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Appaloosa Mass Market Paperback – June 6, 2006
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Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
More About the Author
Born and raised in Massachusetts, Parker attended Colby College in Maine, served with the Army in Korea, and then completed a Ph.D. in English at Boston University. He married his wife Joan in 1956; they raised two sons, David and Daniel. Together the Parkers founded Pearl Productions, a Boston-based independent film company named after their short-haired pointer, Pearl, who has also been featured in many of Parker's novels.
Parker began writing his Spenser novels in 1971 while teaching at Boston's Northeastern University. Little did he suspect then that his witty, literate prose and psychological insights would make him keeper-of-the-flame of America's rich tradition of detective fiction. Parker's fictional Spenser inspired the ABC-TV series Spenser: For Hire. In February 2005, CBS-TV broadcast its highly-rated adaptation of the Jesse Stone novel Stone Cold, which featured Tom Selleck in the lead role as Parker's small-town police chief. The second CBS movie, Night Passage, also scored high ratings, and the third, Death in Paradise, aired on April 30, 2006.
Parker was named Grand Master of the 2002 Edgar Awards by the Mystery Writers of America, an honor shared with earlier masters such as Alfred Hitchcock and Ellery Queen.
Parker died on January 19, 2010, at the age of 77.
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Top Customer Reviews
Appaloosa introduces us to two marauding law men - Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch. The story is told in the first person from the point of view of Hitch, who plays second fiddle to Cole, a seasoned and dangerous gunman. Cole and Hitch are hired by the aldermen of Appaloosa, a town that is being terrorized by a nefarious rancher named Randall Bragg. Bragg and his men murder the previous Marshal and now take whatever they want from the town - be it whiskey, food, or women. Cole and Hitch are hired to put an end to town's suffering. They eventually arrest Bragg for the murder and once convicted help transport him to be hung. Not surprisingly, Bragg escapes with the help of some hired gunmen, two brothers who even Cole is apprehensive of. This leads to, of course, a gun fight between the two sides. Through all this, Cole has fallen for a deeply flawed and dangerous woman, Ms. French, who he refuses to leave despite her treacherous ways. This sets up more drama at the novel's conclusion.
While this western follows a similar plot line as many novels in its genre, and there is nothing really new or unique here, it does have some distinguishing characteristics. First, it's clear that Cole and Hitch walk a fine line between being law abiding citizens and simply assassins, and it's a line they may have crossed in the past, and seem to be in constant danger of crossing in the novel.Read more ›
It is also very interesting to see Mr. Parker put a new spin on his frequent theme of personal codes and how they make the man: namely, it examines what can happen when a violent but law-abiding sheriff (a guy who is an expert killer but who will kill only when the law says it is okay for him to do so), goes head to head with a rich sociopath who is able to buy the law and make it work to his own advantage.
In the end, one character makes a decision and a sacrifice that allows the old ways to go on a little longer, but it's clear that the victory is a temporary one, and that the slow encroachment of new America- a place of many comforts and benefits, but also a place where wealth often speaks louder than justice- was only temporarily slowed down.
Like "Gunman's Rhapsody" (another western) and "Double Play", this is another of the occasional novels Mr. Parker writes that do not feature any of his popular continuing detective characters. And like all Mr. Parker's novels- the ones that feature continuing characters and the ones that don't- this one is well worth your time.
It's like a movie. And it doesn't disappoint that movies like that have been made before. Nobody writes scenes like Robert B.Parker. Probably never will.
The story is simple. Or so it seems at first sight. A town is being terrorized by a rich guy. The townfolks ask for help. In come Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch. From then on the law is theirs. And nobody is going to change that.
The rich guy tries his best, sends in his gunslingers. They end up dead. Cole and Hitch collect the rich guy. Want a judge to put an end to the crimes that are being commited. That's when things start to get complicated for Cole. First there's Allie, a girl who's got Cole wrapped around her fingers. But then a bunch of shooters from Cole's past also enter the scene as do some 15 Kiowas.
You need to read the rest for yourself.
A great story to be read in one sitting, as I said, like the best of the Western movies. It's all about loyalty, trust and friendship.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I read "Appaloosa" after watching the movie and found it added depth and feeling that the film somehow lacked. Read morePublished 1 month ago by keetmom
Need to read the series in order to get the real gist of them all. The series are really good, don't miss anyPublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Haven't read a western in a long time. I decided to try one by a favorite author and was not disappointed. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Audrey Anderson
Robert B. Parker was well-known for his mystery novels but this book is the first in his Western series "Virgil Cole/Everett Hitch. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Mars
Very slow moving and predictable story. He made it an adult story by inserting some unnecessary bad language and mild sex scenes. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
I wasn't liking this book too much until I go to the end of it. Then, I was floored! and I understood. Read morePublished 4 months ago by D'Bogat
Appaloosa is one of the best Western novels that I have read, and Robert Parker’s finest novel. The two principal characters, Virgil Cole and his deputy, Everett Hitch, who... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Carl Alves