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

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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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: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,241,862 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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
This is the "Kid" come alive as no one else has ever written it. His world, his lovers, his friends and enemies all walked off the page and filled my imagination as never before. Beautifully written, with a realistic portrait of his times and place, this book will live forever.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9a0f2cfc) out of 5 stars 2 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99ce8180) out of 5 stars The Real Billy The Kid Feb. 23 2004
By Neil Flowers - Published on Amazon.com
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. Fackler, and her book is so much better, so much more thorough, so much more subtle and political and understanding and tender and detailed than all the rest put together (Mr. Ondaatje's work is in a sort of category of its own).
I have the hardcover, but her novel was published in a cheap paperback a few years ago; if you come across it, don't let the lurid cover that belongs more on a bodice ripper put you off. I see on Amazon that there is now a new paperback, more upscale, that has a cover more appropriate to the excellent writing and the nature of the material.
I highly recommend this book. It is certainly one of the greatest novels of the Wild West ever written, and it seems closer to the truth abut Billy than anything else we're ever likely to get.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0475fe4) out of 5 stars The "Kid" book we've been all waiting for! May 5 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is the "Kid" come alive as no one else has ever written it. His world, his lovers, his friends and enemies all walked off the page and filled my imagination as never before. Beautifully written, with a realistic portrait of his times and place, this book will live forever.


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