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Download The Collected Works of Billy the Kid Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Collected Works of Billy the Kid Audiobook, by Michael Ondaatje
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (1,727 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Michael Ondaatje Narrator: Stefan Rudnicki Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2017 ISBN: 9781538464458
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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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Quotes & Awards

  • “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

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

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hannah | 1/15/2014

    " I must admit that I found the poetry a little bit hard to absorb, and the whole time I was reading I kept wondering what my ex-boyfriend (a poet) would think about it. The prose, on the other hand was wonderful, and I wish there had been more of both because by the time I got used to the two together, the book was over. So many reviewers here talk about re-reading, and I think I may have to do so myself. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Enver Krivac | 1/10/2014

    " best thing ever! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rafe | 1/9/2014

    " I tend to waver a lot on what I think of any given Ondaatje book, but Collected Works has been at the top of my Favorites list since I discovered it in a class on multigenre writing as an undergrad. Reading this, I understood for the first time that genre can be fluid - something I had sort of known, but never been able to articulate - and that story happens as it is going to happen. I love how Ondaatje tells the story of Billy the Kid through a pastiche of memories, photographs, short fiction, news articles, and poems. It doesn't matter what is or is not made up, it doesn't matter whether you choose to interpret the symbols (his hands! the birds!) or just wander through the narrative... The book is beautifully done, and remains a profound influence on my writing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kate | 12/29/2013

    " Lyrical, part history, party prose poem. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Macksat | 12/29/2013

    " An interesting book of poetry, some of the first i read start to finish, rather than jumping around. The photographs really augment the experience. I was never a fan of westerns, but this was no tale of the stereotypical billy the kid. A very interesting portrait. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jon | 12/25/2013

    " This book destroys conventions. It is a punch-you-in-the-face then throw-you-down-the-stairs experience, and a must for every serious reader. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laurie Stephenson | 12/13/2013

    " the book that caused me to switch from pre-med to English Lit "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Janie | 12/8/2013

    " Think the English Patient was good? His earlier works were better! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Megan | 11/28/2013

    " it seems somehow unfinished, but as he goes, I follow. his prose makes me drool, wander, & dream. love love love. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hirosasazaki Sasazaki | 11/21/2013

    " beautifully mixed with poem and novel. I like Ondaatje. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristianne | 9/21/2013

    " Great chaster to 2666. Thanks Greg! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 4/26/2013

    " An unusual, slim little multi-genre novela. Ondaatje mixes poetry and prose with want-ads, photographs, dictionary and encylopedia entries, dialogues, and play-script to create this haunting and beautiful little book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carrie Lorig | 7/25/2012

    " this haunts me with its streaming trains and dark animals and broken on purpose men. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Scott | 7/6/2012

    " Pretty wild writing. He invented his own style for this one for sure. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 the Skrauss | 3/15/2012

    " Beautiful and crazed. poetry photography and prose build the portrait of Billy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heidi | 1/27/2012

    " My first experience with a multi-genre book, and I enjoyed it very much. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 S. | 11/4/2011

    " I picked this up on a trip to the Southwest in the '80s not really knowing what it was. I'd never read Ondaatje before. After I finished, I still didn't know what it was, except that it was fabulous, surprising, exciting. Turned me on to Ondaatje. This book needs more attention. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dana | 9/16/2011

    " Definitely not my favorite of Ondaatje's books. After The English Patient and Divisadero, both of which I loved, this one felt a bit like a G-rated version of Blood Meridian, poetic but foreign and too much of the dried out West for me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Liz | 7/6/2011

    " sparse and imaginative--stirs your imaginings. totally the opposite of Carter's story based on Lizzie Borden. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steph | 6/25/2011

    " I had to read this for a class, and it's a book I never would have picked up on my own. I loved the use of different genres to paint a picture of this classic character. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hirosasazaki | 4/1/2011

    " beautifully mixed with poem and novel. I like Ondaatje. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Ash | 1/27/2011

    " Not so excited bout it. The only thing that kept me going was the fiction parts and the gruesomeness--it's gorier than anything I've read in a long time--and the uncertain ending. I cant really be bothered to try and understand it.. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diablo | 1/19/2011

    " A bit of a twisted read, took me outside of my head, dropped me in the dirt, scraped me on the sole of my boot and stuffed me back into my head through an already mashed ear...made me wanna read it again as soon as it was done wit me. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Chris | 9/8/2010

    " Recommended for fans of Kerouac, Salinger, Brautigan, and 10-14 year old boys. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Diana | 9/5/2010

    " one of my favorite books. i reread this every year "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stephen | 5/12/2010

    " I read this book for an in-class discussion. I was amazed by number of things we talked about. Ondaatje was really of top of his craft when writing this book. My hat is off to him. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bryan | 4/12/2010

    " Mr. Bonney's poetic interior monologues are a bit too well formed for this to ring true, but a great book nonetheless. I would give it more "stars" but I was never enamored with the American West. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ella | 2/22/2010

    " sex on the toilet; inbred dogs; barefoot women making stew between shootouts "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eric | 2/3/2010

    " I loved this book--the best multi-genre piece I have ever read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lise | 1/19/2010

    " My favorite collection of poems, bar none. "

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About the Author
Author 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.

About the Narrator

Stefan Rudnicki first became involved with audiobooks in 1994. Now a Grammy-winning audiobook producer, he has worked on more than three thousand audiobooks as a narrator, writer, producer, or director. He has narrated more than three hundred audiobooks. A recipient of multiple AudioFile Earphones Awards, he was presented the coveted Audie Award for solo narration in 2005, 2007, and 2014 and was named one of AudioFile’s Golden Voices in 2012.