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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.
“Moving and tragic. . . . Ondaatje is a poet and even his prose moves with rhythmic circular precision.” —The New York Times Book Review
“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, The Washington Post Book World
“Wonderful. . . . Ondaatje’s language is clean and energetic, with the pop of bullets. This is literature, art.” —Annie Dillard