C.J. Box’s Open Season is a rare debut mystery that “immediately sets itself apart from the crowd” (Booklist). This thrilling novel stars Joe Pickett, a game warden in Wyoming who finds his life in danger after he looks into a murder investigation and discovers a conspiracy involving an oil pipeline and its threat to an endangered species.
©2001 C.J. Box (P)2010 Recorded Books, LLC
The reviews I read made this book sound great. However, I found the story weak and predictable, the plot seemed familiar. The characters were shallow and somewhat silly, it was easy to guess what they would say and do. A young child was given the thinking processes of an adult and the language, in her thoughts, to analyze her feelings as if she were a counselor. Periodically the author made inane statements such as indicating that a funeral was for the dead men (most readers would assume the stars of the funeral were dead, right?). The funeral itself was idiotic.
No, but I am not likely to select anything by this author.
I would listen to the preview more closely, I wasn't impressed with the performance.
I was disappointed mainly because the reviews sounded good.
In general, I wish more listeners would write reviews. I appreciate reading the one star reviews when they are thoughtful (I hope mine is) so I have more than one opinion.
This is where it all starts. If you are a fan of C.J. Box or Joe Pickett this book is the foundation to the series. If you are not yet a fan, start with Open Season and you will find a great outdoor modern west mystery that will hook you for rest of the Joe Pickett series. These are great books to sit and listen to. I have read them all and now I will get a chance to listen to them. I would only hope that Audible will pick up the few missing books to fill the gaps in this series. Listening to them each in order of release is advised, but each one makes for a great stand alone mystery. Enjoy.
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.
I first listened to Below Zero about a year ago. I found it on sale and thought it sounded interesting. Since then I've listened to everything Audible has by C.J. Box. What they didn't have in audio I read.
David Chandler does such an excellent job at narrating the Joe Pickett series I had to have this book in my collection. You won't be disappointed.
I have become a little tired of jaded, alcoholic detectives. Joe Pickett is a refreshing change.
None come to mind.
I guess the one where his daughter escapes to the woods.
Nothing comes to mind.
Interesting story with a great setting. The underlying question about the environment versus the economy is handled well. The villain makes a compelling case for not sacrificing too much to keep near extinct species from becoming extinct.
My Mom recommended this author, and I decided to try him out when I needed something different to listen to. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I like the main character and the setting. While this is a quick read read, it doesn't mean it is short on plot or detail. There is a good story here and it does not get bogged down with unnecessary baggage. The narrator does a good job. I am definitely continuing with this series. I think it will provide many good hours of listening between the intense thrillers, weighty tales of morality, and deep thought provoking novels; something to clear the head, engage the mind and keep me entertained.
I enjoyed listening to this book because it was well written and well narrated. The Joe PIckett novels are easy listening and engaging. The characters are well developed and have a sense of depth to them. I wouldn't call these novels real mysteries or thrillers if that is what you are looking for. Over all, I recommend the series if your not into on the edge of your seat novels. You can sleep at night after listening to these books which is a good change sometimes for me.
Tell us about yourself!
This is another “try something new” purchase. I was engaged throughout the book. This really should be a 3.5 star as I can’t put it in my most memorable category, but it is interesting enough to pursue another Pickett story.
The mystery surrounding the motives and method of multiple murders unfolds as the character of Joe Pickett develops. I find it refreshing to have the sleuth a game warden instead of a detective. At times Pickett seems bumbling and at others he is tenacious following his moral compass and his duty to protect the wildlife of Wyoming. He also deserves some sympathy as he is underpaid, his intelligence is underestimated, he is verbally assaulted, and his family is targeted. I suspect that he will become more “real” as the series progresses and look forward to listening to the next episode.
This is not a rush-of-adrenaline adventure. Instead, it is more of an easy listening mystery. David Chandler does a good job of narrating: there is expression to his reading, but excessive emotion or tension would seem out of place here.
Joe Picket is a newly minted warden in "small-town, big-game" Wyoming.
He is an incorruptible character with high ideals. (enter dirty-dealing friends and big money temptation). He quickly makes a few enemies who would like nothing better than to see Picket replaced and his reputation destroyed - and if they have their way that's exactly what will happen.
To the author's credit he has left out a lot of unnecessary "sensationalism" that most author's are tempted to junk up their writing with. (eg., there is very little, if any, foul language; no grisly details or gory, deranged murders; lusty scenes are mostly replaced with monogamous relationships). Neither does he preach his values, he just tells a story.
However, to be fair review, the storyline is promising, but rather predictable.
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+++
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