Book Review: The Autobiography of Billy The Kid

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

The publisher provided me with a copy of this book to review via NetGalley.

The history of Billy the Kid is quite well known, yet even with all those other books, movies and other sources of his past in circulation this book did help to shed some new light on him. I don’t often review autobiographies because they are so person it is hard to give an opinion about them. This applies more so when the information contained in the autobiography was told to someone over fifty years ago. However since I am a fan of the history of the west I figured I would give this book a try.

Some of the events mentioned in this book are quite well known for those who know any a small amount about Billy the Kid. Though there are also a number of other small events that he took part in and/or witnessed that are not common knowledge. It was these small tidbits of information that I found most interesting. His meeting with Jesse James and being offered to join his crew, being accused of many crimes he didn’t commit, the origin of his nickname.

There was one point when he mentioned a certain thing happening, though went to say that that were the facts according to one of the men he rode with and so that was the story he stuck with. In that moment I wondered if that story was fact or fictional, something we will never know for certain.

At certain parts of the book there were pictures and a few newspaper clippings shown, however they were extremely hard to see on the Kindle version. After the main story there are a number of pages that give small bits of information about all the people, places and events that were mentioned in the book and those helped to add more to the picture.

Overall I enjoyed this book, though it was quite a bit on the short side, the actual story being only about eighty pages long. However with an autobiography that was written so many years ago I have to wonder how accurate some parts are. I’m not saying that the author Ralph Estes published phase information, but since Billy admitted once during the book that that one part of the story may not be true, what else may have been altered for the public’s benefit. I’d recommend this book to those who are interested in learned a bit more about Billy the Kid.

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