A deeply divided nation. Vicious politics. A shamelessly partisan media. A president loathed by half the populace. Smuggling and gang warfare along the Mexican border....
Dodge City, Kansas, is a place of legend. The town exploded with the coming of the railroad, cattle drives, eager miners, settlers, and various entrepreneurs....
It is September 8, 1943, and Claudette Blum is learning Italian with a suitcase in her hand....
The only member of the original mission to the planet Rakhat to return to Earth, Father Emilio Sandoz has barely begun to recover from his ordeal when the Society of Jesus calls upon him....
A new novel about an iconic American criminal of the old West: legendary outlaw Billy the Kid....
Emilio Sandoz is a remarkable man, a living saint and Jesuit priest who undergoes an experience so harrowing and profound that it makes him question the existence of God....
Of all the colorful characters that inhabited the West during the 19th century, the man who has earned an enduring legacy as the region's quirkiest is John Henry "Doc" Holliday....
Considered the "toughest and deadliest gunman of his day", Earp symbolized the swagger, the heroism, and even the lawlessness of the West....
Leaving their Pennsylvania home to forge a new life in the untamed Oregon Territory of 1845, the Colter family is ambushed by a kill-crazy gang of cutthroats on the Oregon Trail....
A 40-year-old schoolteacher still reeling from the tragedies of the Great War and the influenza epidemic, Agnes has come into a modest inheritance that allows her to take the trip of a lifetime....
The author of Predator traces the story of George Russell, Jr., a bright, young, popular black man whose thirty-year psychological unraveling led to a shocking killing spree....
A gripping and utterly transporting novel that maps the legacy of violence in the American west with rare emotional acuity....
Was it justice...or revenge? What drove a simple farmer to set out on an impossible quest after a gang of bloodthirsty killers that raped and murdered his wife and slit his small son's throat?
He came from the American South, a gentleman by breeding, a dentist by training, a gambler by vocation....
When Micajah Fenton discovers a crater in his front yard with a broken time glider in the bottom and a naked, virtual woman on his lawn, he delays his plans to kill himself....
They called him Mickey Free. His kidnapping started the longest war in American history, and both sides - the Apaches and the white invaders - blamed him for it....
A newly discovered manuscript, reveals that Jack had faked his death to get out of his publishing contract, and he now picks up the story of his extraordinarily action-packed life....
After the deaths of his wife and brother, John Kerney gives up his West Texas ranch and heads south in search of a new home....
Mary Doria Russell's last two novels have been works of historical fiction, and Doc demonstrates that she's clearly found her groove in the genre. The premise of the book is at once both iconic and imaginative, treating the beginnings of friendship between Doc Holliday and the Earp clan several years before all the fuss at the O.K. Corral. These are not hardened lawmen, but struggling young men with simple dreams of financial stability and good health. Mark Bramhall does an impeccable job with the voice work, taking on these enormously well known characters and adding a sensitive depth of uncertainty. After all, at this moment in history, John Henry Holliday is just a dentist who plays a bit of poker, and Wyatt Earp is merely a part-time officer of the peace who is hoping to breed racehorses. They are thrown together out of concern for a mutual acquaintance, John Horse Sanders, a mixed-race man who died in a fire but who may have been murdered before the fire got started.
It's a straightforward Western mystery with a surprising amount of intricate narration. Mark Bramhall is a prize when it comes to character acting, so he handles the various Southern accents, from Georgia to Texas to Kansas, without even breaking a sweat. But everyone knows Doc Holliday died of consumption at a young age. Doc's dialogue is riddled with hacking, coughing, spluttering and spitting. Bramhall manages to insert all of these credibly, yet without disrupting the flow of the story or ruining Doc's many profound punch lines. It's particularly a treat to hear him voicing Doc's fiery gypsy whore, Kate. Switching between Western and Hungarian accents seems difficult enough, but Kate is also fluent in a number of other languages, and Bramhall delivers the French and Latin with an easy grace. Russell's slow and steady narrative is bound to delight, but as with all good Westerns, it's the drawling sound of the place that will make it truly enchanting. Megan Volpert
The year is 1878, peak of the Texas cattle trade. The place is Dodge City, Kansas, a saloon-filled cow town jammed with liquored-up adolescent cowboys and young Irish hookers. Violence is random and routine, but when the burned body of a mixed-blood boy named Johnnie Sanders is discovered, his death shocks a part-time policeman named Wyatt Earp. And it is a matter of strangely personal importance to Doc Holliday, the frail 26-year-old dentist who has just opened an office at No. 24, Dodge House.
Beautifully educated, born to the life of a Southern gentleman, Dr. John Henry Holliday is given an awful choice at the age of 22: die within months in Atlanta or leave everyone and everything he loves in the hope that the dry air and sunshine of the West will restore him to health. Young, scared, lonely, and sick, he arrives on the rawest edge of the Texas frontier just as an economic crash wrecks the dreams of a nation. Soon, with few alternatives open to him, Doc Holliday is gambling professionally; he is also living with Mária Katarina Harony, a high-strung Hungarian whore with dazzling turquoise eyes, who can quote Latin classics right back at him. Kate makes it her business to find Doc the high-stakes poker games that will support them both in high style. It is Kate who insists that the couple travel to Dodge City, because “That’s where the money is.”
