Welcome All Book Lovers

Welcome All Book Lovers

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Doc by Mary Doria Russell

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. @goodreads


  4 STARS 

He began to die when he was twenty-one, but tuberculosis is slow and sly and subtle. The disease took fifteen years to hollow out his lungs so completely they could no longer keep him alive. In all that time, he was allowed a single season of something like happiness.

This book is an historical fiction book. There are many things that are true historical facts wrapped around some great fiction by the author. There are a couple of mentions of Tombstone in the book, but this is mostly about Dr. John Henry Holliday's (Doc) life as a child and then growing up to become a great dentist and living in Dodge City.

I really enjoyed all of the things I learned about this man and I can't help myself in picturing Doc and the gang in Tombstone. It's still one of my favorite movies, because of Val Kilmer's role. In reading THIS book, the parts that had Doc conversing was a dead ringer for him in the Tombstone movie.

I felt really bad for Doc (or anyone) having tuberculosis. All Doc wanted to do was to be a wonderful dentist. Although, he became a card man, a gunfighter, and whatever else you want to call him, he was a very respectable acting man in real life. 

When he arrived in Dodge City in 1878 Dr. John Henry Holliday was a frail twenty-six-year-old dentist who wanted nothing grander than to practice his profession in a prosperous Kansas cow town. Hope-cruelest of the evils that escaped Pandora's box-smiled on him gently all that summer. While he lived in Dodge, the quiet life he yearned for seemed to lie within his grasp.

I was hoping there was going to be more about Doc and Wyatt's friendship. Well, Doc was friends with all of the Earp's but it's mostly about Kate and Doc. I just didn't like her in this book at all. There are some scenes with Wyatt but I would say more with Wyatt's brother Morgan.

One of Doc and Wyatt's good friend John Horse Sanders was burned up in a barn fire in the book. Doc identified him for sure by his dental work. But Doc also found a blunt force trauma to the back of his head and he knew that John had been killed. No one would look into it though, until later when Wyatt came to town. Doc eventually finds out what happened and it's a shame, but those were the days.

Doc was a very interesting character and a very nice man to the people most made fun of or just plain ignored. He didn't put up with any stupidity either though.

Overall I enjoyed the book and really loved reading about Doc, I think there should be more books written about him. "You will always be a daisy, Doc."



"Let us consider the plight of the rattleshake," Doc suggested softly, eyes on the cards. "The rattlesnake is feared and loathed, and yet he has no claws, no legs. He does not look for fights and gives fair warning if he is threatened, but if he is attacked, he cannot flee. All he has is his mouth . . ."

Partly, it was the fancy way he talked. Partly, it was the slow, slurry sound of Georgia. Mostly, it was just that the dentist didn't think like anybody else. Wyatt looked away and back again. "I don't know what in the hell you're talking about, Doc."

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