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I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive | [Steve Earle]

I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive

Doc Ebersole lives with the ghost of Hank Williams—not just in the figurative sense, not just because he was one of the last people to see him alive, and not just because he is rumored to have given Hank the final morphine dose that killed him.
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Publisher's Summary

Doc Ebersole lives with the ghost of Hank Williams—not just in the figurative sense, not just because he was one of the last people to see him alive, and not just because he is rumored to have given Hank the final morphine dose that killed him.

In 1963, ten years after Hank’s death, Doc himself is wracked by addiction. Since he lost his license to practice medicine, his morphine habit isn’t as easy to support, so Doc lives in a rented room in the red-light district on the south side of San Antonio, performing abortions and patching up the odd knife or gunshot wound.

But when Graciela, a young Mexican immigrant, appears in the neighborhood in search of his services, miraculous things begin to happen. Graciela sustains a wound on her wrist that never heals, yet she heals others with the touch of her hand. Everyone she meets is transformed for the better, except perhaps for Hank’s angry ghost—who isn’t at all pleased to see Doc doing well.

A brilliant excavation of an obscure piece of music history, Steve Earle’s I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive is also a marvelous novel in its own right, a ballad of regret and redemption and of the ways in which we remake ourselves and our world through the smallest of miracles.

©2011 Steve Earle (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“This subtle and dramatic book is the work of a brilliant songwriter who has moved from song to orchestral ballad with astonishing ease.” (Michael Ondaatje, New York Times best-selling author)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (64 )
5 star
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4.3 (53 )
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4.6 (54 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Robert Mechanicsburg, PA, United States 06-04-12
    Robert Mechanicsburg, PA, United States 06-04-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    36
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    4
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    "The Down and Out get a spiritual renewal"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Steve Earle's voice and twang really drew me in. This is a good story of how the lost make their way in a hard-scrabble existence. The characters are believable and while their actions are questionable, you can it is all they can do to get by.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I really liked Steve Earle's narration....his pace, twang, expressions, etc. were very good.


    What does Steve Earle bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I find that audiobooks greatly enhance the written word with tone of voice, pacing, rate of delivery, volume, etc. The book is "performed" for the listener and Steve Earle did this very well.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin Huntingtown, MD, United States 12-06-12
    Robin Huntingtown, MD, United States 12-06-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Best Audible Book I've Listen to Yet"

    It takes a lot for me to give five stars all the way around, but this book did it for me.

    At first I was scratching my head at the selection of the narrator (not realizing it was also the author) because of his voice and slight slur. But the voice--and the slur--really captured the mood and the character of Doc, the main character. Not to gush, but...Steve Earle was awesome!

    The story had sweet moments without being sweet. It had tragic moments without being a tragedy. The narrative carried me along on a wave and sometimes Earle sneaked in a surprising phrase or juxtaposition that just made me belly laugh.

    Know what I didn't like? It was just too short. Well, not really. It was long enough to tell the story effectively. But I just wasn't ready to say good-bye to the characters.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carlo Hagemann the Netherlands 09-30-12
    Carlo Hagemann the Netherlands 09-30-12 Member Since 2007

    I love to listen to American books. Following the plot, keeping track of personal developments and intrigues while walking two miles to work

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Authentic southern voice tells authentic story"
    What other book might you compare I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive to and why?

    Come back to the five and dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean....1950s/1970s Southern states, and a hero (James Dean) that has died.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    My favorite scene is the one where Marge, Dallas, and Graciela get excited about the coming visit of Jacky Kennedy.


    Any additional comments?

    Lively characters are set in a dramatic context. The roles of Doc, Manny, Dallas and especially Graciela, give me a feeling of the 1950s/1960s at the seamy side of life. What about a junkie doctor who does abortions, and is visited by the late Hank Williams in his weakest moments? It may sound far fetched, but Steve Earle makes it into an authentic slice of southern life as it might have been.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Darby Missoula, MT, United States 01-14-12
    Darby Missoula, MT, United States 01-14-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Expect to be a fly on the wall in this story"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes I would and did, the book held my interest from the first paragraph with the totally real characters and places, it put me there with the story.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The people with their real highs and lows, plenty to be kept wondering what will happen


    What about Steve Earle’s performance did you like?

    His Texan drawl fit perfectly and the book flowed as natural as as any I've ever heard.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    I hope there are more books to follow from Steve Earle

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patti United States 03-15-14
    Patti United States 03-15-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very interesting and entertaining."

    The author did a good job writing this story and he narrates it, which I enjoyed. A lot of cursing, but that aside, I give this book a thumb's up! The story has a unique tale to tell and brings history into it which made it seem very real.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Denise WATKINSVILLE, GA, United States 11-18-13
    Denise WATKINSVILLE, GA, United States 11-18-13 Member Since 2013
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    "One of my favorite books."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I have recommended it to friends.


    What other book might you compare I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive to and why?

    It's unique - I think it stands by itself.


    Have you listened to any of Steve Earle’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I've always enjoyed Steve Earle's music, but it was a real pleasure to discover his writing talent.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes.


    Any additional comments?

    I purchased this book AFTER I'd already listened to it twice for free as an audio loan from my library. It's like an old friend that's good at making you laugh until you cry - you just want them close by.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Renee FORT COLLINS, CO, United States 09-02-12
    Renee FORT COLLINS, CO, United States 09-02-12 Member Since 2010

    allioops

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    "My new favorite narrator...."
    Would you listen to I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive again? Why?

    Yes, it is beautiful, sad and lyrical.


    What did you like best about this story?

    How well the author captured the different personalities and brought them to life.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Britta Oakland, CA, United States 06-06-12
    Britta Oakland, CA, United States 06-06-12 Member Since 2006
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    "Amazing! Couldn't stop listening."
    If you could sum up I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive in three words, what would they be?

    Refreshing
    Authentic
    Spiritual


    Which character – as performed by Steve Earle – was your favorite?

    Manny was awesome. Nothing quite like an enormous Mexican dope dealer with a heart of gold and a strict code of ethics.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin Charlotte, nc, United States 05-04-12
    Robin Charlotte, nc, United States 05-04-12 Member Since 2011

    Parent

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Steve Earle is my hero."
    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved Doc's quick wit. The transvestite that enters the story is pretty great, too.


    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-9 of 9 results
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  • Steven
    Rugby, United Kingdom
    4/10/14
    Overall
    Performance
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    "Much better than a rock star project"
    If you could sum up I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive in three words, what would they be?

    Give it a try if you like true detective .I am a big Steve Earle fan. Having said that I like the Rolling Stones too. I'm not sure I would rush to buy a novel written by Mick Jagger. Which made me nervous about falling for the unquestioning rock fan approach of buying this novel. I'm surprised and a little bit humbled have to say that all my misgivings were wrong.


    Would you recommend I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive to your friends? Why or why not?

    It's not the greatest story I've ever come across. Against that it has a totally convincing portrayal of a small impoverished but incredibly spiritual and loving world in an utterly hostile if not dangerous location in a part of Texas none of us would ever want to visit nevermind live in.


    What does Steve Earle bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    In one word his "drawl" I assume it's authentic Austin Texas. At any rate its brilliant


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Anyone can be redeemed.


    Any additional comments?

    You never listened to the music of Hank Williams - you should

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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