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Publisher's Summary

Reputed to have killed his first man at the age of 12, William Bonney went on to gun his way into Western legend as Billy the Kid. When he was finally shot himself at the age of 21, the Kid was famous throughout the country as the boy who, so he boasted, had killed a man for every year of his life.

This is the story of William Bonney as told by the lawman who ended his notorious career. While explaining the public sympathy that the citizens of the Southwest often accorded youths like Bonney, Garrett challenges the glorified legends of the Kid, offering instead the more genuine story of a young, reckless cowhand who became a hired gun.

Combining the best elements of eyewitness history with the dramatic flair of a great western novel, this is the clearest account we have of the meteoric career of a man some thought of as a murdering fiend, and others as the Robin Hood of the Southwest.

(P)1997 Blackstone Audio Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Was Billy a true Western hero fighting for justice in New Mexico's Lincoln County War or simply a wacko who enjoyed killing? Find out here." (Library Journal)

What listeners say about The Authentic Life of Billy the Kid

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Daddybomb
  • 13-08-2018

well done except for the obvious patch ins.

Good history from one who was actually there. Garrett is now looked upon as a villain, but was in fact doing the duty others were afraid to do.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Luke Ashlocke
  • 25-02-2013

Like Jeff Guinn? Youll love this book

Where does The Authentic Life of Billy the Kid rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I love this book as it is an account from a man who was there- Pat Garrett.
He probably did embellish the truth a bit.. but it is as close as we can get.

What other book might you compare The Authentic Life of Billy the Kid to and why?

Jeff Guinn- Go Down together.
Both books are "authentic" accounts of Wild West gangsters.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for JMB
  • JMB
  • 20-08-2020

I know its a old book, but comeon.

This book is OK. Just ok. If your interested in Billy the Kid then you probably are going to buy this regardless of what is said about it. I know I disregarded the reviews and bought it anyway.

My problem is the recording. It is terrible. It really sounds like it was recorded in a bathroom on a cassette tape and transferred to digital audio later.

I understand it probably was recorded a long time ago, but that really is no excuse for the poor audio quality. I hate to be that person, but the narration was also the worse I have ever listened to. Like the person reading it was just reading it like a kid does when called on in class. You know, doesn't really want to read and has no emotion in what he/she is reading.

Perhaps if the audio was better I would have been able to appreciate the book more.

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 10-05-2021

Bad audio good story

The recording fidelity leaves a lot to be desired but the story is great and well told. It’s amazing how much of the kids life isn’t told in modern documentaries. It’s worth a listen if you have any interest in the west, particularly if you want to hear it in the parlance of the day.

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  • Yas
  • 26-12-2020

Quite engaging

Though it's a biography of sorts, the historical tale does more than just tell of the notorious Billy the Kid.

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  • WT
  • 19-12-2020

Billy the What

Don’t waste your time. I never give up on a book on I open it, but this was almost an exception. Dry as the southwestern setting, the characters, including the Kid, are flat, never developed, and end their runs with no sympathy.

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Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 30-11-2020

A lot of footnotes, inconsistent audio

The book was interesting. My major issue was that there are long notes at the end of each chapter. The notes are typically interesting and informative, so it would have been better if they were read at the point where they were relevant, not at the end of the chapter. The way it was done makes it seem like you go forward and back a lot, rather than coherently chronological. Also, there are parts of the audio that were clearly re-recorded. The background noise levels are different so the change is obvious and abrupt.

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  • Micah O. Baca
  • 09-01-2020

Great book

I bought the hard copy so I can read it in more detail. i am fascinated by the history of billy the kid and wanted to read this book.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Michael
  • Michael
  • 27-12-2007

The Kid

This brought out details that made you feel like you were in the time. Billy was a man you can mess with a little, but don't get on his bad side!

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