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Appaloosa Hardcover – 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 215 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 2010
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Books (2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848873433
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848873438
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (215 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,726,683 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By C. Baker VINE VOICE on June 22, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Robert B. Parker has offered a western written in his usual fast paced, clipped writing style that is highly engaging and entertaining. While not a literary masterpiece, Parker does an excellent job of creating unique fascinating characters, providing subtle insights into them, and posing ethical dilemmas that his characters work out using their own internal moral structure.

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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As I've written before, it's always good to get Parker off of autopilot, out of Boston and put him on a slight stretch. Under those conditions you see his real skills as a writer. In a different time and a different setting he is forced to develop a sense of place, a sense of language and a sense of character and he's always up to the task. There's no feeling of exaggeration, with heavyhanded indications that he's now in his 'western mode'. The people, places, language, and attentiveness to nuance are all spot on. As in all good genre writing there is a faithfulness to expectation. The plot is traditional--the nasty, tyrannical, lawless rancher vs. the hapless townfolk, who bring in the hired guns--and there are nice set pieces (a tracking scene across great distances, ruminations on gender relationships in the old west, some local color and historical authenticity with a Kiowa brave counting coup). My only reservation concerns the ending, which comes a little too quickly, a little too neatly, and is a tad short on blood, gore, and justice/vengeance. Nevertheless, this is a strong western, at least the equal of its predecessor and top summer reading.
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Format: Hardcover
"Appaloosa" is a quick, involving, but thoughtful reading experience. The characters and situations can be taken on their own terms as exciting story elements, but also as metaphors for old time America making way, for better or worse, for a new America.

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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is simply great writing. You truely can see the tough guys in front of you, hear the gunsmoke and feel the wind and sand blow into your eyes and ears - woooow.

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.
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