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Billy the Kid: The Legend of El Chivato Paperback – May 1 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 516 pages
  • Publisher: Sunstone Pr (May 1 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0865344019
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865344013
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.9 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 753 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,490,325 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

With his cold smile, youthful charm and blazing six-guns, Billy the Kid (1859-1881) was, depending on who you talk to, a popular hero, a vicious killer or both. Fackler's third novel (after Backtrail) tends to glorify the Kid's legacy, portraying Billy as basically a good boy, a loyal friend and a victim of corruption and betrayal. The New Mexico Territory in the 1870s was a violent place where bullets settled most disputes?and Billy liked the simplicity of that. Henry McCarty, aka Kid Antrim, William H. Bonney and Billy the Kid, was a drifter and small-time cattle rustler who joined forces with the Tunstall-Chisum faction in the bloody Lincoln County War, fighting against the powerful Murphy-Dolan gang. In Fackler's telling, when Billy's friend, John Tunstall, is murdered by a Dolan posse, Billy vows revenge and cowboys start dropping all over the range. Billy and his saddle pals, dubbed "Regulators," are soon on the run from the law. Fackler's Billy is a likable hero, adored by the local folk but feared by the murderous Murphy-Dolan gunslingers. Finally, he is tracked down by his erstwhile friend Sheriff Pat Garrett, who, according to the author, shoots Billy dead while the Kid is unarmed. This is an exciting tale, crammed with historic detail and told with skill, action and a bit of whimsy.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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Format: Paperback
I'm a writer and actor who became interested in Billy The Kid and the events of the Lincoln County War in southeastern New Mexico when I played Pat Garrett in a production of Michael Ondaatje's play "The Collected Works of Billy The Kid", based on Ondaatje's poetic "novel" of the same name.
Over the last twenty years, I've visited the town of Lincoln, NM, on several occasions, talked with many of its inhabitants, and I think I've read every major historical work and most of the reputable works of fiction written about Billy and the war. I've seen a goodly protion of the movies, too; every single one of them laughable or lamentable, except for the director's cut of Sam Peckinpah's film, and even it has episodes that make you cringe.
Since 1973 there has been an astonishing amount of first-rate, genuine historiography done on The Kid, Garret, and the Lincoln County War. It is obvious from her novel that Ms. Fackler has read and thoroughly assimilated all of these recent histories. Consequently, if you have any interest in the Wild West, or Billy particularly, or just American history in general, or good writing, you have to read "Billy The Kid: The Legend of El Chivato," since the author puts all of this together in a very readable way. Also, her take on Billy is immensely sympathetic, well-rounded and most believable.
Even if this period has never attracted you, the novel is worth the time to read. I am not a big fan of historical novels, but it's a remarkable fact that in the long history of imaginative material about Billy there are hundreds of works including the ballet set to Copeland's music, and of them only one that I know of that is of any substance is written by a woman, Ms.
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Format: Paperback
An interesting beginning loses steam quickly and is followed by endless tales of gun fights and a cast of way too many. Reading this book is hard work at times, and prose such as-- "Now they were to spend four hours together, and the fact that Garrett was the man who stood between the Kid and freedom would be the physical truth for that span of time."--is hard to take.
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Format: Paperback
An interesting beginning loses steam quickly and is followed by endless tales of gun fights and a cast of way too many. Reading this book is hard work at times, and prose such as-- "Now they were to spend four hours together, and the fact that Garrett was the man who stood between the Kid and freedom would be the physical truth for that span of time."--is hard to take.
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