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.
©2011 Steve Earle (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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Critic reviews

“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
5 out of 5 stars
By P.Lean on 11-01-15

Love that Texas drawl.

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

Yes because I cannot imagine any better way of accessing the book than having this author read it to you.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Doc was my favourite character because he was so complex but I loved Hank and almost all the others too.

Which character – as performed by Steve Earle – was your favourite?

Doc was my favourite again but I enjoyed the singing Hank very much.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Unfinished business.

Any additional comments?

I have been recommending this to everyone but as an audiobook because I feel this is the superior way of hearing this book with the actual Mr.Earle reading. Phenomenal.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Steven on 10-04-14

Much better than a rock star project

If you could sum up I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive in three words, what would they be?

Give it a try if you like true detective .I am a big Steve Earle fan. Having said that I like the Rolling Stones too. I'm not sure I would rush to buy a novel written by Mick Jagger. Which made me nervous about falling for the unquestioning rock fan approach of buying this novel. I'm surprised and a little bit humbled have to say that all my misgivings were wrong.

Would you recommend I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive to your friends? Why or why not?

It's not the greatest story I've ever come across. Against that it has a totally convincing portrayal of a small impoverished but incredibly spiritual and loving world in an utterly hostile if not dangerous location in a part of Texas none of us would ever want to visit nevermind live in.

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

In one word his "drawl" I assume it's authentic Austin Texas. At any rate its brilliant

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Anyone can be redeemed.

Any additional comments?

You never listened to the music of Hank Williams - you should

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Bob on 04-06-12

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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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Robin on 06-12-12

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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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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