Doc - Mary Doria Russell Summer of 1878. The much-too-famous thirty seconds of shooting at the O.K. Corral was three years in the future. Doc Holliday was in Dodge City, Kansas. It was here that he cemented his friendship with the Earp brothers---Wyatt, Morgan, and James. By this time, John Henry "Doc" Holliday was already a dentist, an accomplished pianist, and a formidable opponent at the high-stakes card games. He was also plagued by a nasty case of tuberculosis, which had driven him West for the drier air. Doc arrived in Dodge City with his girlfriend, the German aristocrat-cum-prostitute, Big-Nose Kate Harony. His intention was to open a dental practice and supplement his income at the card tables. This he did for awhile, but Fate and tuberculosis had other plans. This is the fictionalized account of how events and personalities converged that summer and fall of 1878, eventually forcing Doc Holliday and the Earp brothers to abandon Dodge City and light out for Tombstone, Arizona. It's also Mary Doria Russell's attempt to put to rest the outlandish legends about John Henry Holliday and the Earp brothers. Doc wasn't a gunslinger or a tough guy or a deliberate trouble-maker. He was a genteel Georgia boy with a classical education. He had a sneaky sense of humor, a weakness for sartorial affectations, and a love of fine literature, beautiful music, and foreign languages. He was also a very sick young man, dependent on his friends for more than just companionship. I loved learning about late-19th-Century Dodge City. It's a character all in itself, with its messy politics and odd state of lawful lawlessness. The colorful mix of real and fictional characters makes for a rich and often rollicking read. (4.5 stars)