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Publisher's Summary

From the best-selling author of Route 66 comes this long-awaited biography of one of America's most legendary folk heroes.

Award-winning historian Michael Wallis has spent several years re-creating the rich, anecdotal saga of Billy the Kid (1859-1881), a deeply mythologized young man who became a legend in his own time and yet remains an enigma to this day. With the Gilded Age in full swing and the Industrial Revolution reshaping the American landscape, "the Kid", who was gunned down by Sheriff Pat Garrett in the New Mexico Territory at the age of 21, became a new breed of celebrity outlaw. He arose amid the mystery and myth of the swiftly vanishing frontier and, sensationalized beyond recognition by the tabloids and dime-store romances of the day, emerged as one of the most enduring icons of the American West: not to mention one of Hollywood's most misrepresented characters.

This new biography separates myth from reality and presents an unforgettable portrait of this brief and violent life.

©2007 Michael Wallis (P)2007 Tantor Media Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Wallis writes clean prose, occasionally enlivened by a particularly lovely turn of phrase....[C]ountless books have been written about the infamous outlaw, and this is surely one of the best." ( Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    32
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Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    24
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    9
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    9
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Story

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Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

An exceptional writer, a larger than life historical subject, and a capable narrator should have all of the ingredients for a great audiobook. But somehow the work just did not work for me. It seemed to lack the focus and detail that could keep my interest.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

These are the facts

Wallis does a terrific job of covering what is known about the kid and separating out the rumours, lies and silliness. Wallis isn't trying to promote a vision, just provide an account. The reading is lively and engaging.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

RIP, El Chavo to!

The best book ever written about Henry,
God speed my friend!

Thank you, Mr. Wallis & Mr. McLaren!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Enjoyment

This book is great fun! If you like history, which does not read like a textbook, but is filled with enough detail and context to draw you into a different world, this is one. Excellent. Mr Wallis is tallented.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Donald
  • Stratford, PE, Canada
  • 01-16-09

Too much/ too little

The writer warns you very little is really known about Billy and then writes a book to prove it.
There is a lot of western lore that may or may not have anything to do with the Kid.
But its repetitive and doesn't do what it proposes to do, that is provide a history of character in question. And if that's what you want, this isn't it.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Billy
  • mesquite, TX, USA
  • 08-02-07

I hardly knew ye

I loved this book a must read for every wild west and Billy buff out there..He sends you past the myths to the man or rather the kid.This book tells The Kids whole story not just the Lincoln County War. All the information is up to date plus it was well read.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Thomas
  • Ewing, NJ, United States
  • 12-26-07

avoid this

A wordy, speculative, self aggrandizing, monotonous, hot air balloon.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Listen!

You feel for "Billy the kid" as you listen, And at the same token Antrum just had a great life up untill the point of being bullied and he didnt want to take it anymore! Wonderful, fun and it takes you back. I heard it three times already!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Robert
  • 08-01-12

Listener-friendly, easygoing account

The narrator has a friendly, easygoing voice, and delivers the account in an interesting, listenable manner. We all know the story, if only from films or folk songs. Here the author tries to distinguish between fact and fiction, but bearing in mind the circumstances surrounding Billy's life, and the unverifiable integrity of the accounts available, by the end we are still none the wiser. We may be swayed by compelling cross-referencing, and impressed by certain "reliable" detail, but we will never really know the truth. If Billy the Kid fascinates you, then you will enjoy trying to decide what is, and what is not, likely to be true.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful