Appaloosa (Virgil Cole/Everett Hitch Series #1)

Appaloosa (Virgil Cole/Everett Hitch Series #1)

4.0 105
by Robert B. Parker
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

When Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch arrive in Appaloosa, they find a town suffering at the hands of a renegade rancher who’s already left the city marshal and one of his deputies dead. Cole and Hitch are used to cleaning up after scavengers, but this one raises the stakes by playing not with the rules—but with emotion.

Watch a QuickTime trailer for

Overview

When Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch arrive in Appaloosa, they find a town suffering at the hands of a renegade rancher who’s already left the city marshal and one of his deputies dead. Cole and Hitch are used to cleaning up after scavengers, but this one raises the stakes by playing not with the rules—but with emotion.

Watch a QuickTime trailer for this book.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This is only Parker's second western, after the Wyatt Earp story Gunman's Rhapsody (or third if you count the Spenser PI quasi-western Potshot), but he takes total command of the genre, telling a galloping tale of two Old West lawmen. The chief one is Virgil Cole, new marshal of the mining/ranching town of Appaloosa (probably in Colorado); his deputy is Everett Hitch, and it's Hitch who tells the story, playing Watson to Cole's Holmes. The novel's outline is classic western: Cole and Hitch take on the corrupt rancher, Randall Bragg, who ordered the killing of the previous marshal and his deputy. Bragg is arrested, tried and sentenced to be hanged, but hired guns bust him out, leading to a long chase through Indian territory, a traditional high noon (albeit at 2:41 p.m.) shootout between Cole's men and Bragg's, a further escape and, at book's end, a dramatic final showdown. Along the way, Cole falls for a piano-playing beauty with a malevolent heart whose manipulations lead to that final, fatal confrontation. With such familiar elements in play, Parker breaks no new ground. But that's irrelevant. What he does do, and to magnificent effect, is invest classic tropes with fresh vigor, revealing depth of character by a glance, a gesture or even silence. As always, the writing is bone clean. With Appaloosa Parker manages to translate his signature themes (honor among men) from the mean streets to the wild west in one of his finest books to date. Agent, Helen Brann. (June) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Best known for his Spenser novels (e.g., Cold Service), popular author Parker likes to break out of the mystery genre once in a while. In this Western (the second after Gunman's Rhapsody), deputy Everett Hitch recounts the struggle between lawman Virgil Cole and outlaw rancher Randall Bragg for control of the little town of Appaloosa. Modeled on Wyatt Earp, Cole is the kind of man who never loses a fight, and he comes close to taking down the murderous Bragg with ease, until Bragg's hired guns rescue him by abducting Cole's romantic interest and using her as a hostage. This precipitates a long chase, a struggle with wandering Kiowa, and a gunfight reminiscent of the OK Corral. The story gallops along to a surprise ending, but beneath the trappings of this gunfighter novel, Parker really has something to say about the nature of men and women in the Old West. Highly recommended for all fiction collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 2/1/05.]-Ken St. Andre, Phoenix P.L. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
If Spenser and Hawk had been around when the West was wild, they'd have talked like Cole and Hitch. The dialogue shines with a Western drawl in this admirably plotted change of pace from Parker (Double Play, 2004, etc.). Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch ride into Appaloosa, Colts slung serviceably low, and are instantly spotted for what they are: town tamers. "They're living off us like coyotes off a buffalo carcass," complains the Appaloosa establishment, meaning a ruthless no-good named Randall Bragg and the hands he employs on his ranch. Their sins include whisky and food consumed but never paid for, horses "borrowed" and not returned, women commandeered whenever. More recently, the marshal and one of his deputies were gunned down in cold blood. Do Cole and Hitch want to replace them? "It's what we do," says Hitch. Marshal Cole and Deputy Hitch then set about posting their rules, the same rules that had transformed Gin Springs, for instance, from a wide-open hellhole to a paradigm of civic virtue. Check your firearms at the town limits, Bragg and his hard-cases are ordered. They obey, though of course it requires a tactical killing or two before the rules are accepted as binding. Enter Mrs. Allison French, a woman more beautiful and more complex than is good for the general peace. Cole is smitten-and awed. "Takes a bath every evenin," he tells his partner. Having seen more of the world than the parochial Cole, West Point graduate Hitch is cautious. Does a dangerous seductress lurk behind the fetching facade? Into town ride the Shelton brothers, quick, mean gunmen several notches above the ordinary. Bragg reappears in the guise of a community booster: slick, plausible and dazzling to shortmemories. Pervading it all is the winsome widow lady's private agenda. Wonderful stuff: notch 51 for Parker.
From the Publisher
“Like the Spenser books, it’s a study of Parker’s enduring themes: buddy relationships, the weight that honor and responsibility put on a man, the consequences of violence, the way good can shade into bad and vice versa…a melancholy and sometimes moving tale of a lost but fascinating era.”—The Seattle Times

