Monday, February 24, 2014

The Doctor and The Rough Rider


Today's post is on The Doctor and The Rough Rider by Mike Resnick. It is the third in his Weird West Tales and is published by PYR. It is 302 pages long including six appendixes with additional information about the real people in the story. The intended reader is someone who has read the other books in the series, so if you want to read this book start with The Buntline Special. There is no sex in this book but language and violence like any good western no matter how weird; I think that older teens and adult would enjoy this series the most. The story is told in third person close moving from Doc Holliday to Theodore Roosevelt from one chapter to the next. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- It's August 19, 1884. The consumptive Doc Holliday is preparing to await his end in the sanitarium in Leadville, Colorado, when the medicine man Geronimo enlists him on a mission. The time the great chief has predicted has come, the one white man with whom he's willing to treat with has crossed the Mississippi and is heading to Tombstone- a young man name Theodore Roosevelt. The various tribes know that Geronimo is willing to end the spell that has kept the United Stated from expanding west of the Mississippi. In response, they have created a huge, monstrous medicine man named War Bonnet, whose function us to kill Roosevelt and Geronimo and keep the United States east of the river forever. And War Bonnet has enlisted the master shootist John Wesley Hardin.
So the battle lines are drawn: Roosevelt and Geronimo against the most powerful of the medicine men, a supernatural creature that seemingly nothing can harm; and Holliday against the man with more credited kills than any gunfighter in history. It does not promise to be a tranquil summer.

Review- I love this series. It is fun, funny, and so well written. In this chapter of Doc Holliday's weird adventures he has to share the spotlight with Roosevelt. That was the one thing that I did not like about this book. In all the other books the focus was purely on Holliday and I just loved his wit. But in this one the reader spends a lot of time with Roosevelt as the main character. He is okay. The writing is still solid but Roosevelt is very serious. He is not witty. He does not make clever little jokes about what is going on around him. He is, in comedy terms, a straight man. But that problem aside this is another strong book. Resnick does his steampunk with grace that I do not find anywhere else. I think that is because Resnick mostly lets it be magical. He does not bog down the reader with needless details about why or how things work. They just work. Just like Resnick's books; they just work.

I give this book a Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I bought this book with my own money.