• To Hell on a Fast Horse

  • The Untold Story of Billy the Kid and Pat Garrett
  • By: Mark Lee Gardner
  • Narrated by: Graham Rowat, Alan Sklar
  • Length: 10 hrs and 7 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (99 ratings)

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To Hell on a Fast Horse  By  cover art

To Hell on a Fast Horse

By: Mark Lee Gardner
Narrated by: Graham Rowat,Alan Sklar
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Publisher's summary

Billy the Kid - a.k.a. Henry McCarty, Henry Antrim, and William Bonney - was a horse thief, cattle rustler, charismatic rogue, and cold-blooded killer. A superb shot, the Kid gunned down four men single-handedly and five others with the help of cronies. Two of his victims were Lincoln County, New Mexico, deputies, killed during the Kid's brazen daylight escape from the courthouse jail on April 28, 1881. After dispensing with his guards and breaking the chain securing his leg irons, the Kid danced a macabre jig on the jail's porch before riding away on a stolen horse as terrified townspeople - and many sympathizers - watched. For new sheriff Pat Garrett, the chase was on. 

To Hell on a Fast Horse re-creates the thrilling manhunt for the Wild West's most iconic outlaw. It is also the first dual biography of the Kid and Garrett, two larger-than-life figures who would not have become the stuff of legend without the other. Drawing on voluminous primary sources and a wealth of published scholarship, Mark Lee Gardner digs beneath the myth to take a fresh look at these two men, their relationship, and what they would come to mean to a public enamored of the violent past of the Wild West. 

Contains mature themes.

©2010, 2020 Mark Lee Gardner (P)2021 Tantor

What listeners say about To Hell on a Fast Horse

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great Listen

This book was factual and spoke truthfully. It didn’t make Billy or Garret to be all bad or all good. It showed that humans are complicated. The guy reading this has the perfect voice for it. I really enjoyed it.

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3 people found this helpful

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

Great story, excellent research, BUT….

….what pedantic writing…or delivery..or both. Felt like the story was being lectured by a not very interesting college professor. Unsure if it was the author’s plodding style or the less than exciting reading…but I longed for something better, That said, see above, wonderful history and as a Native New Mexican who has visited all the sites, WELL WORTH the listen!

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Best history of Billy the Kid I've read

I've been a bit obsessed with Billy the Kid for longer than I would like to admit and have read several of the books on the story. This is the best in my opinion. Well researched and put together in an intriguing way. Despite knowing a lot about the story, I learned a lot from this book. It also helped to put Pat Garrett in a new light which enriched the story.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Honestly, just watch the film instead

I really tried to get into the book. But the most interesting parts of the story, the capture of Billy, the escape, the chase, the killing, were all more dramatically and skillfully presented in Sam Peckinpah's film, Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid. And the other parts of the story, well, just kind of drag. Probably why they didn't make the final edit of the film. And as the story progressed, I realized that I was less invested in the actual historical figures than I was in James Coburn and Kris Kristofferson, even R.G. Armstrong rather than Bob Ollinger. Who knows how strictly accurate it is, does it really matter? The film is a near masterpiece, and you get the fantastic Dylan soundtrack as well.

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

It's a great book read by a good narrator.

I had to read this book for an APUSH class and at first I thought I couldn't read it since I couldn't really focus while personally reading the book, but listening to it was a lot better and I thoroughly enjoyed every chapter in this book.

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

Great book, pronunciation is questionable

Being from El Paso, this book is near and dear to me with the history of the area. The narrator irked me throughout the book with his mispronunciation of several towns. His voice inflections also became somewhat distracting giving the feeling of a roller coaster.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Riveting

Great book, happy I listened and learned all about Billy and Pat, and several others along the way.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Intriguing History, Tarnished by the Narrator

As indelible a history as they come in telling the story of not just Billy the Kid, but the man, Patrick Garrett, who brought an end to Kid’s short and infamous life.

Well researched and written - RUINED by the narrator’s extremely annoying and obviously artificial “folksy” spin on every gerund and present participle. If enduring butchered mispronunciations of several town names wasn’t enough throughout the listen, the incessant and patience-testing habit the narrator had of pronouncing every word - EVERY WORD!! - that ended with “ing” with “in’” was like nails on a chalkboard. SHOOTIN’, PULLIN’, RIDIN’, DRAWIN’ - this cringe-worthy folksy narration approach can (and in my case DID) repel the listener. And, it takes away from the author’s otherwise stellar writing.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The BEST narrator. Great Writing.

I cant say enough about how great the narrator is. His voice and performance is perfect for this book. And about the book: the writing is actually good and keeps you involved. I'm trying to listen to another book on Billy the Kid now, and cannot get through it. Will be listening to more historical books by this author.

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