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Bucking the Tiger: A Novel
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Bucking the Tiger: A Novel

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  56 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
An American Library Association Notable Book

John Henry Holliday was an Ivy League-educated dentist from a genteel Georgia family when at the age of twenty-one he was diagnosed with consumption and given six months to live. Instead, over the next fifteen years, he composed of his sojourn on America's western frontier a paean to the ways in which a man might bluff death—and
Paperback, 384 pages
Published August 3rd 2002 by Picador (first published August 14th 2001)
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Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtryTrue Grit by Charles PortisBlood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West by Cormac McCarthyAll the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthyNo Country For Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
Best Westerns
256th out of 769 books — 1,023 voters
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REALLY, Really Underrated Books (Fewer than 100 Ratings)
90th out of 1,220 books — 326 voters

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Community Reviews

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Mar 22, 2015 Rita rated it liked it
Very cool idea of using poetry and letters to chronicle the life of Doc Holliday! It's an interesting read as the style changes with each piece. Probably not a book for everyone but I liked it for what it is. I expected extensive resources listed, but there's not too many. A good read all the same.
Dec 17, 2012 J.I. added it
Shelves: read-2011
This is a lyric book, a series of documents real and invented that attempt to tell the story of Doc Holiday in a series of poetic escapes, interviews, snatches of conversations, poems and clippings. It is purposely broken and incomplete and it is slavishly allitereative and dense on love of language.
Ronald Demoya
Apr 05, 2016 Ronald Demoya rated it it was amazing
Poker, Whiskey, TB, and Whores was the life of Doc Holliday. You read this novel understanding why he feared nothing, and regretted everything. Pain was his constant friend, the pain of loss or TB he was never alone because of pain. His dear friends made his life bearable, like Virgil and Doc. But he needed something more, but no one could give it to him.
Jan 17, 2008 Marianne rated it it was amazing
I absolutely adored this book - it's not all what you would expect. It's more like poetry than narrative, and it's a completely enthralling portrait of a man permanently on the verge of death. Forget that it's a 'Western' - there's no hint of Louis Lamour in this book.
Mar 01, 2011 RUSA CODES rated it it was amazing
This was one of the 2002 RUSA Notable Books winners. For the complete list, go to
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