Mary Doria Russell, the best-selling, 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 O.K. 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. Armed citizens willing to stand their ground and take the law into their own hands....
That was America in 1881.
All those forces came to bear on the afternoon of October 26, 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 O.K. Corral would soon become central to American beliefs about the Old West.
Epitaph tells Wyatt's real story, unearthing the Homeric tragedy buried under 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.
"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)
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Most definitely. I listened to "Doc" first and was worried that "Epitaph" wouldn't be as good. Boy was I wrong! I actually preferred the latter and found myself in a state of disbelief when it ended.
Lonesome Dove Series - Larry McMurtry
The Son by Philipp Meyer
No, this was my first.
It wouldn't rename it. Epitaph is perfect.
You will not be disappointed!
Entertaining and (largely) Factual History
No, I would not. Hillary Huber is a very competent narrator and does a superb job in Taylor Stevens' novels on Vanessa Munroe (all of which I have listened to and enjoyed thoroughly); however her voice simply does not work in Epitah. I realize this is a minority opinion based upon the other Audible reviews, but when she speaks as Wyatt Earp, Earp's brothers, and most of the other male characters (excluding Doc Holliday where she does an excellent job with his accent), it sounds more like adolescent youths rather than tough cowboys.
I have not read very many historical novels of the Old West, so I struggle to come up with any kind of comparison.
As I indicated above, in most, but not all cases, the voice simply does not match the characters she attempts to represent. On the positive side, she does exceptionally well with the female characters and with Doc Holliday. She also enunciates well and does not commit any flagrant errors in pronunciation.
What moved me the most throughout this book was the character of Wyatt Earp and the accuracy of most of the historical narrative.
I strongly recommend that people who are interested in this book read it in print vs audio.