The Honorable Cody

Richard S. Wheeler, Author
Richard S. Wheeler, Author Sunstone Press $22.95 (260p) ISBN 978-0-86534-521-8
Reviewed on: 05/29/2006
Release date: 06/01/2006
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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 pneumonia in 1917, his family, friends and associates squabble over his legacy, his money and where he will be buried. Gen. Nelson Miles reminisces about Cody's days as a cavalry scout. Unscrupulous Denver Post publisher Harry Tammen gleefully manipulates and cheats Cody before (and after) his death. Maj. John M. Burke, Cody's publicist, relates the history of Buffalo Bill's Wild West show and takes credit for Cody's fame. Cody's wife, Louisa, is a greedy, embittered woman who hates her husband for his boozing, womanizing and reckless spending of what she thinks is her money. Other characters add texture: a gold-digging actress sees Cody as an easy mark; a lawman recalls how Cody helped him pull off a friend's jailbreak; and a newspaper reporter is ordered to write a glowing obituary intended to squeeze even more money out of the celebrity corpse. The Cody that emerges from this wholesome compendium of fictional anecdotes is a flawed but good man, and though Wheeler never fully separates the man from the myth, Wheeler's many fans will not be disappointed.
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