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)
After setting the time and period issues, Mr. Guinn tells a fascinating tale of how despite the great distances, hard living conditions, and personal ambitions of the participants, death and destruction could not be avoided. Justice has nothing to do with the OK Corral. The tale brings such realism to mind that you feel like you have to kick of the dust from your boots when you are done and get a shot of whiskey. In the final analysis, this was not a story about good vs. bad, lies vs. truths, or laws vs. the lawless. It is a solid story about who could shoot first to kill and and then live to justify it.
A lot of good information, but a little too much mind reading. I got a sense that Guinn was disdainful of the Earp's quest for success. He also told me much more than he would have had any way of knowing, about what people thought & felt. A little more examples of what led him to his conclusions and a little less superiority would have impressed me more. Still, for those interested in the old west &/or the Earp brothers I would recommend the book. Just read with a skeptical eye.
I grew up on Golden Age Radio, and while I love to read, I typically consume more books via audio thanks to a job that lets me listen while I work. As an aspiring writer, I try to read a great deal of non-fiction in addition to a variety of fictional genres. I especially love history, historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and old-style gothic horror.
As most people know from Hollywood, the infamous shootout took place in the span of a few breathless moments. This book is not just the immediate story of the shootout itself, but rather the entire scope of the story going all the way back to the founding of Tombstone, the formation of the cowtowns and cattle trails, the origins of the Cowboys in the wake of the Texas Rangers, and the bios of each of the personalities involved in this most classic of Old West soap operas. Back room deals, barroom boasts, double-crosses, trial testimonies, politics, logistical data on capabilities of firearms... it's all here and then some, presenting such an incredibly rich tale that you can walk way from this book feeling both entertained and educated. Guinn leaves no stone unturned, no eyewitness account unheard, and no theory unexamined. As a bonus, Stephen Hoye's narration has the same enthusiasm and cadence of the old Lone Ranger series without being overblown, which for an old radio fan like me only adds to grin level. I think the only way to improve on this one might be to give it an old-fashioned musical score.
I found this book very interesting and continually found myself making Google searches to see what these characters looked like. Obviously nothing like the movie Tombstone, I can't imagine what the old west was really like. This book made me wonder how anyone found it safe to walk the streets in Arizona in the late 1880's.
I listened to the book twice and will probably find it in the que again. Great book if you want to know what really happened at the OK corral.
Every wonder about what really happened in the shootout at the O.K. Corral? I didn’t, but picked up Jeff Guinn’s The Last Gunfight anyway. It is my habit to read on topics about which I have no knowledge. Opening the pages of this book confirmed the efficacy of my reading approach. Gunn starts the book off by presenting biographical information about those involved in the fight. Each is put into context. History, geographical details, economic insights, and verbal pictures of how life was lived in the era provide nuance and detail to what is to come. The last sections of the book describe the altercation, the trial of Wyatt Earp and his brothers, and the impact of those days on the region. Essentially, Guinn confirms the fact that we will never know the true story of what happened on October 26, 1881. If you are familiar with this story, this book may not be for you. If what you know has come from fiction, you might take a look. No one can come away from the volume without a clearer understanding and a better appreciation for life in “the West” in that era. The reading of Stephen Hoye is a plus.
I like scifi and urban fantasy. I don't like romance novels. If you are the same my reviews should help.
Yes. This book gives the reader a better idea of what actually happened in these events rather than the myths and legends we all know. You also, get a really detailed background of the players. the actual players are much different than what hollywood would have us believe.
just hearing the background of the people involved.
He could have emoted more. I know this is a history book, but the reading was pretty dry.
No, I think it hits all the important points quite nicely.
This is a really interesting book for history buffs as well as folks who just want to know what really happened at the OK Corral.
Having always been a history buff regarding western history and living in areas full of historical figures, I never quite knew all that much about the true story behind Tombstone, the Earps, the Clantons, or the OK corral. I heard stories where the “noble” Earps weren’t exactly all that honorable, but never in all that much detail. Having recently moved to Tucson, I visited Tombstone and was amazed to see the history there and how much of the myth behind this town is only that, myth. Upon reading reviews this book said it gave a whole different point of view regarding the Tombstone events, I knew I had to listen to it. I am quite pleased with the wealth of new and less known information regarding not only the key figures of the OK corral gunfight, but also the town of Tombstone, life during that time period, and southern Arizona history. The book uses information from public accounts and court documents, but does not do so in a dry fashion. Instead it is woven in the storytelling, and makes what could be boring transcript, into an interesting account of history. This book does not sugar coat the truth and will show you the real person behind the men we saw as heroes once.
It's in the top 20.
The history of Tombstone and its growth. You really get a good history lesson.
Several, too many to pick just one.
Forget what you think you know, it's not true.
I really enjoyed this book and I highly recommend it. I do agree with one of the reviewers who said the author assumed a little too much when no records were available. But it wasn't too bad. Loved the history of Arizona and how it grew and the real Earps. Hollywood paints them as cleaner than wind-driven snow. You'll get a different picture by the end of the book.
I really liked Jeff Guinn’s The Last Gunfight. It had remained in my wish list for some time because I wasn’t sure that a thirteen hour book about an event that was over within minutes would hold my interest. TLG more than held my interest—I found myself listening to it every chance I got. It was an enjoyable and educational “read,” and I was satisfied when it drew to an end.
Guinn depicts an Old West that is at times different from what we’ve seen in movies, but it is every bit as exciting. The author does a good job of bringing his characters to life, and at times clearing up myths. A standout aspect of the work is how skillfully Guinn depicts the web of events which led to the so-called “Gunfight at the OK Corral,” putting them in context, so that the reader can easily understand the motivations of both parties leading to the fight which it appears nobody really wanted. Moreover, the author does a great job of showing not only how history affected events in Tombstone, but also the impact those events had on history.
As at least one other reviewer has pointed out, the author does take some license with his characters in ascribing them motives and thoughts he could only be guessing at. This seems largely to be even-handed, except in one or two instances where Guinn seems to have taken an active dislike to his subjects, and seems to magnify and dwell upon their foibles.
This book was a nice surprise. I particularly recommend it for readers interested in American history or the Old West. The narrator was well-suited to the material and delivers an enjoyable, unobtrusive performance.
That it gives a good idea of what actually went on in Tombstone and by extension in the old west.
Virgil Earp, Wyatt's elder brother, who seemed a good man, the kind that one imagines as lawman: strong, level-headed, reliable.
Josephine -- she isn't really a favourite character but she is pretty impressive, especially in her transformation into Wyatt's steadfast wife.
When Virgil Earp got killed: he deserved better.
It is really interesting to get perspective on the myths of the wild west that have been so important in the second half of the twentieth century (I had not realized that it started so late).
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