Kateri Ewing's Reviews > Doc

Doc by Mary Doria Russell
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's review
Feb 01, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: 2012
Read from February 10 to 13, 2012

I could "listen" to Doc Holliday carry on forever. Very sad to finish this book. I knew I would enjoy the story, but had no idea it would be told this well. Russell does an amazing job with the dialogue for every character; their voices were all so clear to me. There are many wonderful scenes in this novel, but the one that will stick with me is the talk between Morgan Earp and Doc when Morg tries to take the bottle of bourbon after Doc nearly drank himself to death. I don't think I've ever read a better description of what a man can feel when at the end of his prospects for anything good to come of his hopeless situation. And then Morgan offers him money to help and Doc replies:

""I don't need charity! All I need is to be left alone to earn my way the best I can. And now I must go buck the tiger---which is a fool's errand---because you just busted up a poker game that I was winning,' God damn you, and this time of night, faro is the only game in town that will be open to me. In future I will take it as a personal favor if you would kindly refrain from interferin' in my affairs. Good evening to you, sir."

Everyone in the place watched as he left. For a long time, Morgan sat openmouthed, trying to think of some way to help. Nothing came to mind."

The author does a fine job portraying the moral conflicts of this time and place. I always seem to be a sucker for the character who might do morally questionable things with good intent in his or her heart. Good and evil can and do exist in the heart of every man and woman.

Well done, Mary Doria Russell. And thanks.
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