Tuesday, August 28, 2012


I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive, Steve Earle, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011, 243 pp

I am a big fan of Steve Earle's music, so I had to read his first novel. It was OK.

The ghost of Hank Williams haunts the renegade Doc Ebersole, who kept Hank somewhat alive until he didn't. Doc is a bum, a doctor who has lost his license and lives on the edge of a Texas town. He gets by providing abortions and other medical services to skid row characters who for various reasons can't or won't go to a hospital. He is also a drug addict who kicks and is kept alive by a young Mexican girl-a sort-of angel/saint with healing powers.

Anyway, Earle has all the elements of a good Texas story and I think he made a worthy effort but did not quite pull it off. On the other hand, I have to admire a guy who kicked all his own nasty habits and keeps on keeping on with constant self-reinventions.

(I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive is available in various formats by order from Once Upon A Time Bookstore.)

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