Born to the life of a Southern gentleman, Dr. John Henry Holliday arrives on the Texas frontier hoping that the dry air and sunshine of the West will restore him to health. Soon, with few job prospects, Doc Holliday is gambling professionally with his partner, Mária Katarina Harony, a high-strung, classically educated Hungarian whore. In search of high-stakes poker, the couple hits the saloons of Dodge City. And that is where the unlikely friendship of Doc Holliday and a fearless lawman named Wyatt Earp begins— before the gunfight at the O.K. Corral links their names forever in American frontier mythology—when neither man wanted fame or deserved notoriety.
Russell (Dreamers of the Day) brings lethal Dodge City to life in a colorful group-portrait of famous frontiersmen years before many of them would pass into legend at the O.K. Corral. After a tense childhood in Civil War torn Georgia and the loss of his beloved mother, young John Henry "Doc" Holliday moves west in hopes of ameliorating the tuberculosis that would eventually kill him, relocating in the late 1870s to Kansas, where he divides his time among his poorly paying vocation of dentistry, lucrative gambling, and his fractious relationship with Kate Harony, a cultured, Hungarian-born prostitute. In a tale notable more for a remarkable cast than orderliness of plot, the rising tension between the corrupt, carousing, and well-armed inhabitants of Dodge and the forces of law represented by the moralistic Wyatt Earp and his brother, Morgan, makes a spectacular background to a memorable year-in-the-life tale of a fiery young Southern gentleman whose loyalty to his friends and love of music outshine even his fragile health and the whiskey-soaked violence of the western frontier.
Customer ReviewsSee All
This would make a entertaining movie. I loved the way Doc was portrayed. Laughs at surprising moments made it very enjoyable.
Not a big fan of westerns, but what made this different is how the people came alive under Russell's hand. I'd read The Sparrow and Children of God, both wonderful, but had been concerned that a historical fiction would be too much to ask from such a talented scifi/fantasy writer. Never-you-mind. Bought Epitaph, the second book, the next book as soon as I finished this one.
This one of the best books I’ve ever read. The descriptions of Dodge City and how people lived back then was real. I spent the last thee days in Dodge City. I was initially a little overwhelmed with the who’s who in the beginning. But, when I started reading I figure it out. A great read for Old West fans or just because.