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.
“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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Love that Texas drawl.
Yes because I cannot imagine any better way of accessing the book than having this author read it to you.
Doc was my favourite character because he was so complex but I loved Hank and almost all the others too.
Doc was my favourite again but I enjoyed the singing Hank very much.
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.
Much better than a rock star project
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.
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.
In one word his "drawl" I assume it's authentic Austin Texas. At any rate its brilliant
Anyone can be redeemed.
You never listened to the music of Hank Williams - you should