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.
Guinn has an engaging writing style, and his book Go Down Together is one of my favorites. However, The Last Gunfight felt unresearched and speculative, and in some places Guinn is clearly (but maybe unconsciously?) showing his prejudices. I would have preferred a more factual, less-biased book. He also seems to have an odd fascination with brothels.
No, I would not recommend it. Pick up Go Down Together instead.
He has a great voice and I enjoyed the narration.
Skip this one.
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 was really enjoying this book. I was bummed when it ended. Now I'm going to look for similar books.
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...
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