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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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Visa 1-5 av 160 (nästa | visa alla)
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. Doc Holliday is a fascinating character-not at all the typical Wild West character I had categorized him with in my mind. I learned a lot about the era along with something about the art of dentistry of that day and TB. Overall a very worthwhile read! ( )
  Cricket856 | Sep 22, 2020 |
Great fiction based on the real life of Doc Holliday ( )
  JohnKaess | Jul 23, 2020 |
Among the many romantic characters of the Old West, John Henry Holliday is one of the most popular. Born into a distinguished Southern family in 1851, he received a formal classical education and in 1870 began studying dentistry. Around 1875 he was diagnosed with consumption (TB), the disease he had watched his mother die from in 1864.

In this novel the author aptly covers Doc's early adult years through 1879, prior to the OK Corral episode. Most of those years were spent in Dodge City, Kansas, a "cow town" where Texas drovers brought their stock for sale. In Dodge Holliday became friends with the Earp brothers, worked as both a dentist and a gambler, and lived in a stormy relationship with his paramour Katherine Harony, who had been born into an aristocratic Hungarian family. By the time she met Doc, she was making her way as a prostitute, one that spoke 5 languages.

Because Doc Holliday became a legend in his own time its difficult to write about him with accuracy more than 150 years later but Russell has probably written as accurate a portrait of this handsome, kindly, intelligent character as could be done. It's a fine read. ( )
  clue | Jul 20, 2020 |
Doc primarily takes place in Dodge City, Kansas in 1878 where John Henry “Doc” Holliday is hoping to make enough money gambling to open a dentistry practice with his cousin. The majority of the story is true, but the book is a historical fiction novel about the life and times of Holliday, known in history for his association with the Earp brothers. He and the Earps are famous for the shootout at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, but that is not the focus of "Doc." Russell begins and ends her book with single chapters that give the highlights of Doc's life before and after her story's setting in Dodge City, Kansas.

Doc, a Georgia native suffering from tuberculosis, moves west for his health, making his way to Dodge City to play poker and work as a faro dealer. There he takes up with the Earps, a prostitute named Kate, and a mixed race boy named Johnny Sanders, whose death in a suspicious barn fire lead both Doc and Wyatt to investigate why everyone else was able to escape the fire in the Famous Elephant Barn but this young man died.

The author fills her story with a wealth of both fictional and historical characters to create a riveting look into some of the most interesting personalities in the Old West, including the Earps and Bat Masterson. There is plenty of rich historical data included with the fictional portions of this story and the two meld together to make the story very real.

Doc Holliday was a very complex person. In this novel we get a detailed picture of a loquacious, tubercular man who seems always just a step away from death. He was a highly educated and cultured Southern gentleman with a weakness for sartorial affectations and a love of fine literature, beautiful music, and foreign languages. He also knows that he is a dying man. At one point he meets a young woman who doesn't yet know she has tuberculosis but Doc recognizes her symptoms. He discourages her visits to him while he is ill because he feels he is “the ghost of Christmases yet to come.” Doc's tuberculosis is almost a character of its own.

The interaction between the characters and the beautiful turns of phrase makes this book a wonderful reading experience. The old west and Doc Holliday vividly come to life as do all of the characters. Kate, who was also known as Katie Elder and “Big Nose” Kate, worked as a prostitute even as she was living with him. She maintained a complex relationship with Doc who considered her his intellectual equal.

I loved this book and would highly recommend it for a fascinating look at the complicated man behind his legend.
( )
  Olivermagnus | Jul 2, 2020 |
I have long admired Russell's writing style and her thought provoking approach to fiction and "Doc" is no exception. As a work of historical fiction she develops her characterizations through impeccable research and wonderfully descriptive narratives, exploring the life of 'Doc' Holiday, including his relationships with Big-Nose Kate and the Earp brothers. Her story follows Holiday from his early years through the apex of his fame and looks at those who influenced him as well as the ways he influences others and even our modern cultural understandings I readily admit my bias - that I am fond of Russell as a writer - but this book is an amazing exploration of a man who is legendary in our western lore and a key figure in our history. If you are fan of historical fiction this one is well worth the read. ( )
  Al-G | Apr 6, 2020 |
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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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Ignore it, deny it, or fight it, change was inevitable.
He was, he believed, no longer prone to the paralyzing bouts of homesickness that used to overwhelm him, when the yearning for all he had lost was so powerful that his only defense was to hold himself still until the sorrow washed through him and left him empty again.
The heat was building under the roof of the hotel, but the air was dry and not so hard on him as the murderous swelter of a Southern summer. He closed his eyes and listened to the strangely lulling concert that Dodge in daylight produced. The brassy bellow of cattle, the timpani of hooves. A cello section of bees buzzing in the hotel eaves. The steady percussion of hammers: carpenters shingling the roof of a little house going up on a brand-new street extending north from Front.
The sunset beyond shone vermilion through the dust.
If you knew what was what, you made damn sure there was money sewn into seams, or gems hidden in hems—
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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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