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I'LL NEVER GET OUT OF THIS WORLD ALIVE

Earle, Steve

2,541 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0618820965 / ISBN 13: 9780618820962
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston, 2011
Hardcover
From Rare Book Cellar (Pomona, NY, U.S.A.)

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Very Good in a Very Good dust jacket. ; 1 x 8.4 x 5.5 Inches; 256 pages. Bookseller Inventory # 52252

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Bibliographic Details

Title: I'LL NEVER GET OUT OF THIS WORLD ALIVE

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston

Publication Date: 2011

Binding: Hardcover

Edition: First Edition; First Printing.

About this title

Synopsis:

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. Having lost his license to practice medicine, his morphine habit isn't as easy to support as it used to be. So he 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 Doc's 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, maybe, 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.

Review:

Amazon Best Books of the Month, May 2011: Steve Earle's heartbreaking debut novel features a morphine addict who performs illegal abortions, a young Mexican girl with mysterious healing powers, the ghost of Hank Williams, and a host of other more or less charismatic misfits. Set in San Antonio around the time of JFK’s assassination, and told with an equal mix of sympathy and violent detail, the story maintains a delicate balance of many such would-be opposing forces: Catholicism and "hoodoo," addiction and redemption, brutal reality and magical realism. A first novel this compelling from any author would be cause for celebration, but Earle is also a musician (the GRAMMY®-winning albums Washington Square Serenade and Townes), actor (The Wire), and activist, and in this context the book is even more of a watershed accomplishment. I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive is decidedly not for the faint of art, but adventuresome fiction readers will find much to love in its shocking, tender depths. --Jason Kirk

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