Terser plot, less attention to pointless details, less hackneyed characters, a more compelling main character, more thought given to dialog and character development, fewer lengthy scenes in which some everyday activity is described in excruciating detail for no apparent reason. Also a top-notch reader can make me like just about anything.
Oh, so many things.I like "everyman" detectives better than the super-geniuses, but I had the majority of the plot figured out 1/4 of the way through this book, and the characters were dull and unlikable. Joe Pickett is naive, incompetent, and gullible. He is surrounded by straight-up moustache-twirling villains but can't recognize them for what they are. His wife is pretty and rather pointless as a character, her mother is predictably irritating. The children are basically plot devices.I had only the vaguest sense of the appearance of the characters and of the setting, but I got a disproportionate amount of detail at odd moments - for example, an excruciatingly detailed account of every Cheerio fed to a small animal by one of the children. BORING.I also got a bit annoyed right off the bat for what I'll admit is a somewhat superficial reason. As a minor bit of background detail, we learn that the main character's family had a kitten and later a puppy that were both eaten by coyotes. This is described as a family of animal-lovers, and I get that bad stuff happens, but how did both of these animals end up outside, unattended, long enough to get eaten by coyotes? The children were unaware of the fate of their pets so presumably they weren't playing with the critters outside. It was, like I said, a VERY MINOR POINT, but it still colored the way I thought of these people. These are people who were either dumb enough to leave two baby animals outside, alone, where they could be killed by the local wildlife (and the main character is a GAME WARDEN, it isn't like they're ignorant), or they are just so careless that both animals escaped the house and were left to fend for themselves. Obviously, it bothered me, and I found I didn't care for the Picketts.The author does not present information in a way that is interesting or insightful. It was plodding and quotidian. The author also tends to summarize what a character has said instead of revealing the actual dialog, which left me feeling cheated out of meaningful insights into the characters. I mean, the difference between "Joe told her he had a stressful day, and she seemed to understand," and an actual back-and-forth interaction between the couple is huge. I sometimes felt like I was reading case notes instead of a novel. Not fun.Where conversations occur, Pickett doesn't say much, but the other characters go off on improbably long diatribes about their own opinions with a fair amount of regularity. It doesn't ring true, and that's always especially noticeable in audiobooks.
I didn't hate him, and his voice wasn't annoying or anything, he just lacked panache. I've been spoiled by George Guidall, Barbara Rosenblat, Rosalyn Landor, Simon Prebble, etc. Also, a lot of the Southern and Western vernacular just didn't work. Imagine a straightlaced newscaster trying to sell lines like "They was out-of-staters," and you get the idea. The dialog (such as it was) all sounded a bit stilted.
None that I can think of.
I have obviously been spoiled by Craig Johnson's "Longmire" series. I'd recommend "The Cold Dish" to anyone (and I have! To lots of people!), but I'll never mention this one to anybody. However: this book seems to have huge rave reviews from lots of readers and a handful of mystified readers for whom the book just fell flat: maybe download a sample and see which kind of reader you are? I'm definitely in the latter camp.
Love the book, love Joe Picket and love C.J. Box. This is the first novel in the Joe Picket series and it is simply well written and easy to read and listen to. If your looking for a great story about wildlife, family, Wyoming and mystery then this is the perfect audio book! A+++
Audiobook close to eight hours of listening, narration by David Chandler.
Open Season is book #1 in the Joe Pickett series. Pickett is a wildlife/game warden who’s exploits will bring to mind Nevada Barr’s character, Anna Pigeon. I’ve become a fan of Pickett via accidentally reading book 15, possibly in an Audible Daily Deal, and purchased book 14. I enjoyed the stories enough to revert to the beginning of the series. My initial reaction is sad … in books 14, 15 Joe Pickett's faithful dog is named Daisy, and in book 1, he has an eight-year-old retriever named Maxine. Although Joe’s dog is not a major character, she is a regular companion. Not going to give any spoiler. But … what can I say, I love dogs, and it would seem Maxine’s future is doomed at some point in the series.
Open Season starts this series, and Joe Pickett is a wet-behind-the-ears game officer, the father of two little girls, with a beautiful, pregnant wife. His first adventure surrounds a mysterious wild animal that was thought to be extinct. The little meerkat-like creature is the catalyst for a myriad of characters to show the true colors of greed and not-so-altruistic agendas. A fairly innocuous career of game warden is far more dangerous than one would believe!
No profanity, no explicit sex, a ‘clean’ read. Nice mystery and a pleasant introduction to a lengthy series. Narration by David Chandler is fine; you’ll have no trouble discerning who-says-what-to-who. Enjoy!
