I did enjoy The Last Kind Words Saloon somewhat, but not entirely. I'd forgotten how casually dirty his books can be sometimes, and sometimes that did bother me. However, what kept me from really digging this book was a highly personal, subjective matter of taste: I don't like books and movies about "the end of the old west." I don't want to see the wild west pass away and get replaced by modern life. This is a huge part of why I don't like The Wild Bunch (1969) AT ALL. Kind Words is gentler and less depressing than that, but still... just not something I like.
The Last Kind Words Saloon is a fictional fable about Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday and all the folks that get tangled up with them in various towns across the west, ending in Tombstone. It is by turns funny, profane, riotous, melancholy, and scandalizing.
I had fun trying to decide which of the movie Wyatts and Docs I've seen would best match these, and I've concluded that probably James Garner and Jason Robards from Hour of the Gun (1967) would work the best, though their Wyatt and Doc in that film are FAR different from those portrayed here. Still, they have the same weariness, at least.
I thought I was going to save this book for reviewing for Legends of Western Cinema Week, which begins on Monday, but since I didn't like it gobs and gobs, I decided to go ahead and toss it here. I DO have another book review in store for that week, though!
Particularly Good Bits:
"Now, Doc, don't be yanking teeth out of tourists," Wyatt said, turning pale again at the mere suggestion of dentistry (p. 5).
San Saba herself was looking at nothing; and certainly, on the vast windy plain, there was plenty of nothing to be looked at (p. 29).
Wyatt didn't answer. Nine out of ten statements Doc made were nonsense, but it was dangerous to stop listening because the tenth statement might be really smart (p. 119).
If This Was a Movie, I Would Rate It: R. Lots of sexual references and mature scenes, quite a bit of non-explicit violence, and a sometimes astonishing amount of bad language. I may, when I've considered it longer, be a bit disappointed in myself for reading all of it.