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  • Writer's pictureThe Bossy Bookworm

Review of Tombstone: The Earp Brothers, Doc Holliday, and the Vendetta Ride from Hell by Tom Clavin

Updated: Aug 2, 2020

Clavin traces the tensions and factors that led the town of Tombstone to live on in infamy in this very thorough look at the history leading up to the crisis point.

Tombstone is Tom Clavin's comprehensive account of the lives of the Earp brothers (and also includes some of the story of Doc Holliday), the men’s various strong and often nonconventional female partners, as well as the goings-on in the lives of their enemies immediately preceding and following the big shootout in Tombstone.

Tombstone traces the tensions and factors (including Western justice and on-the-fly policing; varied and horrific atrocities committed against Indians; and petty vendettas between families and individuals) building to pivotal events that help Tombstone live on in infamy.

This likely goes without saying, but a significant personal interest in Tombstone and the main players is crucial here. At times the retracing of the town's history and the backgrounds of those involved in the climactic ride felt a little dry to me, yet I did enter into reading this knowing Clavin was providing a meaty look at the topic of the town and the many conflicts and stresses building to the men's 1881 shootout.

I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press in exchange for an honest review.

What did you think?

Reading this book reinforced the fact that my personal taste leans more toward character-driven historical fiction Western tales, such as Mary Doria Russell's book Doc about Doc Holliday.


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