Thursday, November 20, 2014
By Maria Doria Russell. This is a historical novel, in every sense of the word. While it feels inpeccably researched, and many aspects of its portrayal of postbellum America appeal to me as an historian, there many aspects that are clearly novel. It is an attempt to explain the world of "Doc" Holliday, gambler and dentist, in the years before Tombstone and the shootout at the O.K. Corral. It has a sobering portrait of Doc as a young man dying slowly of tuberculosis of the lungs, at a time when the best medicine could do was tell the patient to move to the Southwest, eat better, and rest. I really enjoyed it.