For the first time ever, the full story of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral - not only what really happened but why, and how mythology has led us to completely misinterpret the real history of the frontier - by the best-selling author of Go Down Together.
Combining cinematic storytelling with prodigious research, The Last Gunfight upends conventional wisdom about what the West was really like, who the Earps and Doc Holliday really were, and what actually happened in Tombstone on that cold day in October 1881. With brand-new context and masterful presentation, listeners will experience the gunfight in an entirely different - and far more mesmerizing - way.
An addictive hybrid of frontier elegance and decadence, The Last Gunfight has it all - the Old West's most famous characters, a love triangle, cowboy rustlers on the loose, renegade Apaches, and Tombstone itself, far different than the desolate, dusty towns of the movies.
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"There are no black and white hats in this gripping revisionist account of the famed 1881 showdown. There are only mixed motives, murky schemes, and misguided hotheads." (Publishers Weekly)
But I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - J.D. Salinger ^(;,;)^
"Fight is my racket."
- Ike Clanton to Wyatt Earp
It is hard for me to avoid liking this book. Having grown up in the West, fed on a solid diet of Gunsmoke, John Wayne, guns, etc., the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral was part of the narrative dust of my childhood.
Not to mention that five years after the shooting in Tombstone, AZ my paternal grandmother's maternal grandfather's maternal grandfather (James Hale)r was shot and killed by (depending on the story and myth) either cattle rustlers he had cornered, or remnants of Butch Cassidy's gang in Springerville who wanted to see if they could put a hole through a Mormon (you know, protective Mormon underwear). Anyway, on Christmas day of 1886, my 5th great(?) grandfather was shot and killed, leaving behind four wives (Sarah, Lucy, Catherine, and Elizabeth).
The posse that went after Billy Evans, aka J.W. Dimon, aka Jack Diamond, aka W.N. Timberline was headed by J.R. Woolsey (my 4th great grandfather and the husband of James Hale's first wife Sarah) wounded him, and brought him back to jail. He died the next day.
I even lived for a while in Glenwood Springs, Colorado just a couple streets over from where Doc Holliday died, not from gunshot wounds, but TB.
Anyway, these stories of gunfights, cowboys, prostitutes, miners, rustlers, and dirty ne'er-do-wells have floated around me for years like mythical mouches volantes, so I love Guinn's attempt to separate the blood from the smoke, the men from the lore. It was a very good book, just not a great book. Perhaps, the myth is already too established. There is no way to put the gunfighting genies of the Earp brothers and Doc Holliday back in the historical bottle. Their stories have woven themselves into the bullshitty fabric of Arizona, the West, and America too deeply. The reality is there, and Jeff Guinn has uncovered a lot of it, but there is no real competition with Hollywood and our own desperate fable-making abilities.
Great deal of information on the shootout. The book gives details that dispels the numerous myths surrounding the showdown. However, I found the narrator distracting.
Real fun listen! I love western history and this is a great combination of scholarly and story telling.
The fight lasted 30 seconds. The book only needed 2 minutes to tell it. Long boring over stated and repeated tid bits about the old west. Save Yourself, pick another book.
excellent account of the characters involved with the history of Tombstone, AZ. Presents a vivid history of frontier expansion during the 1850-1870. it
put a lot of clarity in my understanding of frontier gold mining and cowboys.
I love historical fiction, history (especially WWII), rock bios, well-told and interesting fiction, non-fiction, & a bit of fantasy sci-fi.
I gave this title multiple tries but I prefer historical novels to read like stories and not so much like a timetable of events. I found this book the latter, while another of Guinn's books (Go Down Together - Bonnie and Clyde) was the former as I felt a real connection to the characters and the story read more like a novel.
if you are a big western fan I'm sure there will be something here for you. if however, you're tastes are a little more like mine and you prefer more of a story, I'd pass on this one.
However I will say I only gave this book a couple hours but it was a hard two hours to get through and I just couldn't seem to get interested in this story.
Blind Vietnam veteran. Antique weapons collector. Outdoor enthusiast. Florida State University graduate with Business major. Owner of home health agency. registered nurse.
Burst the bubble of Wyatt Earpe but is also interesting and most informative. The author gives more detail than the story deserves and therefore diminishes the pleasure of the read.
I enjoy non-fiction and this was a topic in which I was very interested. Unfortunately, the book was not as good as I had hoped.
I am not sure whether it is the narration or the writing itself, but it is a very dry read. It was difficult to keep track of all the characters. Sometimes, so much detail was included that I found myself drifting off. I'm not sure it is necessary to know every place in which the Earp family members ever lived and every job they ever had. There was also a lot of speculation on the part of the author into Wyatt Earp's motivations for changing careers, changing locations, etc.
Obviously, the author put a lot of research into this writing, but my opinion is that this is a case in which less would have been more...
I liked this book, a lot. I like well researched history, especially when it is related through engaging writing. This is not a good book if you want to hold on to a romanticized idea of the settlement of the western part of the U.S.. Mr. Guinn exposes the the grim reality and seedy brutal history of the westward expansion. There's no chivalry here, except for the depraved derivation of it exhibited by Doc Holiday, no golden-hearted whores, steely eyed cattlemen, or sheriffs standing tall in the noonday sun. There are only greedy, self promoting characters, doing whatever they can to get ahead in a miserable place in a miserable time. There's plenty of lawless violence, but there's no romance in any of that either. Perhaps, one might feel that it is somehow a disservice to dispel the myth of the west, but I like to think we have to know who we were to understand who we are.
The writing is very good, nearly, but not quite five star, and the narration is good also. If I could give it four and a half stars I would. The book was not at all what I expected and I'm very glad for that.
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