“Dryly amusing…a conclusion that had to make Parker smile as much as his readers will.”—Los Angles Times

“[Parker] takes total command of the genre, telling a galloping tale…[a] classic western… magnificent. As always, the writing is bone clean. One of Parker’s finest.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“For…readers with a hankering for the Wild West, including a high-noon shootout and all the accoutrements.”—USA Today

“Beneath the trappings of this gunfighter novel, Parker really has something to say about the nature of men and women in the Old West. Highly recommended.”—Library Journal

“As always, [Parker] is a master…his plot gallops to a perfect, almost mythical ending. Like a great gunfighter, Parker makes it look easy.”—St. Petersburg Times

“If Spenser and Hawk had been around when the West was wild, they’d have talked like Cole and Hitch. Wonderful stuff: notch 51 for Parker.”—Kirkus Reviews

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780425233658
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
01/05/2010
Series:
Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch Series, #1
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
604,787
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“Like the Spenser books, it’s a study of Parker’s enduring themes: buddy relationships, the weight that honor and responsibility put on a man, the consequences of violence, the way good can shade into bad and vice versa…a melancholy and sometimes moving tale of a lost but fascinating era.”—The Seattle Times

“Dryly amusing…a conclusion that had to make Parker smile as much as his readers will.”—Los Angles Times

“[Parker] takes total command of the genre, telling a galloping tale…[a] classic western… magnificent. As always, the writing is bone clean. One of Parker’s finest.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“For…readers with a hankering for the Wild West, including a high-noon shootout and all the accoutrements.”—USA Today

“Beneath the trappings of this gunfighter novel, Parker really has something to say about the nature of men and women in the Old West. Highly recommended.”—Library Journal

“As always, [Parker] is a master…his plot gallops to a perfect, almost mythical ending. Like a great gunfighter, Parker makes it look easy.”—St. Petersburg Times

“If Spenser and Hawk had been around when the West was wild, they’d have talked like Cole and Hitch. Wonderful stuff: notch 51 for Parker.”—Kirkus Reviews

Meet the Author

Robert B. Parker was the author of more than fifty books. He died in January 2010.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
September 17, 1932
Date of Death:
January 18, 2010
Place of Birth:
Springfield, Massachusetts
Place of Death:
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Education:
B.A. in English, Colby College, 1954; M.A., Ph. D. in English, Boston University, 1957, 1971
Website:
http://robertbparker.net/

