Gunman's Rhapsody Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Gunman's Rhapsody

Robert B. Parker
Putnam, May 2001, 22.95, 304 pp.
ISBN: 0399147624

    In 1879 thirty-one years old Wyatt Earp, his spouse Mattie, several of his brothers, and their wives leave Dodge City to relocate in Tombstone. Three days pass in their new town when Wyatt sees traveling actress Josie Marcus for the first time. He cannot help but compare the vibrant, beautiful woman to his own wife. He realizes that Mattie, who was fun as an alcoholic whore, is a pathetic domestic. Wyatt did not desire Mattie long before his eyes feasted on Josie.
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    Josie is not only beyond Wyatt's reach, he sees her with Johnny Behan. Worse to come is when Behan introduces Josie to Wyatt as his fiancee. Johnny tells Wyatt that Pina County will probably split in two. He wants to become sheriff of the newly formed Cochise County when it is formed. He needs Wyatt to resign his current position as under sheriff so that he can accept it as a stepping stone when the split happens. Regardless of Wyatt's decision the woman and the job forces a dangerous feud to form.

    Mixing history with his legendary story telling abilities, Robert B. Parker effortlessly switches genres to provide readers with a powerful tale of the old west. The exciting story line centers on Wyatt, turning him into more than just a dime store character. The plot allows the cast to appear real and the rivalry to develop without slowing down the plot for even a moment. GUNMAN'S RHAPSODY shows that Mr. Parker has the talent to become a superstar in a second genre.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Gunman's Rhapsody

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Plot & Themes

Story of personal feelings?    -   search for identity The enemy is...    -   White People Famous real-world personality in story?    -   Famous Lawman Kind of story?    -   lawman keeping the peace Who is good, who is bad?    -   Whities good    -   Whities bad Misc Cliche Subplots    -   Barroom brawl?

Main Character

Gender:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   police/lawman


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   4 () Small town?    -   Yes Small town people:    -   nice, like Andy/Opie/Aunt Bee    -   sinister, like an X-Files Gomer Pyle Time book takes place in:    -   19th century

Writing Style

overall quality of this book?    -   8 Person    -   mostly 3rd How much gore?    -   3 () How much suspense/how unpredictable?    -   7 () How much action?    -   7 () Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Happy ending?    -   somewhat happy How much dialogue/talking among characters?    -   6 () How much non-dialogue descript of thoughts & feelings?    -   7 () How much romance?    -   2 () Is there a theme to the dialogue? (optional)    -   verbal fencing with characters Non-dialogue thoughts/feelings primarily about: (optional)    -   thinking about plan of action Minor characters feature lots of:    -   cowboys    -   Indians    -   miners    -   politicians    -   businessmen    -   blue collar types    -   prostitutes


Justice    -   Yes Setting things right for:    -   self Setting things right by means of:    -   taking powers in own hands Search for Truth/Facts:    -   Yes Search for Truth/Facts:    -   about events    -   about self    -   about others

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