Customer Reviews


24 Reviews
5 star:
 (13)
4 star:
 (3)
3 star:
 (4)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (4)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Book Blew Me Away
I just received a copy of THEY CALL ME DOC, The Story Behind the Legend of John Henry Holliday, because I'm a big western Americana fan, as well as a fan of the Earp brothers and Doc Holliday. When I started reading this, I knew it was something special, something more than just another biography. It's written in Doc Holliday's own voice and point-of-view, and the...
Published on December 4, 2010 by Faye M. Swetky

versus
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hard to give this more than 3 stars
As an avid Southwestern history nut, I didn't find anything in the book that was new. Same old pictures, same accounts, just a novel-esque method of delivery. The book contains a few facts mixed with a lot of legend. The author also included a half a dozen pictures that have been reproduced in almost every book I've ever read about the law and order of the old west. I...
Published on March 5, 2011 by Jeffrey J. Bakke


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Book Blew Me Away, December 4, 2010
This review is from: They Call Me Doc: The Story Behind The Legend Of John Henry Holliday (Paperback)
I just received a copy of THEY CALL ME DOC, The Story Behind the Legend of John Henry Holliday, because I'm a big western Americana fan, as well as a fan of the Earp brothers and Doc Holliday. When I started reading this, I knew it was something special, something more than just another biography. It's written in Doc Holliday's own voice and point-of-view, and the writing is POWERFUL! The author pulls no punches. How he got so fully into the mind of a man who passed away 150 years ago is remarkable, but he did. And he dispels a number of "facts" about Holliday as sheer myths, while building a new respect for this southern Christian gentleman (and he really was that, despite his reputation). This is probably the best bio I've ever read, bar none. And certainly it's the best one I've ever seen on Doc Holliday. Complete with colorful portrayals of the Earps, Big Nose Kate, the Clantons, the "Cowboys" who set out to destroy Holliday and the Earps, and so many more. I can't wait for the movie! I wonder who'll play the leading role?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hard to give this more than 3 stars, March 5, 2011
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: They Call Me Doc: The Story Behind The Legend Of John Henry Holliday (Paperback)
As an avid Southwestern history nut, I didn't find anything in the book that was new. Same old pictures, same accounts, just a novel-esque method of delivery. The book contains a few facts mixed with a lot of legend. The author also included a half a dozen pictures that have been reproduced in almost every book I've ever read about the law and order of the old west. I really looked forward to reading this book because of the author's reputation along with the editorial review on Amazon. Sadly, I was very dissapointed. If you are not aware of the many carefully researched books written about Dodge City and Tombstone and are looking for a little entertainment, then this book is probably for you. If it's Doc Holliday history that you're interested in, there are many, many books that are much better than this one. For one, I'd suggest reading Bob Boze Bell's "The Illustrated Times of Doc Holliday." It's about as long of a read and better researched. It has some great pictures too.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More then just another reflection on the old west, December 11, 2010
This review is from: They Call Me Doc: The Story Behind The Legend Of John Henry Holliday (Paperback)
I hardly ever write reviews, but having received 'Doc' as a gift and immediately falling in love with it, I couldn't resist. This book is a blast of fresh air over a tired landscape of western reflections. Instead of another dutiful reporting of the facts of the OK corral conflict, the author speaks straight from Doc's heart, with surprising clarity, perspective and insight. By writing with Doc Holliday's voice, we are given a compelling glimpse not only of a hard bitten gunslinger, but of a young boy growing up in the turmoil of the civil war.

With beautiful writing the events that formed the life of an American legend come to life, elevated 'Doc' from a flat, Saturday matinee image to a complex young man dealing with the destruction of his southern home, the early death of his beloved mother, and conflicts within his own family that would eventually drive him west.

Most surprising to me, and it was a very pleasant one at that, was the love story that emerges from Doc's reflections of his paramour, Kate. Somehow the author manages to capture the painfully realistic relationship that develops between two lost souls. The recollections are simultaneously brutal and tender, with a wistfulness chained to the ground by the truth of their respective situations.

