Friday, March 5, 2021

Blue-Eyed Devil by Robert B. Parker

 


“Wants it too bad,” I said.

We walked out of the gleaming new office and down the broad corridor.

“Wants everything too bad,” Virgil said.

“Wants to be more than he is,” I said.

“Not the key to happiness, I’m thinking,” Virgil said.

“You’d settle for being what you are,” I said to Virgil.

“I have,” Virgil said.

Another of the late Robert Parker’s dialogue driven marvels.

His style distills the Western essence to laconic exchanges that tell all the tale replete bells and whistles without ever feeling like the clumsy expository writing of many one could name.

Terse and succinct.

It’s as if Parker sought to outdo Elmore Leonard in the “Leave all the parts out that people don’t read” dictum.

This novel also resonates. The stark observations come often and are always welcome.

Pony looked at the dark sky.

“Apache man warrior,” he said. “Apache woman proud.”

“I know,” I said.

Pony grinned.

“In land of Blue-Eyed Devil, not so simple,” he said. “Man can’t always be warrior. Man gets to be cowboy and store man and saloon man. And man who sit in office. Not warrior, I just man who saddle horse. Pitch hay. Pick up horse shit. But I go with you and Virgil, I warrior.”

“Not everybody wants to be a warrior,” I said.

“No. But nobody wants to be pick-up horse shit man, either,” Pony said.

“Some people like it ‘cause it’s safe, I guess.”

“Life not lived to be safe. Safe makes you weak,” Pony said. “Make you slow. Make you tired.”

Superlative!

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