I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive

  • by Steve Earle
  • Narrated by Steve Earle
  • 7 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Doc Ebersole lives with the ghost of Hank Williams—not just in the figurative sense, not just because he was one of the last people to see him alive, and not just because he is rumored to have given Hank the final morphine dose that killed him.
In 1963, ten years after Hank’s death, Doc himself is wracked by addiction. Since he lost his license to practice medicine, his morphine habit isn’t as easy to support, so Doc lives in a rented room in the red-light district on the south side of San Antonio, performing abortions and patching up the odd knife or gunshot wound.
But when Graciela, a young Mexican immigrant, appears in the neighborhood in search of his services, miraculous things begin to happen. Graciela sustains a wound on her wrist that never heals, yet she heals others with the touch of her hand. Everyone she meets is transformed for the better, except perhaps for Hank’s angry ghost—who isn’t at all pleased to see Doc doing well.
A brilliant excavation of an obscure piece of music history, Steve Earle’s I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive is also a marvelous novel in its own right, a ballad of regret and redemption and of the ways in which we remake ourselves and our world through the smallest of miracles.

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What the Critics Say

“This subtle and dramatic book is the work of a brilliant songwriter who has moved from song to orchestral ballad with astonishing ease.” (Michael Ondaatje, New York Times best-selling author)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

The Down and Out get a spiritual renewal

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Steve Earle's voice and twang really drew me in. This is a good story of how the lost make their way in a hard-scrabble existence. The characters are believable and while their actions are questionable, you can it is all they can do to get by.


What did you like best about this story?

I really liked Steve Earle's narration....his pace, twang, expressions, etc. were very good.


What does Steve Earle bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I find that audiobooks greatly enhance the written word with tone of voice, pacing, rate of delivery, volume, etc. The book is "performed" for the listener and Steve Earle did this very well.


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- Bob

Best Audible Book I've Listen to Yet

It takes a lot for me to give five stars all the way around, but this book did it for me.

At first I was scratching my head at the selection of the narrator (not realizing it was also the author) because of his voice and slight slur. But the voice--and the slur--really captured the mood and the character of Doc, the main character. Not to gush, but...Steve Earle was awesome!

The story had sweet moments without being sweet. It had tragic moments without being a tragedy. The narrative carried me along on a wave and sometimes Earle sneaked in a surprising phrase or juxtaposition that just made me belly laugh.

Know what I didn't like? It was just too short. Well, not really. It was long enough to tell the story effectively. But I just wasn't ready to say good-bye to the characters.
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- Robin

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-12-2011
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.