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The Kid

Narrated by: Mark Bramhall
Length: 10 hrs and 45 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
4.5 out of 5 stars (106 ratings)

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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

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  • 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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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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!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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loved it

Great follow up to one of my favorite books ever, The Assassination of Jesse James...., I love the historical fact with the dialogue added in. Performance was excellent.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Enjoyable Account of The Kid

I enjoyed this book although the reader seemed a little drool at times. I haven't researched Billy the Kid much on my own, but this story seems well researched and as historically correct as any I've read to date. Worth listening to.

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Love this book

very interesting tales of billy's life. I would recommend this book. great read all around

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  • Rick
  • Urcuqui, Ecuador
  • 07-23-19

An Outlaw Brought to Life

The brief and violent life of William H. Bonney is fleshed out in this work of historical fiction, painting Billy the Kid as an inventive young charmer who happens to be ambidextrous with a six-shooter. Orphaned at 14, shot dead by Pat Garrett at 21, he packed the years between as a horse thief, rustler, gambler, escape artist and outlaw who charmed the ladies as well as his public.

Ron Hansen’s account is chock full of droll cowboy humor.

“I’m a motherless child and I’m so broke I can’t even pay attention,” says a prospective gunslinger. The Kid replies, “Well, I grew up with nothing and I still got most of it. Welcome to our fraternity.”

Be prepared to remember lots of names. One of them is Lew Wallace, a former Union general and the governor of New Mexico Territory with whom Billy tried to negotiate clemency, but Wallace was mostly distracted by authoring “Ben Hur,” the greatest US bestseller until “Gone With the Wind.”

Personally, I grew weary of the recitation of full-length song lyrics of the era. Maybe it would be less intrusive in print form. But it’s a well-told yarn, and Mark Bramhall is just the one to spin it.

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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.

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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

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Worth the read

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

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An interesting read on Billy the kid

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