"Anything for Billy" is kind of a travelogue where you don't expect much of a plot, just am East Coast guy following Billy The Kid around because he's bored; but it ends up being a tightly woven one that comes together with a bang at the end. If you read this, as you should, play the fun game of asking yourself: "Who kills Billy?" I'm not ruining the ending for you, because everyone knows Billy dies at the end. But there's some controversy over who actually did it.
The first time I saw Billy he came walking out of a cloud....Welcome to the wild, hot-blooded adventures of Billy the Kid, the American West's most legendary outlaw. Larry McMurtry takes us on a hell-for-leather journey with Billy and his friends as they ride, drink, love, fight, shoot, and escape their way into the shining memories of Western myth. Surrounded by a splendid cast of characters that only Larry McMurtry could create, Billy charges headlong toward his fate, to become in death the unforgettable desperado he aspires to be in life. Not since Lonesome Dove has there been such a rich, exciting novel about the cowboys, Indians, and gunmen who live at the blazing heart of the American dream.Billy has some great lines, like:
After learning what a butler is and does: "If I was ever a butler I'd probably shoot the whole family the first day."
On seeing his spurned girlfriend riding into town: "Oh, dern! This is gonna give me a headache."
Some lines from Sippi, the well-off writer tagging along with Billy: "No doubt it's always the unkissed girls you remember when you're about to be killed."
"I suppose what united Billy and the other gunmen was their determination to defy any order, no matter who it cam from, or what the consequences."
And there's the unique vivid descriptions McMurtry provides: "... on a day so hot and still you could hear a watch tick from thirty yards away."
After being shot, he's told by the killer: "Hurry and die, chapito. I've ridden a long way and I need to water my horse."
I'm giving this one an 8+ of 10 on the Haugenometer. High praise. I loved it. Amazonians were on board with me, giving it a 4 of 5. Goodreaders where less generous with a 3.5 of 5, but most of the complaints where that it wasn't historically accurate. Well, duh. It never claimed to be. It's fictional, loose historical fiction at best. Why would you want to read the same historical account anyway? There'd be no twists, turns or surprises. People can be so persnickety.
Billy would've shot 'em.