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Appaloosa (Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch Series #1) 4 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 105 reviews.
jeffg2000 More than 1 year ago
Parker did a good job with this, a fast read,
philoniousmonk More than 1 year ago
I had already read some of Parker's "Jesse Stone" books and enjoyed them. I recently rented "Appaloosa" so when I found out it was also a Parker book, I wanted to read it. I normally like to read the book before the movie, but in this case, the movie followed the book so closely that it didn't really matter. I liked both so much that I plan on reading the rest of the series very soon. One of the things that made this such an enjoyable read was the dialog between Cole and Hitch. The ending was a bit of a surprise but perfect. The fact that the movie followed the book so closely says a lot about the quality of Parker's writing.
enigmacomp More than 1 year ago
I am nearing the end of the list in my queat to read all of the books written by Robert B. Parker. As usual, this book doesn't disappoint. Mr. Parker is gifted at not only weaving a complex tale, but at making it amusing, thought provoking, and yet somehow light. The pervasing theme to all of his works remains that of enduring love and friendship, the ability of his characters to communicate with one another wordlessly, and accept these others for who they are. In this regard, the characters of Everett and Virgil mirror those of Spencer and Susan in his detective series. As lawmen / gunslingers they adhere to their own moral code, which guides when and how it is permissible to kill. A code difficult to disagree with, it also includes their views on treatment of women ahead of the time.
Mike_the_Author More than 1 year ago
I saw the movie based on this novel and could not wait to read the book. I am a few pages away from the ending. I DON'T WANT IT TO END!!! I am going to savor those last few pages!!! I will probably not read the sequels due to not wanting to get caught up in the series, but this is a fast and entertaining read. The author puts the reader in the saddle. I could feel myself in the horse blanket taking in the wild smells, eating beef jerky, eating hardtack with bitter tasting coffee-all around the campfire. God I just loved it. One of the big shootout scenes had me on the edge of my seat. I actually felt the fear experienced by Virgil and Everett just before the fight!!! I was the third man helping them in that gunfight!!! That's how good the writing is--he puts us there with the characters. Can't say enough about this gem of a book. Just hate to see it end. BUY THIS BOOK!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
As the headline suggest I rarely read westerns but liking Robert Parker I decided to give it a chance. I admit I was not disappointed and read it in one sitting. It has a noncomplicated theme so if you are lokking for a complex story you won't find it. The chaacters are interesting as is the story. If you have never read westerns or don't like them this one may change your mind.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Sannois More than 1 year ago
I couldn't get past the prologue. I picked this up because I enjoyed the movie. I got the book used, and I'm glad I didn't pay more for it than I did. Maybe I'm just a curmudgeon, but the prologue is a couple of bad guys raping a woman. I couldn't get through it. And the language used by the bad guys in the prologue is something you'd expect to hear in an HBO original show. It doesn't bother me as much in movies or music, but I don't want to read stuff like that. Maybe the main body of the book is better, but I wouldn't know. If I don't like a book, I'll usually donate it to the library. I threw this one in the trash. I'm giving this a 2/5 because the movie was entertaining and I'm giving the main text of the book the benefit of the doubt. If you read this book, do yourself a favor and skip the prologue.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
They rinsed themselves with water then ran toward the others. (O.o where are the others?)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Come on Rose!'he said with cheerche didnt feel. "Lets get to the new camp and fix you up!'
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
PAUL-TTB More than 1 year ago
you can put this one down to do something else
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
APPALOOSA IS HERE
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Parker's characters are no-nonsense, write and wrong types of guys. The story moves along nicely, and without the gore, graphic sex, and raunchy language which comes in many other books these days. I'm reading the third in the series now, and have enjoyed them all. Because I read a lot of historical fiction I gave the series a try, and am not disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was looking for a book to read from the library a while back and just happened upon this book. I was addicted by the forward. Crazy as that seems, but I found this book a wonderful gateway into the wild west by an author that I had heard nothing about. But to my delight, I have now found an appreciation for him and his writing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very enjoyable book,I really like westerns,and this one fills the bill!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SnapeLover More than 1 year ago
I am in love with Everett Hitch! I have been racking my brain to figure out who can play Virgil and Everett in a TV mini-series. The characters are so real and remind me of John Wayne, Gary Cooper, Robert Ryan, and Steve McQueen! I am a middle aged woman and I have read 4 of this series in a week! I am on looking for more!!! Parker's writing is so enjoyable. OMGoodness, did I say I am in love with Everett? Virgil is such a strong ,silent, sensitive and intelligent character. all of what we exect in a post-Civil War hero. I want more!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The hero, Virgil Cole is an arrogant bully who is unbelievably capable. His sidekick, Everett Hitch, caters to his every whim. I prefer my characters a little more human.