Doc is a wonderful surprise, and I hope other readers out there find this gem shinning out from the dreary pile of old west commentaries. Great book!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars DO NOT BUY THIS GARBAGE, July 14, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: They Call Me Doc: The Story Behind The Legend Of John Henry Holliday (Paperback)
I, too, was surprised by this book.

It was presented as "Reassessing the life of one of the most infamous characters of the Old West" and as "new biography sets the record straight on the man best known for his participation in the shootout at the O.K. Corral".

In fact, it is a delusional rambling by an author (and I use THAT word loosely) that thinks they were channeling Doc Holliday. The book is written in FIRST PERSON in 2010 by a man who has been dead for more than 100 years!

At best it is a work of bad western fiction; but the book is pitched as NON FICTION biography. Trust me...really and truly... despite its being written First Person, Doc Holliday did NOT write this book.

In reality, it is not even western fiction, it is delusional nonsense. Lyons Press should be ashamed. What garbage!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Doc, May 26, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: They Call Me Doc: The Story Behind The Legend Of John Henry Holliday (Paperback)
This book is not what I was expecting. I was expecting a more thorough biography, however, this book was more in the nature of a novel. Having said that, this book is well written and highly enjoyable, so if you're looking for a short and fun book to read about Doc, this book will suit you just fine. But if you're interested in a more detailed biography, better look somewhere else.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic Journey, January 25, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: They Call Me Doc: The Story Behind The Legend Of John Henry Holliday (Paperback)
As an author, I am intrigued with the writing skills set into this book. D. J. Herda has created a wonderful journey into the historical past to bring the character of Doc Holiday to life. This is good... no, this is a great work.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars They call this Doc?, January 13, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: They Call Me Doc: The Story Behind The Legend Of John Henry Holliday (Paperback)
I just picked up "They Call me Doc" by DJ Herda. I got 32 pages into it and had to put it down. As a western buff, I've read many books on the subject, including books about Holliday, and this one took a different approach. It was written in the first person since he claimed he channeled Doc Holliday in the writing process. So that was a bit corny. But what really turned me off was the poor research, or lack thereof, that was done. First, the picture on the cover is not J.H. Holliday. Another obvious error came while mentioning the Civil War. Now since the book was told from Doc's point of view, you would think since he lived through the Civil War he would have his facts straight. Unfortunately he must have forgot. Gettysburg was fought July 1-3, 1863, not in the fall. Vicksburg fell at roughly the same time, not the following July. So I can't recommend this book to someone who is familiar with American history. It would certainly be disappointing.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps the way it might have been, October 9, 2011
By 
Marvin D. Pipher (Houston, Texas USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: They Call Me Doc: The Story Behind The Legend Of John Henry Holliday (Paperback)
The author of this book has taken the generally well known facts regarding Doc Holliday's life --- where he was, when, and what he did there --- and, placing them in proper chronological order, connected the dots with imagined and supposed recollections and oft times contrived dialogue based on his own intuition. The result is an interesting tale: written as if it was Doc Holliday's personal memoir. This is an interesting approach, but, to me, it was something of a disappointment. I had anticipated reading a thoroughly documented non-fiction biography, but with the approach taken by this author, I couldn't always distinguish fact from fiction.

I feel, however, that the author may be forgiven to some extent for the liberties he has taken. For it would be difficult to believe that Holiday didn't have some rationale and motivation for his movements and actions. I also feel, however, that at times the author did take considerable artistic license. For example: by more than implying that Doc Holliday had something to do with Johnny Ringo's death (highly unlikely). I also felt that the author may not have been too discriminating in his selection of sources, although none were cited. But even this can be forgiven if one accepts the fact that this is supposed to be Doc Holliday's memoir.

