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Appaloosa  By  cover art

Appaloosa

By: Robert B. Parker
Narrated by: Titus Welliver
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Publisher's Summary

When it comes to writing, Robert B. Parker knows no boundaries. From the iconic Spenser detective series and the novels featuring Sunny Randall and Jesse Stone, to the groundbreaking historical novel Double Play, Parker's imagination has taken readers from Boston to Brooklyn and back again. In Appaloosa, fans are taken on another trip, to the untamed territories of the West during the 1800s.

When Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch arrive in Appaloosa, they find a small, dusty town suffering at the hands of renegade rancher Randall Bragg, a man who has so little regard for the law that he has taken supplies, horses, and women for his own and left the city marshal and one of his deputies for dead. Cole and Hitch, itinerant lawmen, are used to cleaning up after opportunistic thieves, but in Bragg they find an unusually wily adversary, one who raises the stakes by playing not with the rules, but with emotions.

This is Robert B. Parker at his storytelling best.

©2005 Robert B. Parker (P)2005 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“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) 

What listeners say about Appaloosa

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

I am over 60 but ...

Maybe because most of my Saturday afternoons were spent at the local theater where the tickets were $.25 cents and popcorn was $.10 and every third movie was a western, but I loved this audible book. I liked the characters, I liked the plot, I really liked the reading. It was one of those books that stayed with me for days after and made picking up the next listen difficult. You do not have to be a guy with a Zane Gray collection to appreciate this novel.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

One of the Best Old west tales

This was a great book. A great and realistic tale about two Old West Marshalls. It has everything Friendships, gunfights, mercenaries, Train robbberies, Murder, Indians; everything you would expect from old west fiction. If you are a fan of the Wyatt earp tales or enjoy old west sagas like the HBO show Deadwood. This book is highly recommended.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A Good Western

I never read or listened to any Robert Parker books that didn't have Spencer in them. He can sure write a good western. It was one of his best books that I had experienced so far. If you like a good western, you will love this book.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

excellent

The story, the relaxed pace, the characters are all classic western genre. I listened to this on a 9 hr. drive and the time melted away. I was transported to the world of Parker's creation. Each chapter (and there's a lot of them) is short and moves the story forward. I kept wondering, how is this going to resolve itself - and that part is so simple but elegant I laughed; yet the sentiment of the resolution left me emotionally satisfied in a way few books ever do. Fanfriggintastic.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Deeep plot.

It's been awhile since I've read a Western and I guess there's not always that much too them. This one was mediocre in my mind. The cowboy dialogue was funny and I like the way it was written in the first person (which worked well for the narrator). My main complaint was that the plot was pretty light and there weren't alot of details to supplement that fact.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

I am over 60 but ...

Maybe because most of my Saturday afternoons were spent at the local theater where the tickets were $.25 cents and popcorn was $.10 and every third movie was a western, but I loved this audible book. I liked the characters, I liked the plot, I really liked the reading. It was one of those books that stayed with me for days after and made picking up the next listen difficult. You do not have to be a guy with a Zane Gray collection to appreciate this novel.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Robert B Parker... he said she said

Holy mackeral... if you counted the word "Said" in a Robert B Parker novel it would easily rank more counts that "the" or "a"!!!

This guy cannot write dialogue .. period!!

While this is a good story, if you can get past Parker's fatal flaw it is entertaining.

The movie is much better...

I also listed to Resolution, the sequel and it's a little better, but still has the "Virgil Said", "I said" virus.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

What?????

I've read and listen to hundreds of books, and whether they are entertaining, so-so or boring I can't remember any not having a definite theme and plot, even if a poor one--the "plot" being the literal step by step action in a story leading the reader/listener to some conclusion --- the "theme" the moral of the story, what the reader should take away as the main idea.

It's hard to say, but I would say the plot was the hiring of a Marshal and his Deputy to clean up the town ran by the bully who killed the previous Marshal and Deputy. The Marshal falling for a lady (but very little dialog between them) who wanted to be with the top man of the town (the Marshall until someone better came along). That was it!

They rode up in the hills and watched the Appaloosa stallion with his mares (thus the name of the "story"?), but didn't say why, never tied it into anything. I can guess, by the dialog of the Marshal and his Deputy and later when they took the lady with them that it was to drive home a point that a stallion (depicting men) had to be constantly vigilant to keep his mares together and fight other stallions to keep them, the top stallion would get the mares (depicting her). But I'm just guessing, they gave no reason for watching the wild horses.

There was no step by step action that led to a conclusion, no moral of the story that I could see. I listened to the end, and came away with NOTHING!

Titus Welliver has a good reading voice, but there was too many "he said", "she said". It was probably written that way in the book, because when he did talk for the different characters he did well.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Tough characters, tough talk, tough country

An engrossing (if rather short) story, with gritty non-nonsense characters and some clever dialogue. Mercifully free of the usual Western cliches and central-casting characters, the two lead figures are interesting and well described. A longer book would have allowed more development of their characters and the supporting cast, but its still satisfying. I'll definitely look for more like this.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    out of 5 stars

Great western

Great audio book with wonderful characters.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ian D. Barrass-sykes
  • 04-12-09

mean and moody

This story grabs you from the very start. The two main protagonists engage in quirky monosyllabic conversations, which are delivered excellently by a superb narrration. It is a buddy story about two lawmen who have their own rules they live by. The story bowls along at a good pace, with outlaws, shoot outs, indians and everything else you want in a wild west story.
I highly recommend this to all those who love a good story.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • ManofLedger
  • 09-22-22

Brilliant Classic Western

In 1882 the small town of Appaloosa in New Mexico hire two lawmen Virgil Cole and his deputy Everitt Hitch to tame a town being terrorized by a local rancher and his gunmen. The narrator brings the Old West to life with an excellent atmospheric reading of the action. Some may remember the 2008 Hollywood film starring Ed Harris and Vigo Mortensen . Well worth a listen although short it is the unabridged book

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Honestly critical
  • 07-05-22

A classic Western

If you wish to start a western thid Is a great introduction.
it's a classic.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Danny Farham
  • 08-01-17

Brilliant western

This story is one of the best westerns ever. The narrator was perfect for the story. Now I'm gonna have to download the next book in the series.

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  • luke edwards
  • 06-28-21

Parker's voice is like no other

Titus Welliver is much better as Virgil Cole than as Hieronymus Bosch, if you ask me. But I didn't enjoy the Bosch books half as much as I like Spenser so there's that. I love the deadpan delivery of Parker's writing and I think that Welliver's delivery is perfectly suited for the writing. It helps that Parker's characters are always excellent.