Dance Hall of the Dead Audiobook | Tony Hillerman | Audible.com
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Dance Hall of the Dead

A Zuni Indian boy dies in a bizarre ritual slaying - and his best friend, a Navajo youth, is missing. Navajo police lieutenant Joe Leaphorn tracks the friend from Zuni village to Navajo hogan, from anthropological dig to hippie commune, across the desert of New Mexico and Arizona.
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Publisher's Summary

A Zuni Indian boy dies in a bizarre ritual slaying - and his best friend, a Navajo youth, is missing. Navajo police lieutenant Joe Leaphorn tracks the friend from Zuni village to Navajo hogan, from anthropological dig to hippie commune, across the desert of New Mexico and Arizona. In his search, Leaphorn discovers the ancient secrets of the Zunis and the hidden crimes of white men. Narrator Michael Ansara's experience with American Indian roles on stage and screen lends authenticity to his resonant reading of this Edgar-winning tale of murder and deception.

(P)1986 by The Audio Partners Publishing Corp.

What the Critics Say

  • Edgar Allan Poe Award Winner, Best Novel, 1974

"High entertainment...An aesthetically satisfying glimpse of the still-powerful tribal mysteries." (The New Yorker)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (185 )
5 star
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3.9 (57 )
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4.0 (57 )
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Performance
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  •  
    James Brooklyn, NY, USA 07-18-04
    James Brooklyn, NY, USA 07-18-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    55
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    "Pace was off"

    The problem with an abridged book is that it lacks the depth that a good author can give in a full length treatment. That was clearly the case here. Other than that, it was a pleasant experience.
    Why no other books by Hillerman at Audible.com?

    55 of 56 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeanene olive branch, MS, United States 02-24-08
    Jeanene olive branch, MS, United States 02-24-08 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
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    "wished it was longer"

    Always enjoy these books - just wish they were longer.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Blaine, WA, USA 02-22-07
    Richard Blaine, WA, USA 02-22-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
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    9
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    "Dancehall of the Dead"

    Hillerman is an easy read and has a pleasant way he approaches his characters. This is the first book I have listened to but have read 6 or 7 and they are just as good anyway you take them. I would like to see more audibles done as I don't mind listening over and over. I highly recommend him to anyone who enjoys a good wholesome story with intrigue and down to earth approaches.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Chaddock San Diego, California 04-19-06
    Lisa Chaddock San Diego, California 04-19-06 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
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    436
    7
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    "Great listen"

    This is a wonderful mystery that is both clear and easy to listen to and keep up with. I'm a big fan of Hillerman, and hope that many more of his books will be available on Audible!

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Chula Vista, CA, United States 11-21-10
    David Chula Vista, CA, United States 11-21-10 Member Since 2010
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    "Great story, good narration, poor production"

    I love Hillerman and Michael Ansara did a good job of bringing the story to live with voice characterizations. I was disappointed by the sound quality and uneveness in production. It definitely detracted from an otherwise excellent book narrated with a memorable voice. Accordingly, I was disappointed overall and wouldn't have purchased this audiobook had I know of the issues in the recording.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandra A. Pate Cumberland, MD USA 08-21-13
    Sandra A. Pate Cumberland, MD USA 08-21-13 Member Since 2010

    Sandy

    ratings
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    "Worst reading ever"
    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Couldn't listen to the book. Michael Ansara's reading was so hard on the ears that it made listening unbearable. His "sssssssss" is like a high-pitched whistle. The book may be excellent, but I guess I'll never know.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Hickman Phoenix, Az USA 04-10-13
    S. Hickman Phoenix, Az USA 04-10-13 Member Since 2006

    X Files Freak

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I enjoyed this story"
    Would you listen to Dance Hall of the Dead again? Why?

    Yes. I often listen to it. I'm interested in the Navajo and Zuni cultures. I just wish there were other Tony Hillerman books available with Audible.