Perhaps if I hadn't already read so many books about Doc Holliday, Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, Dodge City, Tombstone, the gunfight at the "OK Corral," and the Western Frontier in general before coming to this book, I would have been more amenable to this one. As it was, the book read more like a historical novel than a true well-documented biography, particularly since the book has no bibliography. But, then again, a memoir wouldn't have a bibliography, would it?

All that aside: This is an interesting book, and it can't be denied that the author is a wonderful story teller with a firm grasp of human nature and a fertile imagination. And who's to say? Perhaps this really is the way it might have been.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars You can do MUCH better, August 6, 2012
By 
This review is from: They Call Me Doc: The Story Behind The Legend Of John Henry Holliday (Paperback)
This book belongs under fiction, not history. While many of the details of John Henry Holliday's life are unclear and open to interpretation (particularly after he went west) there are quite a few statements in this book that contradict the historical record. If the information was given to Mr. Herda by Doc's spirit (as he claims) then said spirit has a remarkably bad memory. Perhaps it was really the ghost of Johnny Ringo playing a trick.

Mr. Herda tells us that the Battle of Gettysburg took place in the fall of 1862. Amazingly, all the historical records and other history books tell us that the Battle of Gettysburg took place in July, 1863. He's also off on the date of the Battle of First Manassas.

We are told that young John Henry Holliday attended the Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery at 12th and Filbert Streets in Philadelphia. At the time Holliday attended the college it was located at 10th and Arch Streets. It moved to 12th and Filbert after he graduated.

We are told that after Holliday graduated from college in March, 1872, he went to St. Louis where he joined a practice with one of his classmates. However, he was back in Georgia by his 21st birthday (August 14, 1872) when he came into his inheritance from his mother. While such a trip is possible, it seems strange that he would enter a practice in St. Louis knowing that he would soon inherit property in Georgia.

We are told that Holliday offered to sell all of his dental equipment to his former partner, Dr. Seager, after the latter's Dallas office was destroyed by fire. We are not told if Dr. Seager accepted the offer. However, it seems rather strange that Holliday would have made the offer at all considering that the historical record tells us that he continued to practice dentistry off-and-on almost to the time of his death.

Mr. Herda (or Holliday's spirit) repeats himself and even contradicts himself on occasion. While he seems quite clear on the point that Holliday was faster with a gun than Wyatt Earp, at one point he said that his aim was also better, while a few pages later he tells us he was lucky to hit the broad side of a barn.

Aside from a few statements which are impossible to substantiate, there is very little in this book that could not be gleaned from the many other Holliday biographies currently available. If Holliday's spirit really wanted Mr. Herda to set the record straight he might have told him something really not previously known, like what was in those letters he sent to his cousin Mattie (Sister Mary Melanie) back in Georgia.

Mr. Herda's book makes a passable novel but for a good biography of Holliday there are several better to choose from. Actually, there are several better novels too.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good, September 22, 2011
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: They Call Me Doc: The Story Behind The Legend Of John Henry Holliday (Paperback)
John Henry Holliday is one of those special characters from history that makes you seek out only the best sources of information, the most reliable historical facts. It's hard with Doc because he's such an enigma. I wasn't sure what to expect with this book, but I was hoping for something that wasn't necessarily new information or secrets in some kind of expose. I just wanted a biography that was tight, and I think Herda delivers this. I was skeptical when I read his introduction and he started getting a little mystical, and that he had channeled Doc from the afterlife so it was really Doc telling his own story. I cringed but read on, expecting to be annoyed by the tone of the book. But this is not an annoying book. Herda does a really subtlety colored biography, written in the first person that doesn't feel contrived or melodramatic. I was pleasantly surprised and very much enjoyed reading it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

They Call Me Doc: The Story Behind The Legend Of John Henry Holliday
They Call Me Doc: The Story Behind The Legend Of John Henry Holliday by D. J. Herda (Paperback - December 7, 2010)
$16.95 $12.98
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Rate and Discover Movies
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.