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Billy the Kid is the subject of many books and movies. Bob Dylan, called by one
of our English faculty “the American Homer,” wrote the music for one of movies.
Michael Ondaatje, author of The English Patient, wrote a book of poems and vignettes
in Billy’s stead. I doubt our interest in Billy would have thrived so if not for
Burns’ book, published in 1926 and based on accounts of people living then who had
known Billy. Burns creates such a sympathetic character and tells the story so well,
not wanting to go to sleep with Billy’s end on my mind, I had to stop reading just
before the death scene.
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