself as a writer of romance. He meant the Sir Walter Scott, not the Harlequin, variety. I was instantly enlightened. It was almost a spiritual experience.
My most beloved genre is the hard-boiled mystery. I know that Philip Marlowe, Lew Archer, and Spenser are fantasy. My son-in-law was a licensed private detective until he gave it up because it was too hard to stay awake while waiting for disability claimants to leave the house with a tennis racket or dive in the pool. But I love the code of the knights and fiction P.I.ís: fight evil, protect the vulnerable, preserve the good even at great personal cost.
While reading Ivanhoe I was in familiar but unrecognized territory. After reading it, I have a new understanding and appreciation of Marlowe and Spenser.