The Collected Works of Billy the Kid

By Michael Ondaatje
Directed by Gabrielle de Cuir
Read by Stefan Rudnicki

2.23 Hours 08/15/2009 unabridged
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    ISBN: 9781538464458

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    ISBN: 9781433289491

  • $19.95

    ISBN: 9781433289507

From the Booker Prize–winning author of The English Patient comes a visionary novel about an icon of American violence. William Bonney a.k.a. “Billy the Kid,” killed his first man when he was twelve. By the time he was twenty-one he had, by his own reckoning, slain nineteen more. In the intervening years he had become “Billy the Kid,” bloodthirsty ogre and outlaw saint. Drawing on contemporary accounts, period photographs, dime novels and his own fund of empathy and imagination, Michael Ondaatje imagines Billy’s passage across the blasted landscape of 1880s New Mexico and the collective unconscious of his country. The Collected Works of Billy the Kid is a virtuoso synthesis of storytelling, history, and myth by a writer who brings us back to our familiar legends with a renewed sense of wonder.

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Summary

Summary

A Publishers Weekly Pick for 10 Best Books Set in the American West

From the Booker Prize–winning author of The English Patient comes a visionary novel about an icon of American violence.

William Bonney a.k.a. “Billy the Kid,” killed his first man when he was twelve. By the time he was twenty-one he had, by his own reckoning, slain nineteen more. In the intervening years he had become “Billy the Kid,” bloodthirsty ogre and outlaw saint.

Drawing on contemporary accounts, period photographs, dime novels and his own fund of empathy and imagination, Michael Ondaatje imagines Billy’s passage across the blasted landscape of 1880s New Mexico and the collective unconscious of his country. The Collected Works of Billy the Kid is a virtuoso synthesis of storytelling, history, and myth by a writer who brings us back to our familiar legends with a renewed sense of wonder.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Wonderful…Ondaatje’s language is clean and energetic, with the pop of bullets. This is literature, art.” Annie Dillard, Pulitzer Prize–winning and New York Times bestselling author
“The Collected Works of Billy the Kid strains one’s powers of description…Ondaatje’s eye for detail is wonderful and he uses it poetically, with superb restraint.” Larry McMurtry
“Moving and tragic…Ondaatje is a poet and even his prose moves with rhythmic circular precision.” New York Times Book Review
“Ondaatje provides us with a stunning display of his storytelling—visceral, violent, sensuous.” Los Angeles Times
“A compassionate and convincing portrait, not only of a savage individual, but of the casually brutal human wilderness in which Billy was both villain and victim…Sharply conceived and brilliantly carried through.” Times Literary Supplement (London)
“Ondaatje’s novel about Billy the Kid (William Bonney) reads like a diary blended with historical accounts. Stefan Rudnicki strikes a tone that’s thoughtful and poetic, visceral and violent. It serves both the straightforward storytelling and the musings, as when Bonney describes the deaths he has seen or his calm as he ‘burned out’ a fever. While he’s mainly reading as Billy the Kid, interludes in the voices of the others in Bonney’s life let Rudnicki show off his vocal talents. This is fiction, but it feels like it’s real, making for a dramatic listening experience.” AudioFile
“Imagine yourself sitting by a fire, listening to a tale retold by an articulate relative. This is the atmosphere [Ondaatje] creates…Any account of one of the Wild West’s most infamous outlaws can’t fail to excite, and Ondaatje repeatedly finds the striking detail to evince a bygone era of American life. Particularly good is the depiction of Billy’s complicated relationship with his eventual assassin…The clarity and lyricism of this slim volume is well worth the two hours it takes to read.” Kirkus UK

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Michael Ondaatje

Michael Ondaatje is the author of three previous novels, a memoir, and eleven books of poetry. His novel, The English Patient, won the Booker Prize and became the basis for the Oscar-winning movie of the same name. Born in Sri Lanka, he moved to Canada in 1962 and now lives in Toronto.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction/Literary
Runtime: 2.23
Audience: Adult
Language: English