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The Collected Works of Billy the Kid by…

The Collected Works of Billy the Kid (1970)

by Michael Ondaatje

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The collected works of Billy the Kid (1970)
by Ondaatje, Michael

This brief work is a compilation of storytelling, history, and myth, about William Bonney, a.k.a. "Billy the Kid, " (1859-1881)

Speculative and fanciful, we're privy to Billy's "mind and motives" as he (Billy) narrates.

You'll find tall tales, poetry, prose, songs, photographs and eye witness accounts from the period.

Ondaatje reminds us of the work's design.
"I was fascinated by the mind and imagination and motive of someone like Billy ...
There was a need to create a world where Billy could breathe and act in total freedom."
  pennsylady | Jan 27, 2016 |
Beautiful and surreal, phantasmagorical and beautifully visceral.

The prose sections of the book were much more interesting and enjoyable. The poetry, at times, seemed to try way to hard to be 'edgy' or 'strange' whereas the lumpy prose sections seem to tell the same odd stories in a more fitting, and effective, matter of fact style. Personally, I have never cared for Ondaatje's verse, but love his fiction, so that might be the reason for my appraisal.

Definitely a unique and interesting book, though my favorite part is probably Ondaatje's Afterword, where he describes the writing process he underwent. ( )
  blanderson | Mar 4, 2014 |
This book is a study of the American outlaw, Billy the Kid and weaves fact and fiction, poetry and prose to form a lyrical and violent story of what his life might have been like. An engrossing read, a book of contrasts with vivid imagery at once dreamlike and harshly realistic. ( )
  sherrienf | Oct 1, 2013 |
This book for me was just ok. I found the style of writing to be disjointed. Maybe you just have to be more of a poetry lover than I am to enjoy the whole thing. There were some very enjoyable passages and short narratives but its all a little hard to follow. ( )
  Bcushman | Jul 8, 2013 |
This is my favourite book in the world. This is the book I give copies of to people I adore. I read it for the first time as part of a university course in, I think, 1996, and it has only grown on me since. ( )
  rrainer | Apr 30, 2013 |
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This book is for many but especially for Kim, Stuart and Sally Mackinnon, Ken Livingstone, Victor Coleman and Barrie Nichol.
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I send you a picture of Billy made with the Perry shutter as quick as it can be worked -- Pyro and soda developer.
(To come) to where eyes will move in head like a rat mad since locked in a biscuit tin all day.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 067976786X, Paperback)

Drawing on contemporary accounts, period photographs, dime novels, and his own prodigious fund of empathy and imagination, Michael Ondaatje's visionary novel traces the legendary outlaw's passage across the blasted landscape of 1880 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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:37 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Relives the short life of Wild West outlaw, Billy the Kid.

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