After Hell Is Empty, I didn't think that Craig Johnson could get better, but I was wrong. While As the Crow Flies isn't as "literary" as its predecessor, it is a wonderful piece of writing.
The new characters are a delight. Lolo is great and I really appreciate her interaction not only with Walt but with her mother (who knows how to deal with her). I hope she will be back so we can see her mature into a fine police officer. I missed Vic in this one, but it was good to have Henry back full time. Dog was also a welcome inclusion this time.
Johnson's strength is in his characters. I know these people, and for the most part, I like them very much. I would know them if I met them on the street. I want to know them better, and he allows them to grow. Lonnie (Lonny?) is a much more mature character than he was in The Cold Dish, and I'm enjoying his new responsibilities as much as he is frustrated by them. Yes, it is so.
The plot had me completely in the dark until the last 30 minutes of the audio (or so). It wasn't as all what I was expecting, and that's all I'll say about that!! As usual the plot is logical when worked backwards.
The only thing wrong with the book is that I have finished it. Now I'm going back through the series again, just to reacquaint myself with the people. Then I suppose I'll just have to wait another year for another book.
(Other reviewers have explained the basic plot, so I will refrain from repeating them.)
This sci-fi/post Armageddon book was written in 1949, and I hesitated to buy it from Audible because of its publication date. A terrible disease wipes out most of the human population of earth leaving only a few stragglers to continue the race. Ish (the protagonist, Ishram Williams) is in the mountains during the epidemic, and thanks to a rattlesnake bite (he believes), he survives the plague though he is very ill.
Ish's attempt to guarantee the success of mankind over future generations is the direction of the book. His success (or lack thereof) is what makes the story work. I kept trying to think of it as it would be written today, but really there isn't much difference. The libraries have real card catalogs, things are not so dependent on electronics, vehicles don't work the same way, but all in all, the story doesn't have that feel of obsolescence I was expecting.
I laughed, I cried, I suffered with Ish in his realizations about humanity. There are scenes in that book I will never forget -- the deserted University library, the rusting and abandoned Golden Gate Bridge, the little dog begging Ish for recognition. Stewart dealt with racial barriers in a way that is completely unexpected in a book written in 1949. His concerns with the future of mankind are clear and obvious (and still as pertinent as they were 60 years ago).
This is an intense book, not a light read, but it is entertaining and thought provoking. I find myself wondering how I would react in a world nearly devoid of people with no running water or electricity. Curse it, it makes me think.
Johnson has done it again. I love these characters and these people. I want to know them and live in their town. He has the ability to write 5 books in a series each of which is entirely different from the others. The Cold Dish was my choice for best listen a couple of years ago, and Another Man's Moccasins was my choice in 2008. This one is in the running for the best for this year. He is a fine writer with a literate protagonist. He develops the story in a way that allows the reader to become part of the story. It is so nice to find a book that reads so beautifully.
The interaction with the title Dark Horse is amazing, and of course as usual, the title has several meanings. I'll not go into that because a couple of them are key to the story. I would have like to see more of Vic and Henry, but they were clearly an important part of the story even if they were only on the periphery most of the time. There were some very interesting secondary characters introduced this time. A young boy and his mother, an old cowboy, and a surprising FBI agent are all well developed and integral to the plot.
Read this book. Better yet, listen to this book. George Guidall has become Walt Longmire for me. I hear his voice when I read the books with my eyes.
“A life without friends means a death without company.” Basque proverb
Craig Johnson’s Walt Longmire is back in action in this satisfying sequel to The Cold Dish. The tone of the book is similar to its predecessor, but the story is entirely different. This time Walt and company are attempting to discover the cause of death and later the causer of death of an elderly woman living in a nursing home.
The book opens and closes with a burial. Johnson did something similar in his first book, and in the second one he brackets the book with burials. At the beginning of the book he is in a cemetery talking to the man in charge of preparing graves. The reader learns a great deal about the history of burials, and I was beginning to think it wasn't going anywhere when Walt said, "Do you ever stop talking?" to the garrulous old man. This brings us back to the familiar, soft spoken man we knew in the first book. I really like Walt. It's no wonder there are bumper stickers for "Walt Longmire for Sheriff" in Absaroka County, Wyoming.
Johnson’s Walt Longmire books make me laugh and cry and think. He has a delightful way of phrasing sentences to create images in the mind of the reader. The occasional flashes of Native American (or as Walt would say, Indian) spirituality enhance the story.
I loved this book. I hope Johnson keeps creating memorable characters, and I hope George Guidall keeps narrating them.
Darkly Dreaming Dexter is a most unsettling book. I find it difficult to understand how I can be sympathetic toward a serial killer. However, I found myself making excuses for his killings and accepting his explanations for his aberration. Dexter is a wonderfully drawn, three-dimensional character. He is sympathetic because the author tells us, through Dexter’s own words, why he is WHAT he is. The final scene in the book is chilling.
I am hoping to listen to the next book in the series because I truly care about Dexter and his strange life. The Showtime series was the bait that attracted me to the book, but the book is much deeper and more interesting than the series.
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