Saturday, April 27, 2013
Doc by Mary Doria Russell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Got better and better as it went along. I ended up loving it. Probably about 85 percent real history, presented as a novel, but a sort of metafiction, with the author stepping beyond the fourth wall to talk to about the characters and their place in history,
I've written a novel -- Tempest of Tombstone -- about these characters -- the Earps, Kate Elder, Doc Holliday -- in Tombstone, and I did a lot of research for that -- nothing like the incredible research Russell has done -- but I knew very little about the Dodge City years.
Se gets so much right about the Old West, pointing out that a sheriff or deputy in Dodge City was essentially a small town policeman, breaking up fights between drunks, getting raccoons out from under buildings, answering calls to domestic disputes. Very little in the way of Gunsmoke - type gunplay. I also get so df NRA types - and anti-NRA types -- talking about the good (or bad, depending on your point of view) old days of Wyatt Earp and the Wild West where everyone carried guns and weren't afraid to use them. Wyatt Earp was the original gun control advocate, which is the reason why the Earps' reputations were destroyed by the gunfight at the OK Corral, even though they won it.
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