50 something, retired professional, mother, grandmother, wife.
A wonderful introduction to wonderful characters. A good story followed by many more good stories.
I enjoyed this book. I just finished listening to the Walt Llongmire series, so it was a hard act to follow, but it did a good job. I think if it had a little more humour in it. It would have been better!
Who knew there was so much violence in such a rural place!
New guy in town. New family. New friends and school. Hard to fit in.
The new game warden gets caught up in an intrigue of EPA, animal protection, development, progress and prospects of better than subsistence living for some in the town. He is just trying to do his job, to do the right thing. When he is told to forget about it, and just move on, he knows something isn't right, but then he has to buck all the old hands and the cliques they are in.
This is an enjoyable story and the start of long series that will see the warden's children grow up, the warden's position in town improve, and the town change. It is well-written and realistic.
I was confused at one point since many efforts were made to point out how the warden was such a lousy shot, but at the end he saves the day by actually being a crack shot. Maybe it was a hand gun/ shotgun difference, but I thought it didn't work.
That said, I will still read the rest of the series. The people are real and authentic, and I like the warden, and I like his family. The town has honest folk as well as trash, and the situations are real, although you can see the political timeliness of the plots.
I will read this book again after I read all the other books written by C J Box.
Joe Pickett is all about integrity as a game warden in this Wyoming mystery.
Sheridan, Joe's seven year old daughter.
ELLE aka PlantCrone of the Great Pacific Northwest. I enjoy almost every genre-S/F, Action, Biographies and Histories & Romance
The first in a series about WY Game Warden Joe Pickett and his problems....The story is awkwardly written but fairly interesting, however David Chandler is not a particularly sterling narrator. His phrasing is awkward and toneless, his womens voices poorly done and he presents Pickett as a total wimp. Which is pretty much the way Pickett is written BTW.
I purchased 3 of C.J. Box's audio books in the series but doubt I'll buy more unless the character is better developed and Chandler improves as a narrator.
I'm not nearly as enthused about this series as I was about Walt Longmire, thats for sure. If you're interested in reading about Wyoming wilderness and enjoy mysteries then THATS the series to spend your credits on.
I downloaded this one for a long trip, because I like something on the lighter side when I travel. This was a good choice. I couldn't give it 5 stars because it's not a brilliant book that will stay with me forever, but character development is always the most important part of a book for me, and I enjoyed Joe and his family very much. The plot took a while to get started, but before long it got interesting. It was also not too long and drawn out, and the reader was excellent.
Suzanne, avid reader and listener who loves a broad range of genres but, ecpecially authors,T.C. Boyle, Jodi Picoult, Barbara Kingsolver, Lionel Shriver, Sue Miller, Larry McMurty, Bryce Courteran, Lisa Gardner, Brian Haig, Richard North Patterson, Nelson Demille, Robert Tannenbaum, Sara Gruen, Kate Norton, Steig Larsen, Tana French and Gillian Flynn!! Still many more and the number of authors I enjoy continues to grow.
Loved how they used the "endangered species act" to contrast the different animals and humans as they struggle to survive. I had never considered the possibility that hunting may be a more honest approach to the acquisition of food. Also, it was interesting getting to know very different people and to understand their outlook.
I was enchanted with Sheridan and Lucy "befriending" the "hippity hop" and family. Also, the scenes of Sheridan and Lucy reinacting the weasel play were absolutely hilarious. I was waiting for Lucy to spill the beans. The not so subtle negotiations between the sisters and the ensuing play was masterful. The parent's, looking on and completely misinterpreting the play acting was also greatly amusing.
Chandler is perfect for Joe Pike. Chandler and Box are great together. They remind me a bit of Will Patchett narrating for James Lee Burke; both narrators capture a certain male essence with a slight musicality.
The characterizations of the girls and their interior lives was moving, both funny and very sad. I was unhappy when Mary Beth got shot and lost her baby. I was confused because in the following book, Cold Wind, there weren't any new, natural born, children and wanted to find out what happened. He doesn't mention in either book, but, I am sure that a gunshot wound, in that area, would probably obliterate Mary Beth's uterus and possiblity of any more children.
The first C.J. Box book I read was Cold Wind. It was so good that, while reading the literal book I bought the first in the series, Open Season. I listened to it even more than usual for an audiobook and finished it before I finished, Cold Wind. These books are so great and riveting that I have used an aubible credit and bought another. I am having a hard time taking to another audiobook with the same fervor. I hope C.J. Box hasn't spoiled me!I can't wait to see the man who recomended his books and give him a huge, thank you!