Sunday, October 23, 2011
Doc, by Mary Doria Russell
Doc tells John Henry Holliday's story before the fateful showdown at the OK Corral. The book is a strange beast, with a heaping of omniscient narrative overview and relatively little real-time story telling. For this reader, that took a little getting used to. But the story picks up as the novel progresses, and by the time Doc is coughing blood into his handkerchief while Morgan Earp reads to him at his bedside, I was hooked. Russell does a wonderful job of humanizing this legend, apparently aided by an impressive amount of research, and I'm very glad to have met her version of Doc.
The photo here is of John Henry Holliday at age 20, upon graduation from dental school. It is one of the few authenticated photographs of the man.
Side note: Apparently Paramount bought the rights to a script for an action adventure film about Doc Holliday. Cool. Though I'm willing to bet Mary Doria Russell's version of the man is far more interesting.