The Honorable Cody

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Sunstone Press, 2006 - Fiction - 256 pages
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During his lifetime, Buffalo Bill Cody was the best-known person on earth. Dime novelists of the time had so embroidered his history that even Buffalo Bill himself couldn't keep it straight. His publicist John Burke thought he had invented Cody, but Buffalo Bill wasn't aware than anyone had invented him. He was simply himself all his life, and this was his main attraction. When the great showman died early in 1917, he continued to live on because his family, colleagues and rivals were certainly not done with him. Buffalo Bill had wished to be buried in Cody, Wyoming, but his wishes didn't count. His estranged widow Louisa thought she owned him. His sisters thought they should. Harry Tammen, the wily publisher of the "Denver Post" was certain he could snatch old Bill and he finally succeeded in making Cody's grave a top Denver tourist attraction, with the connivance of Louisa. So much for a famous man's wishes. In this warm and cheerful novel, Richard S. Wheeler lets Cody's heirs and friends and enemies duke it out, with an occasional dissent from a memoir left behind by the old showman. Standing above the turmoil is Cody himself, a towering, sweetly naive, earnest man whose scouting for the army was genuinely heroic, and whose Wild West was the most successful road show ever to tour America. Richard S. Wheeler is the author of many acclaimed novels of the American West. He holds the Owen Wister Award, given for lifetime achievement in the field of western literature, as well as five Spur Awards for best novels of the year. He lives in Livingston, Montana, and is married to Sue Hart, an English professor and producer of PBS documentaries.

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The honorable Cody

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Wheeler good-naturedly spoofs Buffalo Bill Cody and the many myths surrounding him in this clever take on the mustachioed millionaire frontiersman who never believed his own press. After Cody dies of ... Read full review

About the author (2006)

Richard S. (Shaw) Wheeler was born in Milwaukee in 1935 and grew up in nearby Wauwatosa. Wheeler spent three years in Hollywood in the mid-50s, where he worked in a record store and took acting lessons while struggling as a screenwriter. He eventually returned home, and attended the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He spent over a decade as a newspaperman, working as an editorial writer for the Phoenix Gazette, editorial page editor for the Oakland, California, Tribune, reporter on the Nevada Appeal in Carson City, and reporter and assistant city editor for the Billings, Montana, Gazette. In 1972, he turned to book editing, working in all for four publishers through 1987. As an editor for Walker & Company he edited twelve Western novels a year. Sandwiched between editing stints, in the mid-70s he worked at the Rancho de la Osa dude ranch in Sasabe, Arizona, on the Mexican border. There, in the off season, he experimented with his own fiction and wrote his first novel, Bushwack, published by Doubleday in 1978. Five more Western novels followed Bushwack before Wheeler was able to turn to writing full time: Beneath the Blue Mountain (1979), Winter Grass (1983), Sam Hook (1986), Richard Lamb (1987) and Dodging Red Cloud (1987).

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