Monday, October 06, 2008
Book Report: Resolution by Robert B. Parker (2008)
Well, it's a Parker Western. I picked it up because Appaloosa's movie version opened this weekend.

The moral bankruptness of the Parker universe progresses. In it, Cole, the marshal from Appaloosa, has left Appaloosa after his lover runs off with another man. Off-page, Cole hunts down the man and kills him simply for taking up with Cole's interest. Then, when he joins Hitch in Resolution, the town of the title, Cole takes up with a married woman. Does he deserve to die for it? Apparently not, for some reason that might include he's a gunman or the woman's husband has beaten her (but she still loves him and returns to him at the end after the empowerment-through-adultery trope that Parker repeats lately).

Forget it. I'm not even wasting money on Book Club Editions of the new Parker books. I'll pick them up at book fairs. Maybe.

Oh, for the plot of the book: Everett Hitch signs on as a lookout man at a saloon, and eventually Cole shows up and they navigate through a dispute amongst the homesteaders and their employer. The book meanders through a large number (70+) chapters-as-scenes with semi-unrelated fuguish subplots. Finally, when the word count is reached, Cole faces down the bad guys in a quick shootout. The bad man and his plot to build subdivisions (!) in the old West are thwarted.

Seriously. The man is running homesteaders off to build subdivisions.

On the plus side, unlike Ed McBain, Bush's name isn't invoked in his historical or contemporary works, not that I'll know anymore until the election is way over. I've also avoided Parker's new line of Young Adult novels, but part of me has a morbid curiosity to see how he injects adultery-as-affirmation thing into them.

And I now pose this question for debate, although none of you will debate it with me because you're all wiser than I am and have avoided the collected works of Parker, but here it is: Which was more detrimental to Parker's writing: whatever adultery occurred in the middle 1980s to make it the single biggest recurring theme in all of his subsequent work, or Parker's work for the Spenser for Hire television show that subsequently turned all of his novels into chapters scenes with simple stage management but mostly dialog along with the reliance on recurring guest stars and formulaic endings?

Books mentioned in this review:

To say Noggle, one first must be able to say the "Nah."