There's a kabillion books published each year. We swear that the ones in "You Have to Read This" are worth your eyeball time!
What You Have to Read: Mary Doria Russell's Epitaph
The Gist: This sprawling, generous western is subtitled "A novel of the O.K. Corral," which might trick people into buying it at the airport but sells short the book's ambition and humanity. Russell plunges readers into the hearts and fates of famous names — Doc Holliday, the Earp boys — and a grand cast of real folks who dared make a home of Tombstone, Arizona, decades before the invention of air-conditioning.
Yes, Russell's almost 600-page saga delivers the gunfight goods, but that misleading subtitle would serve readers better if changed to something like "A novel of the O.K. Corral, sure, but also gambling, piano playing, myth-making, tuberculosis, frontier politics, yellow journalism, preventative policing, vengeance killings, how mines work, and what it must have been like to live in a place as mad and dusty as Tombstone, including how it feels to toil all day in a sewing circle with your sisters-in-law and dream of maybe getting gussied up to go downtown for once in your life."More »