Coyote - the trickster, thief, warrior, wizard, coward, clown, and savior - has come to call in these 10 stories set in the modern Navajo Nation.
"Reservation Monsters": Coyote teaches a young boy with a monster under his bed that most monsters are far worse than the ones that go bump in the night.
"The Dreaming Way": After Coyote reveals her hidden powers, a teenager must decide whether she will use them for good or evil.
"Love Like Thunder": After a school shooting, a strange creature sets up camp by the local cemetery, where he visits the dead so that he may live a few days longer.
"The Speed of Lightning": Shaun Sallabye, a famous high school runner, gets a talent boost from Coyote that will push him to his limits - if it doesn’t break him first.
"The Shooting Way": Jesse Benally doesn’t believe in witchcraft. When his aunt contracts a strange sickness, he meets with a medicine man who teaches him that native witches don’t care what he believes.
"Black Body": Fernando Gishi waits for his father to get out of prison, but when he finds the body of a dead girl in the desert, he must rely on his friends as a dark force reaches out to make a deal he can’t refuse.
"Changing Woman": Nellie Begay, a former combat nurse, is missing her daughter. When a supernatural force might know where she is, Nellie must find the strength to heal herself and talk to Changing Woman.
"The Darkest Roots Run Deep": Ronnie Long, a struggling maintenance worker, must look to his girlfriend and their unborn child in order to forgive the biggest mistake of his life - before it kills him.
"Remember by Your Scars": Jane Lewis is a white nurse who fled the East coast and abusive relationships. When her latest ends, a new man walks into her life and reopens all the scars she’s tried to hide.
"The Bathroom People": LeCaine Keeyahani hates working fast food but he hates the idea of leaving the Reservation even more. When his dying grandfather asks for help ending his life with dignity, only the Bathroom People hold the answer to LeCaine’s future.
©2012 Jim Kristofic (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“With Coyote Tales, Jim Bihyeh spins a powerful series of tales filled with magic and mystery. Highly recommended!” (Jonathan Maberry, New York Times best-selling author)
“These stories are incredibly rich in mythic imagery and detail, placing ancient spirit world narratives and magical combat into very contemporary settings.” (South Dakota Magazine)
This book is a collection of stories with a Navajo influence that only adds to the telling. Cayenne Chris Conroy is a long-experienced audio artist-cum-narrator with a solid grasp of voice, tenor, and character. The two meet in a perfect storm of an audiobook I couldn't stop listening to.
The stories pull no punches and don't apologize for offending the reader or making them uncomfortable. That only makes them more fascinating and addictive, really. The short-story lengths don't detract from the individual tales; they were written to be consumed in sips, not long draughts. The characters are complex and interesting without long back stories and Cayenne carries them higher than the words alone ever could.
This audiobook makes a good gift, like many stand alone books. The stories don't require a prior love for Native stories, horror or strange fiction, or even audiobooks in general. The stories are just good. The reader is just good. "Coyote Tales" is great.
Like another reviewer here, I first heard a few of Jim Bihyeh's tales on a podcast. Out of the hundreds of tales of I have heard on that particular program, I must say Bihyeh's were among the few that stood out to me over the others. They are well written, well performed by Conroy and most importantly, unique.
The stories are saturated in Navajo folklore, and to me, that is something I have seldom (if ever) have come across outside of an actual book written about a particular culture's folklore. Not only are you listening to captivating stories, but you feel as if you're learning a little something about the Navajo culture throughout the collection's entirety, which is definitely a plus for me or any avid reader for that matter.
These stories reminded me of reading legends and mythology when I was a child. Full of mysticism, magic, superstition.... but here these things seem almost believable. The look into the lives of the characters of each story paints an all too realistic world while there are dark forces at work all around them. When Coyote crosses your path, he can give hope, he can break you, he does as he pleases. Sometimes you aren't sure whether he's the bad guy or the good guy.
Conroy gives an almost perfect voice to these stories. His interpretation of Bihyeh's writing is impeccable. I am surprised to see that there are only 9 reviews of this collection so far. Any horror or fantasy enthusiast would enjoy these. Heck, I believe anyone would!
Like many others I began listening to Jim Bihyeh and the excellent readings that Cayenne Chris Conroy gives of Bihyeh's work. The stories feel very grounded and the characters believable even though awesome and massive events are unfolding around them. The lives of the characters feel, sound, and smell real although they are constantly being invaded by forces that they can barely comprehend, let alone have any effect on.
The natural sounding dialogue is to me one of the single strongest parts of this collection and it is truly brought to life by Conroy's excellent acting. He reads each character with a distinctive and immediately recognizable tone that makes the characters seem so much like real people that I found myself forgetting that they were all coming from one person.
There is a sense with Bihyeh's writing that he is not a mere tourist who did some research for his book, visited the rez for a couple of weeks, and then decided how these people really should be instead of how they actually are. There are no noble savages here but there are some decent people.
Bihyeh has written his characters as varied and as flawed as actual humans. This naturalness quickly immerses the reader into this world and makes us give a damn about the characters. This also makes it heart-wrenching when the subtle horrors of Navajo magic begin to take their toll.
I have heard Bihyeh's work on a podcast and was really excited to see he had finally put out a collection. It is similar to some of Stephen King's horror, but with Navajo folklore. A great listen!
Yes. If you enjoy a a blend of fantasy, terror, Native American folklore and well written characters. This book flows from one story to the next with a connecting thread flowing
through all of them. That with the combination of a skilled reader makes this a credit worthy
I can see many influences the author drew from. Stephen King, Neil Gaimen and many others. The stories themselves are unique and rich in detail and atmosphere.
I felt he was very skillful at finding a proper voice for the characters and pacing for the stories themselves. He read a little fast at the start, but then slowed down. That worked much better. I look forward to more of his work.
After finishing the book the title works perfectly. I sensed a sequel and will look forward to it.
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