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Doc by Mary Doria Russell
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Doc (edition 2012)

by Mary Doria Russell

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726None12,896 (4.14)396
Member:Athabasca
Title:Doc
Authors:Mary Doria Russell
Info:Ballantine Books (2012), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 432 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:western

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Doc by Mary Doria Russell

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Showing 1-5 of 93 (next | show all)
Great book. Well written. Really enjoyed this. ( )
  KarenHerndon | Apr 1, 2014 |
Doc is Mary Doria Russell's attempt to write about Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp as they might have been—from what little I know of the history of the American West, she seems to play a little loose with the historical truth at times, but it's all in service of a wonderful evocation of time, place and character. The novel concentrates mostly on the time spent by the men and their circle of family and friends in Dodge City, Kansas, in the late 1870s, long before they ever heard of the O.K. Corrall. The Holliday and Earp evoked here are both memorable characters, but I especially appreciated that Russell also spent a lot of time surrounding them with fully-fleshed out female characters. The one thing I didn't so much care for was that the novel's plot, such as it is, comes from the murder of a teenage boy, John Horse Sanders, who is of both Black and Seminole descent. While it's undeniable that it was tough to be non-white in that time and place, I wanted more of a presence for non-white characters as something other than a means of showing the (relative) nobility of some white men. ( )
  siriaeve | Mar 12, 2014 |
It's a fine book. She is a terrific writer. Still, it's not my favorite Mary Doria Russell novel (probably because I am not a huge fan of historical westerns). I appreciated the effort made to raise the characters out of the caricatures that popular media and myth have rendered them. I found myself quite enjoying getting to know them. ( )
  m2snick | Feb 19, 2014 |
A wonderful read - by an author who weaves enough period details and rich characterizations of these mythological gunslingers and heroes of our wild West pastto make us believe in her version! Throughout the book I was struck how the author was able to fully realize a human Dr. John Henry Holliday, from his Southern upbringing and early tragedies, to his ongoing battle with the dreaded 'consumption', TB, to his travels west which led him to Dodge City and his long partnership with Kate, the Hungarian whore and gambler who loved him but routinely left him. Through the author's emphasis on Doc's intense pride and dedication to his great gifts: dentistry and cards, we come to admire his long standing battle with his painful, dreadful disease. Here in full detail is the roughhewn Western cowtown, full of farmers, business owners, cowboys, saloon keepers, prostitutes, sheriffs, and especially the politicians of these barely civilized towns. A reader looking for the legendary showdown of OK Corral in Tombstone, AZ, should read other accounts for this isn't the focus of Russell's novel. Yet by the end of the novel, when Doc's later years are summarized, we feel somehow that we can better appreciate all the characters of that notorious event at the OK Corral- Doc, frightfully ill but stalwart in a fight, Wyatt Earp, always fearless, his brother Morgan (in this novel's telling, much closer to Doc than Wyatt), Bat Masterson, and the others. ( )
  BDartnall | Feb 12, 2014 |
I never felt like I really got into this book. The plot moved so slowly you hardly knew it was there, and I never felt that interested in the characters. I do appreciate that Russell's writing is good and enjoyable to read, and I did laugh aloud a few times. ( )
  sbsolter | Feb 6, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 93 (next | show all)
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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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Book description
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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