    Have you listened to any of Michael Ansara’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No. I haven't listened to any other performances of Michael Ansara.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Winter Haven, FL, United States 08-20-12
    Linda Winter Haven, FL, United States 08-20-12
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    "good story!"
    What did you love best about Dance Hall of the Dead?

    I liked the authenticity of its depiction of reservation life. I am partial to Tony Hillerman novels for that, and I like her characters. The archaeological references were a plus, too.


    What three words best describe Michael Ansara’s performance?

    Good narrator, mostly. He's not so great at female voices, but that's only to be expected. What can I say?


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janice Oshawa, ON, Canada 08-20-12
    Janice Oshawa, ON, Canada 08-20-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "More Tony Hillerman"

    Tony Hillerman weaves together the complexities of Navajo metaphysics and murder mystery with great skill and produces a fascinating story of a different world. The character ofJoe Leaphorn is so well defined that he almost seems like a friend.

    I have read all of Hillerman's books, and it is a great pleasure to now listen to them on audible. Well written and well read. The perfect combination. My only complaint - that all the rest of the Joe Leaphorn/Jim Chee books are not yet available on audible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bernardine Victoria, BC, Canada 12-05-11
    Bernardine Victoria, BC, Canada 12-05-11
    ratings
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    1
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    "A Merry Dance of Intrigue"
    Where does Dance Hall of the Dead rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    right near the top


    What about Michael Ansara’s performance did you like?

    I really like the the altered voice to denote different characters. He read this just as I hear Tony Tillerman in my head


    Any additional comments?

    I will be purchasing more Tony Hillerman for sure and will watch for stories read by Michael Ansara.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 10 results
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  • Josie
    Bromley, Kent, United Kingdom
    12/19/08
    Overall
    "I enjoyed this very much"

    I noticed the obituaries of Tony Hillerman in the papers earlier this year, and was intrigued by the descriptions of his work. I'd never heard of him, but I like crime books, especially ones that aren't too gruesome, and have visited the western US a few times - not Arizona, where this is set, but it's similar enough landscape to Utah and Colorado for me to be able to imagine it. Not that you'd need to have been there to enjoy it - he does a terrific job of making you feel like you're right there.

    The book has an excellent plot that keeps you guessing until quite near the end, and Joe Leaphorn, the detective, is an intriguing character who manages to be compelling even though he reveals virtually nothing about himself.

    The descriptions of Zuni ritual and customs are engaging and never degenerate into travelogue or local colour. I'm no expert on lit-crit so when I realised the book was essentially about the nature of taboo (and not just of the Zunis) I realised what a clever writer Hillerman is, to take a big topic like that and yet not make it over-dramatic.

    As a book, it's ideal for audio listening as it's written day by day so divides into short sections which are easy to listen to without getting lost. It's been skilfully abridged and there's none of that 'whoops, there goes another carefully crafted sub-plot' feeling that you sometimes get with abridgements. The actor who reads it, Michael Ansara, is excellent, giving just the right laconic delivery for Leaphorn.

    All in all, I really enjoyed it and it's a shame that none of Hillerman's other titles are available on Audible (and if they are offered, it would be nice to have a choice of some unabridged versions too).

    If you like old-fashioned crime, Westerns, or books by Kinky Friedman, you will definitely enjoy this.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Landgirl
    Reay, Caithness, UK
    12/24/12
    Overall
    "Crime and order in a different world view"

    Tony Hillerman writes the kind of story I enjoy--sympathetic, thoughtful stories with characters that you can enjoy getting to know. I have read all his fiction and would love to see more of them on audiobooks. In addition to a good read or listen for the story itself, Tony Hillerman opens up a world few people get to see--a genuine insight into contemporary Native American cultures in the southwest of the United States.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Colin
    CumbernauldUnited Kingdom
    2/13/09
    Overall
    "Great but would prefer unabridged"

    I would very much recomend Tony Hillerman audiobooks. George Guidall narrates the unabridged versions and they are great. It's great to get books even fiction that deal with native americans as more than something out of a cowboy film or dances with wolves.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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