Regular price: $24.47

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

A new novel from Ron Hansen, the award-winning author of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, about an iconic American criminal of the old West: legendary outlaw Billy the Kid.

Born Henry McCarty, Billy the Kid was a diminutive, charming, blond-haired young man who, growing up in New York, Kansas, and later New Mexico, demonstrated a precocious dexterity at firing six-shooters with either hand - a skill that turned him into an American legend of the old West. He was smart, well spoken, attractive to both white and Mexican women, a good dancer, and a man with a nose for money, horses, and trouble. His spree of crimes and murders has been immortalized in dime Westerns, novels, and movies. But the whole story of his short, epically violent life has never been told as it has been here.

In The Kid, Ron Hansen showcases his masterful research and inimitable style as he breathes life into history, bringing listeners back into the late 1800s and into Billy's boyhood as a ranch hand just trying to wrest a fortune from an unforgiving landscape. We are with Billy in every gunfight and horse theft, and we get to know him in full before his grand death in a hail of bullets in 1881 at the age of 21. Original, powerful, and swiftly told, The Kid is an unforgettable listen about a uniquely American antihero.

©2016 Ron Hansen (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    40
  • 4 Stars
    22
  • 3 Stars
    15
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    2

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    45
  • 4 Stars
    17
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    2

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    38
  • 4 Stars
    19
  • 3 Stars
    11
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    3
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Travis
  • ROME, NY, United States
  • 10-24-16

great listen

Great biography on Billy the Kid, author has a great writing style that takes you back in time.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Incredible

Every aspect of this book is excellent! The story is complete and in-depth. The narrator is absolutely the best and perfect for this era. I highly recommend this book for those who love this period and or folks who just love a great story!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

A misunderstood hero? Or a crazed gunslinger?

I'm glad I enjoyed this book in audio book versus reading as like so many other reviews as it would've been reading a history book & been quite dry. The narrator Mark Bramhall made the book so much more enjoyable with his talents of voices & accents. Having been a child of the '80s & enjoying the movies "Young Guns" & its sequel was all I knew about Billy the Kid. This having been my first Ron Hansen novel I did enjoy what story telling there was. If you have an interest in Billy the Kid I would recommend the audio book over the novel.

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

New narrator and better historical accuracy would have made a world of difference.

While it is described as a novel, this book is riddled with stories of fiction and inaccuracy in what would otherwise had the potential to be a preeminent and definitive biography on Billy the Kid. This story follows the Kid from his early childhood up until his death, with many interesting bits of fact and more works of fiction to help make the story flow.

While the narrator does an interesting job of making distinctions between characters, some impressions are unbearable- Billy being the worst. His impression of Billy immediately makes me think what Lenny from ‘Of Mice and Men’ would sound like. The impressions of females are also subpar, as well as the occasional screams and yelling outbursts that would occur throughout.

With all this taken into consideration, The Kid is a good novel and will remain as such. What could have been a defining biography was botched into a novel that was great at points, and meandered off the track at some points. I hope historians take a look at this and take into consideration of what this book could have been if the author took extra time, and an extra hundred pages, to delve into the topic and create an amazing biography.

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

Kid living a brief, violent life in painted words.

The author is one of the most gifted authors of my generation. His meticulous research and lyrical description of the New Mexico's Lincoln County War of the 1870's. Drawing portraits of the young and infamous ‎William H. Bonney (born Henry McCarty) as well as all those who chose to challenge and chase him during his brief, brilliant, and violent life among us between 1860 and 1881. The subtle contradictions of the ambivalent and ambitious personality of the lawman Pat Garret and his eventual sad demise are enough to draw comparisons to the sad and dishonorable Sir Richard Rich of "A Man for All Seasons". Hansen is so deft with his wording and sentence structures that one is elevated to an appreciation of the craft of the writer's art as the subject matter itself.
John Bernbrock

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

Worth the read

Informative and enjoyable. Narration was very good. Good pace and was able to listen to and finish fairly quickly

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

An interesting read on Billy the kid

great narrator and interesting read. I would recommend to any Western enthusiasts. Abit slow in the middle

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

too great!!<br />

this is a great bio!!!!
narrator is supurb!!!
will read again.
recommend to everyone!!
10 thumbs up.
to the author and narrator. thank you.
Robert young man🎨🎉🌈🎁🐞🐞🌟

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Michael
  • Hamburg, AR, United States
  • 11-05-16

It was a good listen.

I have loved westerns since the lonesome dove books. This book isint in the remotely close to those. I will say though, I don't think it was supposed to be. In its own right it was a reasonable book that I can give 4 stars to. It's just hard to listen to another western style book since.

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

Very slow, for me.

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

A lot of people may like it; it was just slow for me.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Alexander the Great

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Mark Bramhall?

I don't know

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Boredom

Any additional comments?

No

0 of 1 people found this review helpful