And that is where the unlikely friendship of Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp really begins - before Wyatt Earp is the prototype of the square-jawed, fearless lawman; before Doc Holliday is the quintessential frontier gambler; before the gunfight at the O.K. Corral links their names forever in American frontier mythology - when neither man wanted fame or deserved notoriety.
We are listening to "Doc" and the combination of great writing and a gifted narrator equals an amazing experience. This book is an example of how a well written book can be elevated to heights that cannot be reached by just reading the written word. Congratulations to the author for having such elite writing skills and to the narrator and his perfect voice. Thank you.
20 of 20 people found this review helpful
I loved this book! I'm a big fan of "LONESOME DOVE" and I enjoyed this one just as much. This book is very different, but still, a western. A GOOD western is a rare thing! This is a good one.
The narrator is so good I have been searching for other books he's done. He is a new find too!
5 stars for the book and the narrator.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful
This is a fantastic audio book - the writing is wonderful and the performanc makes it all the better.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful
I have always admired Mary Doria Russell's writing and was not disappointed with this latest story of Doc. She brings a depth of character to Doc from her imagination and paints pictures with words that make you able to visualize the place, time and character of the people in Doc's life. The reader Mark Bramhall, makes the story come alive. His ability to play the part of each of the characters is very good. I will pay attention to other books he reads. It is a turn-off to have a reader that sounds false when portraying, for instance, females. Mr. Bramhall is believable and non-offending.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful
This is a great story -- so well written, all the characters are rich, and the weaving of the story is absolutely enchanting. As wonderful as that is the narrator's skill and talent makes it breathtaking. I've listened to this book several times and am more impressed with the narrator's talent each time.
I will look for this author and especially look for this narrator in the future.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
This was so much more than just GREAT, a thoroughly readable, (OK, listenable,) book that adhered to the verifiable historical facts, even when those facts put our hero in a not so heroic light...Excellent!
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
Although I'm not a western fan this author (and narrator) have brought the characters to life so well that I truly believe I know and like them. Hate to have it end but want to solve the mystery.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
What made the experience of listening to Doc the most enjoyable?
Doc was recommended highly and since I'm not much into Westerns, I hesitated, yet so pleased I stepped into the world of Dodge City. I was quickly ensconced in the lives of Doc Holiday, Kate, the Earp Brothers and a cast of characters so vividly described by the author, it was like I stepped back in time.<br/>Mary Doria Russell has an exceptional writing talent of depicting the characters and locations so that one feels as though you are visiting Western towns of the late 1800's with the likes of cowpokes, saloons and small town activities all the while demonstrating events which influenced John Henry Holiday's life.
What was one of the most memorable moments of Doc?
There are too many memorable moments within this novel to note which makes this book so wonderful! You just need to experience for yourself!
What about Mark Bramhall’s performance did you like?
Mark Bramhall compliments the story by capturing a slow Georgia drawl while easily transitioning to an Irish brogue or female Hungarian dialect. His gasping for air as he read of the ongoing coughing spells plagued by Doc Holiday emphasized the pain and torment experienced every day in the life of this young man.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
It is rare when a novel comes along where I wish life's surroundings would stop and allow me to just participate in another world and Doc is one of those books.
Any additional comments?
A true enjoyment!
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
I was very impressed with the story and the narration. Something for almost anyone in this book, western history, American history, romance, philosophy and a lot of truth. I was particularly taken by the writers knowledge on the truth about the civil war (although the book only just touches on the civil war) - she has obviously not fallen for the politically correct data on the subject.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
Mary Doria Russell does it again with another detailed absorbing tale. The narration was excellent and really brought the story to life.
15 of 16 people found this review helpful
This fine book is not a genre "western" - it is rather historical fiction of an exciting kind as it takes two of the mythic figures of the west: Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp and weaves a story of their lives in Dodge City - before the famous Tombstone years.
The book is full of incident and themes, dealing with pride, the brutal lives of many women in the cattle towns, revenge, loyalty to friends and the ravages of disease also - in this case Doc's rampant and movingly described tuberculosis. But there is plenty of humour and satire and wit in the story too, especially in the ironic way Doc speaks and acts - as he deals cards at Faro tables, interacts with his fearsome paramour Big Nose Kate, practices sophisticated dentistry on Wyatt Earp's front teeth and avenges a great wrong.
The only other western-set novel I know that has a similar depth is Ron Hansen's "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford", and that book has a pace and momentum which "Doc" occasionally lacks. Hansen's novel would make a great audiobook too.
But "Doc" is a really fine "listen" - quite brilliantly read by Mark Bramhall, whose range of voices and accents is superb and who narrates at just the right speed - at least for me. So for an authentic look behind the myths, and a compassionate examination of human nature under harsh dog-eat-dog conditions, this carefully researched and powerful novel by Mary Doria Russell - an author new to me - is highly recommended.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful