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Doc: A Novel by Mary Doria Russell

Doc: A Novel (edition 2012)

by Mary Doria Russell

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81610311,155 (4.13)497
Title:Doc: A Novel
Authors:Mary Doria Russell
Info:Ballantine Books (2012), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 432 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Tags:Doc Holliday, Tombstone, Dodge City, American West, Wyatt Earp, Morgan Earp, Earp brothers

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Doc by Mary Doria Russell

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Author Mary Doria Russell takes a different spin on a controversial western icon in "Doc". John Henry "Doc" Holliday has been portrayed as a drunken, hot-headed "lunger" in most popular American books and movies about him. Russell shows readers a softer, more likeable Doc in this book.

Spanning from early childhood to basically the end of his days in Dodge City (and before the OK Corral), Russell peels layer after layer of Holliday's talents, foibles, and life. Holliday, as most would know, was trained as a dentist; Russell also educates readers about Holliday's talents as a pianist and Classical scholar.

Much of the early relationship with Wyatt and Morgan Earp is presented, as well. Earp fans will find as much to like about this book as those wanting to discover more about Holliday's life. I also enjoyed visualizing Russell's vivid descriptions of life in Dodge City, Kansas, in the late 1870's.

Though it plods along some in parts, those wanting to find out more about late 19th century western "heroes" will enjoy this book. Russell's writing style is clear, easy to follow, and will appeal to a wide audience. ( )
  coachtim30 | Jun 7, 2015 |
Historical fiction revolving around the legendary Doc Holliday and his pals, the Earps. Exhaustively researched and wonderfully written, I enjoyed the imagined interactions and dialog that Russell invents to fill in the blanks around known facts. Overall, this is a fascinating peek into the latter days of the American wild, wild west. I expect to read Epitaph by Russell soon - a sequel of sorts that focuses more on the events leading up to the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. ( )
  ScoLgo | May 14, 2015 |
This was just an incredible book. Just got Epitaph but wanted to read Doc first. So much I didn't know about Doc Holliday. How can you not love a book that starts "He began to die when he was twenty-one, but tuberculosis is slow and sly and subtle." Now, can't wait to get to Epitaph! ( )
  Dianekeenoy | Apr 18, 2015 |
This is the story of Doc Holliday's career in Dodge City, Kansas. The year John Henry Holliday turned 22, he was sentenced to die gasping. Tuberculosis killed his mother, so it wasn't much of a surprise when he also contracted the hideous disease. His doctor offered him hope - he should move out west. There was recent research that promised positive results from exposure to the dry air.

This decision to try the newest cure was what set John Holliday's feet on the path that would make him famous. Though false tales of Doc's life abound, this one rings true. Beautifully written. ( )
  Juva | Apr 7, 2015 |
Doc Holliday is the central character but there are many other interesting characters and there is a complete backstory for each character.
Doc had a cleft palate at birth and, although anesthetic had only been discovered three months previously, he was operated on. His mother gave him a very classic education in music and literature and languages. He played the piano extremely well. But he had T.B. all his adult life. He moved to Dodge City for the weather.
It is a complex, long book with a lot of interesting characters. ( )
  bettyroche | Apr 3, 2015 |
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For Art Nolan, who told me what Wyatt knew; for Eddie Nolan, who showed us what John Henry had to learn; for Alice McKey Holliday, who raised a fine young man; with thanks to Bob Price and Gretchen Batton.
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He began to die when he was twenty-one, but tuberculosis is slow and sly and subtle.
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The year is 1878, peak of the Texas cattle trade. The place is Dodge City, Kansas, a saloon-filled cow town jammed with liquored-up adolescent cowboys and young Irish hookers. Violence is random and routine, but when the burned body of a mixed-blood boy named Johnnie Sanders is discovered, his death shocks a part-time policeman named Wyatt Earp. And it is a matter of strangely personal importance to Doc Holliday, the frail twenty-six-year-old dentist who has just opened an office at No. 24, Dodge House.

And that is where the unlikely friendship of Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp really begins—before Wyatt Earp is the prototype of the square-jawed, fearless lawman; before Doc Holliday is the quintessential frontier gambler; before the gunfight at the O.K. Corral links their names forever in American frontier mythology—when neither man wanted fame or deserved notoriety.

Authentic, moving, and witty, Mary Doria Russell’s fifth novel redefines these two towering figures of the American West.
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After the burned body of a mixed-blood boy, Johnnie Sanders, is discovered in 1878 Dodge City, Kansas, part-time policeman Wyatt Earp enlists the help of his professional-gambler friend Doc Holliday.

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