Listen to all of Craig Johnson's Walt Longmire mysteries.
©2007 Craig Johnson; (P)2007 Recorded Books
"The quick pace and tangled web of interconnected crimes will keep readers turning pages." (Publishers Weekly)
I'm an undemanding listener, but I like the narrator to be more than adequate, the story line to hold my interest and not be too transparent, and I like character-driven stories rather than action-driven.
The Walt Longmire series fills these specs on every score. George Guidall is like an old shoe, comfortable, familiar and reliable. He brings Walt to life; he also does a good job with the other characters that populate the series. Mr. Guidall's voice is low and soothing, but he plays his instrument with intelligence and wit.
Forgive me for not commenting on the story line, other than to say it's worthwhile and engaging. I've read books in the series since Kindness Goes Unpunished; Another Man's Moccasins and Dark Horse. I'm pacing myself so that I don't rip through the series too fast. Compare Walt to a box of fine chocolates or a visit with a friend ... my walk with him is worth savoring.
At the end of Dark Horse is an interview between George Guidall and Craig Johnson. I hesitated, fearful of being disenchanted, but it's a great listen--Mr. Guidall and Mr. Johnson are funny and self-deprecating and the story behind the start of the Walt Longmire series is an entertaining one.
As a clue to my preferences in writers, I like J.A. Jance, William Kent Krueger, Karin Slaughter, Elly Griffiths, Clive Cussler, Steve Berry, Michael Connelly(!), John Sandford, John Lutz--all folks who write good characters in bad situations.
I hope this review helps you decide to give Walt Longmire, George Guidall and Craig Johnson a try.
Mr. G lends a really pleasant audible to a voice that is already funny, tough, poignant and, well, Wyoming. Buy the book. Buy the audible. Better still, buy the first one, "Cold Dish," and hopefully by the time you finish it, the audible for "Death Without Company" will be available. Then the pump will be primed for this third installment. All three books by Craig Johnson have wonderful characters and a sense of place that is real. "Kindness Goes Unpunished" is literally set in Philadelphia, but the heart of the book is still in Wyoming-- which makes us love Absaroka County even more. Enjoy!
Why oh why can't audible get more like this!
Craig Johnson is plenty talented. I rate him along with Vince Flynn and Nelson DeMille.
Very good story along with believable characters. Pack that all in with the Past Master Narrator GEORGE GUIDALL and you have a fantastic book to listen and enjoy.
Note to audible Please get 'Death Without Company' (2006)This is the second in the Walt Longmire Mysteries. Excellent
In this installment, Walt Longmire goes to Philadelphia to see his daughter, and I don't think the "road trip" aspect really works well for Longmire, Vic, or The Bear. A big part of why I liked the previous books so much was the way the characters fit in their small town Wyoming location, and what the county brought to them as much as they brought to Absaroka county. There's a lot more action in this novel and a little humour too, but I can't wait for the gang to get back to Wyoming. The narration by George Guidall was excellent, as it has been in all the previous Longmire books.
This is actually the 4th book I have read about Walt Longmire -- I didn't realize until recently that there were two in between 'Death Without Company' and 'The Dark Horse.' I'm so glad I did finally read this, though, because a lot of things have happened by the time of Dark Horse and much is referred to there that actually occurs in this book.
This is the book in which Walt and Henry go to Philadelphia where Bear is to be honored and give some lectures at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, with all sorts of complications ensuing -- as you know they would.
I wanted to say how well Craig Johnson portrays Philadelphia, not just using it as a backdrop, but making it an essential character and flavor in the book. And he gets pretty much everything right (that I could tell, and that mattered to me). I was impressed, being a native Philadelphian. I've never heard the Benjamin Franklin Bridge referred to as "the BFB," more as "The Ben Franklin," but that's about the only point that didn't ring true.
Hats off to Johnson for writing it and to George Guidall for reading it so well! Guidall is Walt. I read there is a television series coming up this summer based on the books. It will be a hard act to follow after years of George Guidall embodying all of the characters for me!
By the way, the story is just complicated enough, there is humor and poignancy, and Dog comes along for the ride, even though he ends up having to stay out of a lot of the action. Can't say more. I highly recommend these books, and you obviously get the most out of them if you read them in order.
Craig Johnson is writing the best mysteries set in the West since Tony Hillerman's Joe Leaphorn/Jim Chee series reached its peak in the mid-90's. I urge anyone who enjoys Hillerman to read Craig Johnson's Walt Longmire series starting with The Cold Dish.
And George Guidall, my favorite narrator, reads Johnson's books as well as he read Hillerman's series, which adds a star and an exclamation point to make this an excellent audio book experience.
I don't usually rush out for all the "best sellers", but give each intriguing book/author a look. I have found many diamonds in the rough.
Walt, Henry Standing Bear and of course Dog set out to visit Walt's daughter, Cady, in Philadelphia. On the evening of their arrival Cady is assaulted and lies in a coma while Walt seethes with anger towards her suspected boyfriend.
Suspicious circumstances bring Walt into the fold of an odd murder investigation. The police more or less ask him for his unofficial assistance so he decides to take on the case. Upon the arrival of Walt's deputy, Vic, they dive right in and are, of course, immediatly in it up to their necks. Great story, fast moving.
These books are a rare perfect combination, in my opinion, of a great narrator and an outstanding writer. I have, from the first book, loved the characters, they are amazingly real and unique.
Reader. Painter. Newspaper columnist. Nurse. Humane Society. Lake life. Walker. Happily remarried - was a widow.
From the beginning it packs a wallop. Family. Cops. Change of venue that still manages to be home. Friends. History. Sex. Deceit. Friendship. Adaptation. Confidence. Skill. Law. This one has it all.
I am a huge fan of this series. Also on A and E TV but books are not the same as the show so do them both.
Cady is hurt and Walt goes to her side, and solves the mystery. Along the way he learns more about Vic. Henry shows up and helps. Even Dog is there. Good plot but it's not the plot that makes this book, it's the characters. They are finely drawn and full of life with all it's beauty, mystery and heart.
I liked this one very much. Superior use of your credit. Keep reading. The whole darn series is this way. It sneaks up on you and sticks with you, making you better for having read it.
This is a great story -- there's intrigue, family dynamics, fish out of water (Wyoming men in downtown Philly), horses -- all in addition to the wonderful characters Walt, Henry Standing Bear, Vic and Cady. Good dialogue and good action. Just fantastic.
The narrator is great as well.
I'm not really listening to the series in order (I bought Dark Horse first and haven't listened to A Cold Dish) but it hasn't hurt my enjoyment. Each story has been complete and satisfying in its own right. I loved that this one was set in Philadelphia, and that it was kind of a "buddy story" between Walt and Bear. In fact, I'm usually more interested in plot-driven mystery novels, but this is a series where I'm really enjoying the unfolding of relationships. I simply love George Guidall's voice, especially when Walt says something subtle and heartfelt like"I'm not talking to you." Great inflection caught just right.
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