Saturday, July 21, 2012
Appaloosa - a novel
Robert B. Parker is one hell of a western writer. He 's landed himself smack middle of the tradition of Zane Grey and Louis L'Amour. I can hear a Johnny Cash ballad as I read his writing. He's that good. Appaloosa is about lawman Virgil Cole and his side kick Everett. The story is told mostly from the viewpoint of Everett, ex military Indian fighter who teams up with Marshal Virgil Cole to cover his back with 8 guage shot gun.. There' Bragg the killer renegade rancher rich politician type and some gunslingers and Indians. And of course there's Allie. The name kind of reminds one of Ali McGraw and the Sundance Kid. She's got a thing for the main stallion whether he's good or bad. A kind of Eva Braun girl. Like any good western there's a subtext morality play that's lying deep down in this one. Something about rules of conduct. I thought of Crosby, Still and Nash's song "If you are on the road, you need a code which you can live by." Each person has a kind of code and Everett and Virgil even mention the great American philosopher Emerson though mostly the book hearkens back the military genius Clauswitz. I couldn't put it down. It's was that simple. Wise and deep and full of intricate action. But not a word too many or a word too few. When I finished I wanted to slap a cowboy hat against my jeans and ride into another Robert B. Parker adventure.