John Harwood in for Tom Ashbook
Imagining the friendship of Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp before the O.K. Corral gunfight cemented them in Wild West lore.
Even today images of the Old West remain etched in the American psyche. Dusty saloons, rolling tumblewood, quick-draw gunslingers like Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp at the OK Corral. But a new novel has added emotion, sensitivity and depth to Hollywood’s celluloid version of Dodge City. What can we learn — and what should we know about the changing West of today?
This hour On Point: we’ll revisit the Old West with the author of Doc. And we’ll explore the New West of the 21st century.
- The Washington Post: “If I had a six-shooter (and didn’t work in the District), I’d be firing it off in celebration of “Doc,” Mary Doria Russell’s fantastic new novel about Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp. Since winning top honors for her science fiction 15 years ago, Russell has blasted her way into one genre after another, and now she’s picked up the old conventions of the Wild West and brought these dusty myths back to life in a deeply sympathetic, aggressively researched and wonderfully entertaining story.”
- The Cleveland Plain Dealer: “”Doc” is an engaging bit of de-mythology, a vivid re-imagining of a more authentic, slightly less “wild” West than the one we’ve come to know through dime-store novels. Holliday was a boom-town card shark, an occasional lawman and a participant with the Earp brothers in the shootout at the O.K. Corral. But he was a dentist by trade and a brilliant one at that, at least in Russell’s novel. “