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Extended Audio Sample Epitaph: A Novel of the O.K. Corral, by Mary Doria Russell Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Mary Doria Russell Narrator: Hillary Huber Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Mary Doria Russell, the bestselling, award-winning author of The Sparrow, returns with Epitaph. An American Iliad, this richly detailed and meticulously researched historical novel continues the story she began in Doc, following Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday to Tombstone, Arizona, and to the gunfight at the OK Corral.

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, and armed citizens willing to stand their ground and take law into their own hands: that was America in 1881.

All those forces came to bear on the afternoon of October twenty-sixth when Doc Holliday and the Earp brothers faced off against the Clantons and the McLaurys in Tombstone, Arizona. It should have been a simple misdemeanor arrest. Thirty seconds and thirty bullets later, three officers were wounded and three citizens lay dead in the dirt.

Wyatt Earp was the last man standing, the only one unscathed. The lies began before the smoke cleared, but the gunfight at the OK Corral would soon become central to American beliefs about the old west.

Epitaph tells Wyatt’s real story, unearthing the Homeric tragedy buried beneath more than 130 years of mythology, misrepresentation, and sheer indifference to fact. Epic and intimate, this novel gives voice to the real men and women whose lives were changed forever by those fatal thirty seconds in Tombstone. At its heart is the woman behind the myth: Josephine Sarah Marcus, who loved Wyatt Earp for forty-nine years and who carefully chipped away at the truth until she had crafted the heroic legend that would become the epitaph her husband deserved.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “With vast amounts of research and a poetic prose line…Russell has crafted an epic tale…a stunning performance.”

    Washington Post

  • “A magnificent sequel to Doc…Adroitly shifting points of view throughout, Russell assembles her cast in Tombstone, where her prodigious historical research illuminates the personalities and politics that propelled the combatants toward that corral.”

    Cleveland Plain Dealer

  • “A compelling, richly told narrative with complex characters, sharp context—and a number of parallels to today…a fully realized landscape with nuanced characters.”

    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

  • “Russell is on a mission…She wants to reveal truth where it has been obfuscated for more than a century…Russell shows how the gunfight at the OK Corral is not the end of a hero’s tale but just thirty terrible seconds in a decades-long, nationwide struggle to evolve out of ignorance into enlightenment. Verdict: The multitude of points of view exemplifies the best of third-person omniscience, revealing innermost secrets, hopes, and fears…Fans of Westerns ready to branch out beyond Louis L’Amour and Max Brand might see it as a breath of fresh air.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “Russell follows up her fictional portrait of Doc Holliday…[and] shifts her focus to Wyatt Earp, the ambivalent, morally ambiguous not-quite-hero of this Western Iliad…The novel shifts effortlessly between intimate focus—for instance, Doc quietly teaching Josie a piano piece; actually, every scene with Doc or Josie is a bull’s eye—and a wide angle that captures President James Garfield’s assassination as well as the history of silver mining…Despite all that has been written and filmed about Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp, Russell’s pointedly anti-epic anti-romance is so epic and romantic that it whets the reader’s appetite for more.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “This isn’t your great-grandfather’s OK Corral. Russell breathes new life into the well-worn western saga…Drawing its title from the name of Tombstone’s leading newspaper, this novel does indeed function as the last word for a western sense of justice and vengeance. This novel is a raucously Hogarthian depiction of how the West was truly lived.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “A female narrator is a surprisingly suitable choice for this novel about the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Although it was Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday who faced the Clantons and McLaurys across that dusty vacant lot in Tombstone, Arizona, it was their women who were most deeply struck by the tragic consequences of those bullets. Hillary Huber provides a stalwart, gutsy portrayal of Kate Haroney, the brothel madam whose tempestuous relationship with Doc Holliday was scandalous even in the Wild West. Huber gleefully portrays the cunning Josephine Marcus, a scrappy former prostitute who became Earp’s common-law wife. Almost half a century after the gunfight, Huber adds tenderness and a touch of frenzy as Josephine persists in her version of the epic shoot-out.”

    AudioFile

  • A Library Journal Best Book of 2015 in Historical Fcition
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